Thursday, September 23, 2021
57.0°F

9U All Stars crowned regional champs

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | July 30, 2021 1:00 AM

The Moses Lake Baseball 9U All Star Team capped off the summer by winning the Pacific Northwest Regional Cal Ripken Tournament in Meridian, Idaho, Saturday. With the win, the team automatically qualifies for the Babe Ruth 10U World Series next summer.

Opening the tournament Thursday against an opponent from Gresham, Oregon, the Moses Lake squad won 12-8. Graham Passey finished a triple shy of the cycle, finishing with a home run, double and a single. Moses Lake finished with 10 hits, with Passey pitching four innings and giving up two runs.

The Moses Lake boys lost their second game on Thursday to southwestern Idaho’s CO-County, 12-11, on a walk-off. Luke Sawyer and Passey both finished with two hits.

On Friday, Moses Lake won 12-2 over Helena, Montana. Jaxon Keller finished 3-3 from the plate. Carson Valdez allowed six hits pitching while making plays left and right from the mound. Sawyer had a big game defensively at second base.

In the final game of pool play, Moses Lake defeated Nampa (Idaho) Youth Baseball 8-3. Passey finished with four hits, Valdez finished 2-4 and Sawyer went 2-3. Hesston Schwab rattled off eight strikeouts on the mound pitching.

Saturday, Moses Lake defeated the host team from Meridian, Idaho, winning 12-8 after giving up five runs in the top of the first inning. Moses Lake responded with five runs in the bottom of the inning.

DeAndre Adams made a two-run double to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Passey finished 3-4 from the plate. Michael Martinez picked up a big defensive play to help save runs late in the game. Keller tossed six strikeouts pitching in relief.

Finally, Waylon Kron and Izayah Solis combined to give up just three runs pitching. Moses Lake defeated the Blackhills All Star team, out of Olympia, 8-3.

Lucas Langshaw finished 2-3, Valdez and Kron both finished with multiple hits while Azariah Escamilla picked up the decisive run late to seal the championship victory.

Coach Steve Keller said this team is a special group and added it’s been surreal watching some of things his players have done this summer.

“Some of the diving plays we had, the fight that they had to not give in on at-bats, big knocks, three-run doubles, two-run singles, things that were nails in the coffin to other teams,” Keller said.

Players and coaches were awarded championship rings in addition to a wrestling-style championship belt.

With the summer wrapped up, Keller said now the goal is wining the World Series next summer.

“Even with the automatic bid, there won’t be any time where I say we already made it,” Keller said. “We’re gonna work and earn our way there.”

photo

Courtesy Photo/Christopher Voigt

Graham Passey tosses a pitch for the Moses Lake 9U All Star team last week at the Pacific Northwest Regional Cal Ripken Tournament.

photo

Courtesy Photo/Christopher Voigt

Coaches and players elate after the Moses Lake 9U All Star team won the championship game of the Pacific Northwest Regional Cal Ripken Tournament last Saturday afternoon in Meridian, Idaho.

photo

Courtesy Photo/ Christopher Voigt

Azariah Escamilla flexes his muscles while celebrating after the Moses Lake 9U All Stars won the Pacific Northwest Regional Cal Ripken Tournament in Meridian, Idaho, last Saturday.