SEASIDE — State championship weekend for Northern Oregon Cal Ripken Baseball produced one local state champion, plus a couple second-place finishers and a third place.

Not a bad weekend for local youth baseball.

At Sons of Norway Field in Seaside, the Lower Columbia 12U All-Stars defeated Seaside Kids 16-5 in the title game Sunday, as Lower Columbia had to rally from an early 5-0 deficit to win the championship.

It was the second state title in a row for eight of the players on the Lower Columbia roster, who helped the 11U team of 2012 win a state championship.

The 12U “Major 60” team now advances to the Pacific Northwest Regionals, July 28 and 29 in Centralia, Wash. The team hopes to earn a trip to Hammond, Ind., for the Major 60 World Series, Aug. 9 through 16.

Lower Columbia’s rally in the championship game was sparked by a home run from Mason Hoover to put the All-Stars on the board.

The next four batters managed to reach base without a hit. Trailing 5-2 with the bases loaded and one out, Cole Dorman started a hit parade by taking a 2-1 pitch to the gap in left-center, scoring two runs.

Josiah Hirsch followed with a three-run homer to center field, giving Lower Columbia the lead for good.

Hoover’s second plate appearance in the first inning resulted in another homer for the All-Star from Knappa.

Up 13-5 in the bottom of the fourth, Lower Columbia coach Chris Dorman told Hoover to “hit it hard somewhere.”

Which is just what Hoover did, as he belted his third home run of the day, a three-run blast to end the contest via the 10-run mercy rule.

Hoover finished 4-for-4 at the plate, which included a double.

“Like last year, the goal of this summer tournament season was to continuously get better with the hope of playing their best at the state tournament,” Dorman said. “Our coaching staff continues to stress the importance of being mentally and physically prepared for every pitch at the plate, on the base paths and on defense.”

Lower Columbia’s road to the championship game included a 12-3 win over Seaside in a second-round game of the championship bracket, followed by an 11-2 win over West Linn to reach the title game.

Against Seaside, Lower Columbia posted four runs in the top of the first inning, highlighted by a home run from Reuben Cruz.

Burke Matthews pitched four solid innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Hoover closed out the remaining two innings with four strikeouts.

Matthews, Cruz and Tristin Wallace – who went 4-for-4 from the plate – all had home runs.

In the victory over West Linn, Lower Columbia rallied from a 2-0 deficit with three runs of their own in the top of the second, sparked by a two-run single from William Reed.

Cruz was 3-for-3 at the plate, including his second home run of the tournament. Wallace pitched four innings, giving up one earned run.

Seaside opened bracket play with a 3-0 victory over Sandy, followed by a loss to Lower Columbia.

Seaside bounced back with a 6-1 win over Portland and an 8-2 decision over West Linn, as the host team had to play four games just to reach the championship.

Seaside will host the Glen Bard 12U/11U Major 60 tournament again next year.


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