The young Lions drop to 0-2 in pool play at the World Series in Crown Point, Indiana.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and unfortunately for the West Linn 10U Select Green team, it was their opponent that came through on Sunday, Aug. 6.
West Linn, facing Red Land, Pennsylvania (the Mid-Atlantic Region champion), in the second round of pool play at the 2023 Cal Ripken 10U World Series, fell behind by six runs early, then rallied back within one before dropping an 8-5 decision at Jerry Ross Park’s D&L (A) Field in Crown Point, Indiana.
“A slow start on defense killed us,” said West Linn manager Ryan Holmes. “We went down 6-0 on some defensive (mistakes). We battled back and got ourselves back in the game, but left guys on second and third in four of six innings. We needed a couple timely hits and couldn’t come up with them.”
With the loss, the Lions — the Pacific Northwest Regional champs — lost for the second straight time and fell to 0-2 in World Series play and 39-17 overall. Next up, West Linn will face Altamonte Springs, Florida, at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, at Jerry Ross Park’s D&L (A) Field. Altamonte improved to 2-0 in pool play after beating Campbellsville, Kentucky, 12-2 on Sunday.
The 24-team tournament will continue play in championship and consolation brackets from Wednesday, Aug. 9 through Saturday, Aug. 12, with the tournament finale set for 3 p.m. Aug. 12 at Jerry Ross Park’s PHG (Major) Field.
In the first inning, Red Land opened with a pair of walks, then saw Tanner Villareal hit an RBI double to center to make it 1-0. Zach Maniskas followed with a run-scoring single to left, and after another hit by Jack Zengerle, Villareal scored on a passed ball to give his team a 3-0 lead.
After West Linn stranded two baserunners in the top of the third, Red Land tacked on three more runs in the bottom half of the frame to take a 6-0 lead, getting RBI singles from Grayson Talley and Villareal, while Talley scored later on a passed ball.
The Lions finally got their offense untracked in the bottom of the second and third innings, scoring twice in the second and three times in the third to close within 6-5. In the second, West Linn’s Zyler Harvey walked, advanced on Jackson Radochonski’s single and scored on a wild pitch. Then, after walks to Liam Hand and Will Rolland, Radochonski scored on a wild pitch.
In the third, Harry Reed scored on Hudson Portlock’s triple to center, Owen Gulick hit a run-scoring single to center and Hand added a two-out single that plated Gulick to bring their team within 6-5.
But Red Land added two more runs in the top of the fourth to fuel its 8-5 victory.
“Theo Eagle and Blake Holmes pitched great in the later innings to keep us in it, but (we) couldn’t pull it out at the end,” Ryan Holmes said. “We learned slow starts can be tough to overcome with this type of competition.”
For the game, Portlock went 2 for 3 with a triple, one run and one RBI, and Gulick was 2 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Rolland started the game and allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks with no strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. Blake Holmes threw three innings and held Red Land to one run on one hit and two walks with three strikeouts.
For Red Land, Villareal and Miniskas each had two hits and two RBIs. Asher Burke threw four innings and limited West Linn to two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out one.