KENNEWICK -- Well, they did it.
Kennewick National survived pool play at the Cal Ripken 12U 70-foot regional tournament with a 4-2 victory over Black Hills on Friday at the Kennewick American Youth Baseball Complex.
National was teetering, having been shut out in its first two games Thursday, losing 14-0 to Willamette Valley and 11-0 to Meridian, Idaho.
Kennewick National pitcher Mel Crowley hit what proved to be his team's ace-in-the-hole, a two-run homer in the bottom of the third that put KN up three runs against Black Hills.
Black Hills managed only one more run in the top of the sixth and remained winless with a 0-3 tournament record, having lost 11-4 to Meridian on Thursday and 7-2 against Willamette Valley on Friday.
And according to KN coach Wayne Dearing, the contest was not only crucial, a true nailbiter for KN fans, but it was also a decently entertaining battle.
"The kids played really well," Dearing said. "Got back to playing fun baseball. It was a good thing. They did what they needed to do to get the win and end up in bracket play.
"They worked hard, it was fun to watch."
Also in Friday's pool play, Kennewick American improved its tourney record to 3-0 with wins of 12-5 over Tualatin and 14-2 over Eastmont in the final game of the day.
Hunter Spiva had five RBIs for KA in its win over Eastmont and Caleb Cope and Cole Bassett combined for five more RBIs in the contest.
Dillon Plew had two RBIs -- including a home run -- in KA's game against Tualatin, and Brycen Kelly had four RBIs on the day.
Helena defeated Tualatin 13-4 and Willamette Valley bested Meridian 15-10.
Tualatin 401 000 -- 5
Kennewick American 212 43x -- 12
Pitching staff: Noah Keough, Joe Niehiser (3), Eddie Rosen (5); Caleb Cope, Brycen Kelly (5). Highlights--Dawson Jaramillo (T) 2x3, 2B, RBI; Brycen Kelly (K) 2x3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2IP-4K; Dillon Plew (K) 2x3, HR, 2 RBI; Bryce Grigg (K) 2x3, 2B, 3 RBI; Tracer Bjorge (K) 2x3, 2B; Caleb Cope (K) 4IP-1K.
Willamette Valley 201 022 -- 7
Black Hills 200 000 -- 2
Pitching staff: Marcus Lydon, Dylan Duddly (4), Brock Townsend (6); Aaron Furman, Erik Stevenson (4). Highlights--Matt Lend (WV) 2B; Andrew Jablonski (WV) 3x3, 3 RBI; Sam Olson (WV) HR; Cade Bates (WV) HR.
Tualatin 100 300 -- 4
Helena 351 220 -- 13
Pitching staff: Jason Dumont, Casey McGough (3), Matt Clark (4), Eddie Rosen (6); Payton Pappas, Jay Gamboa (4). Highlights--Gabe Skoro (T) 2x4; Payton Pappas (H) 3x4, 2B, HR; Carter Pappas (H) 4x4, 2 HR; Ray Moore (H) 2x4 HR.
Meridian 115 120 -- 10
Willamette Valley 2(10)0 30x -- 15
Pitching staff: Tyler Hollow, Nolan Walker (3), Drake Simons (5); Sam Olson, Cole Staggs (4), Cade Bates (5). Highlights--Hodges Bailey (M) 3 2B; Bryson Moorehouse (M) 2B; Nolan Walker (M) 2-run HR, solo HR; Sam Olson (W) 2x3 RBI; Cole Staggs (W) 2x3; Matt Land (W) HR; Marcus Lyden (W) solo HR.
Black Hills 100 001 -- 2
Kennewick National 022 000 -- 4
Tucker Stroup, Aaron Furman (4) and unidentified catcher; Blake Marboe, Mel Crowley (6) and Will Koskinen. Highlights--Erik Stevenson (BH) HR; Stroup (BH) 2x3, 2B; Dawson Daniels (K) solo HR, single; Will Koskinen (K) R; Chase Kissell (K) 2B; Mel Crowley (K) 2-run HR in 3rd; Jashaun Simon (K) 2x3; Marboe (K) 5 1/3IP-3K-1ER-0BB; Crowley (K) 1IP-1K.
Kennewick American 406 04 -- 14
Eastmont 000 20 -- 2
Pitching staff: Brycen Kelly, Andrew Jacobsen (4), Blake Loftus (5); Kaeden Murphy, Hunter Brawley (4). Highlights--Brycen Kelly (K) 4x4, 2B, RBI, 3IP-6K; Hunter Spiva (KA) 3x3, 2B, HR, 5 RBI; Caleb Cope (KA) 2x3, HR, 3 RBI; Cole Bassett (K) 2x3, 2 RBI; Thomas Murphy (E) 1x2, 2B.
Quarterfinal 1: Helena, Mont. vs. Kennewick National, 10 a.m.; Quarterfinal 2: Meridian, Idaho vs. Tualatin, 12:15 p.m.; Semifinal 1: Winner QF1 vs. Willamette Valley, 2:30 p.m. Semifinal 2: Winner QF2 vs. Kennewick American.
Babe Ruth 15s
KELSO -- Midland defeated Kennewick 10-4 on Friday at the Babe Ruth 15-year-old Southern Washington State Tournament in Kelso.
Babe Ruth 13s North
BREMERTON -- The Moses Lake 13-year-olds lost 13-3 to tourney host North Kitsap on Friday at the Northern Washington Babe Ruth Tournament.
Babe Ruth 13s South
KELSO -- Dominick Monville and Mike Morales each had three hits for Pasco, but it wasn't enough as it lost 12-11 to Camas-Washougal in pool play at the Southern Washington state tournament in Kelso.
Camas-Washougal 302 400 3 -- 12 8 1
Pasco 161 003 0 -- 11 12 5
Z.Hausinger, C.Biggs (6) and C.Biggs, B.Holmes (6). Joe Rangel, Trey Saporito (6) and Mike Morales. Highlights--Dominick Monville (P) 3x3, 2B; Jordie Hawk (P) 2x2, 2 RBIs, Morales 3x3 2 RBIs.