The Hanford Flames were the American Legion AAA Washington state champions in 2013, and they played like it Saturday in the opening round of an American Legion 4x4 regional tournament at Joe Martin Stadium in Bellingham.
The Flames crushed the Spokane North Stars 18-0, getting three runs in the second, five more in the sixth and finishing the North Stars off with a 10-spot in the top of the seventh.
“The Flames are the returning state champions. We got 32 hits over two games last year, and we started in the fashion we ended last year,” Hanford coach Nat Roe said. “We’ve got six kids who contributed to the state championship last year. We don’t run from anything. We don’t get riled up or anything. It’s just about executing.”
Brady Heid led Hanford’s 11-hit attack, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs, while Mitch Godwin and McKaden Manderbach drove in two runs apiece. Tyler Heiman scored four runs for the Flames.
Sawyer Henry kept a clean sheet on the mound, scattering six hits over seven full innings and recording six strikeouts to get the win.
Because of a rain delay and muddy conditions, the 1 p.m. game between Bellingham Post 7 and Rainier was postponed until 10 a.m. today. Hanford will play the winner of that game at 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Kennewick Bandits opened up their regional play by pounding the Spokane Blue Devils 14-4 in Chehalis.
Dylan Wilbert was 4-for-5, scored six runs, had two doubles and tripled for the Bandits, who plays Centralia Sobe at 1 p.m. today.
Clayten Ayres was 5-for-5 with five RBIs, and Austen Morfin added four hits for Kennewick.
Altogether, Kennewick collected 17 hits.
Hanford 030 050 (10) — 18 11 1
Spokane N.Stars 000 000 0 — 0 6 3
Sawyer Henry and Aaron Enderlin, Jon Miles (3); Mordon, Olson (6), Markel (6), Schiedel (7) and Risinger. Highlights—Hanford: Brady Heid 4x4, 5 RBI; Anthony Porcaro 2x3, 2R; Isaac Benard 3x5, 2R; Tyler Heiman 2x3, 4R; Mitch Godwin 2x4, 2R, 2 RBI; McKaden Manderbach 2 RBI; Henry 7 IP, 6 Ks.
Spokane Blue Devils 000 103 00 — 4 10 5
Kennewick Bandits 102 301 34 — 14 17 1
Mackin, Lopez (7) and Greenwald; M.Driver and Wilbert. Highlights—Greenwald 2x4, Mackin 3x3, 2B; Hainline (S) 2B; Wilbert 4x5, 6 runs, 2 2Bs, 3B; Morfin (K) 4x6, 3 runs; Ayres (K) 5x5, 5 RBIs, 2 2Bs; Plew (K) 2x5.