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Tri-Cities youth baseball teams battling for national, state titles



A lot of baseball is being played this week around the country involving Mid-Columbia teams.

The Kennewick National 12U 60-footers begin the Cal Ripken World Series on Friday in Visalia, Calif.

And the Kennewick American 10-year-olds start their Cal Ripken World Series tournament in Phenix City, Ala., on Thursday.

The Washington state American Legion baseball tournaments have been going on in three locations since Saturday.

Here’s a quick roundup:

Cal Ripken 12U 60s World Series

Kennewick National opens pool play at 2:30 p.m. Friday against Hanford, Calif.

The tournament consists of two six-team divisions, with pool play going through Aug. 6.

Single-elimination playoffs run Aug. 7-9, with the title game set for 7:30 p.m., Aug. 9.

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Cal Ripken 10-year-olds World Series

The Kennewick American team begins play in Phenix City, Ala.

The Americans will take on the Southwest Region champion at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Pacific Time.

There are 16 teams in this World Series, divided into four groups.

Kennewick is in Group B, with champions from California, Connecticut and the Southwest.

There will be three straight days of pool play — Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then teams will be seeded into a modified double-elimination bracket.

Teams cannot lose to become World Series champion, but a loss puts a squad into the Iron Man Bracket. A loss there, and your team is done.

The World Series championship game is set for 6 p.m. (PDT), Thursday, Aug. 8

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American Legion state

The Kennewick Outlaws have been on a roll since the AAA state tournament began Saturday in Anacortes and Bellingham.

The Outlaws opened up their portion of the tournament by beating the Central Washington Spuds 15-0, stopping Wilder 5-0, and taking down the Vancouver Cardinals 10-6 on Monday night.

The Outlaws will play host Bellingham at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Kennewick is the only team left in its half of the bracket (eight teams) that is unbeaten.

The Hanford Flames are in the other half of the AAA bracket in Anacortes, and they’re one of four teams still alive.

The Flames opened the tournament Saturday by losing 3-1 to the Vancouver Mavericks. But then they rallied to beat Lakeside BR 2-0, and took down Centralia 7-5.

Hanford is playing Lakeside Recovery at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

This year, Washington state’s top two teams get to advance to the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament, which is set for Lewiston, Idaho, on Aug. 7-11. The winner of that tournament earns a berth in the American Legion World Series in Shelby, N.C., on Aug. 16-21.

• On a side note, both the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak and the Yakima Beetles were ousted from postseason play before the AAA tournament began.

Yakima got penalized for going over the 5,000-enrollment number of its schools to draw from, while Yakima Valley found out a couple days before the state tournament it was out for recruiting in the Beetles’ area.

• The state AA tournament is being held in Yakima, with an eight-team tournament at Parker Field and another eight-team at Davis High School.

The champions of both mini-tournaments meet for the state title.

All three of the Mid-Columbia teams involved are still alive, including the unbeaten Kennewick Phantoms.

The Phantoms are 3-0 with an 11-3 win over Asotin, a 14-2 victory over the Walla Walla Bruins, and a 5-2 win over the Yakima Valley Peppers.

Kennewick was to play Mt. Vernon at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Davis High.

Walla Walla, besides losing to Kennewick, has beaten University 4-2 and the Pullman Posse 2-0.

The Bruins were to meet the Yakima Valley Peppers at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Finally, the Hanford Junior Flames are still alive over at the Parker Field tournament.

After beating Burlington 16-8 and Mt. Spokane 11-4, Hanford fell to West Valley 9-8 on Monday night.

The Junior Flames were to meet the Yakima Jr. Beetles at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

• Finally, the A state legion tournament has been going on at Hanford High School.

The host Hanford A Flames beat Gonzaga Prep 4-3 to open the eight-team tournament, then stopped Olympic CC 18-3, before dropping a 12-2 verdict to unbeaten West Kootenay on Monday night.

Tuesday’s schedule had Hanford playing the West Valley Bees at 4 p.m., while West Kootenay was to meet Olympic CC at 7 p.m.

Notes

• Columbia Basin College has named Stefan McGovern as its new head baseball coach.

McGovern last spent two seasons as the hitting coach for Cuesta College in California.

Before that, he was the head coach at West Hills College, and head coach at Menlo College.

• How about Walla Walla’s Dash Sirmon? The sophomore-to-be threw the javelin 188 feet, 5 inches to become the U.S. Amateur Track and Field boys 15-16 national champion this past week in Sacramento.

• Southridge graduate Mason Martin was named the Florida State League’s Player of the Week on Monday for his .344 batting average, four home runs and 12 RBIs.

Martin, who started the season in lower Class A in the South Atlantic League, was promoted at the beginning of the month by the Pittsburgh Pirates to their Bradenton affiliate in the FSL.

Martin still hasn’t slowed down.

• North Bothell had to beat Federal Way National twice this weekend at the Little League Majors State Tournament being held at Richland’s Badger Mountain Complex.

And the team north of Seattle did it, winning the second title game 9-8 Sunday afternoon.

With that victory, North Bothell will represent the state of Washington in the Northwest Regional Tournament, which begins this week in San Bernardino, Calif.

The winner of that tournament qualifies for the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

• Othello senior Malayah Sauceda and freshman Maya Valdez were named first team All-Central Washington Athletic Conference softball players this spring.

Othello sophomores Emily Garza and Breanna Marquina were named to the second team, as was Prosser sophomore Grace Bestebreur.

Prosser earned the Sportsmanship Award.

• Two Othello players, junior Joshua Garza and senior Jay Rodriguez, were named to the CWAC first-team all-conference baseball squad this spring.

Othello sophomore Nathan Garza Jr., was named to the second team, as was Grandview junior Angel Morales.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.
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