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Baker settles for second
By JAYSON JACOBY
Baker City Herald
Baker's lineup battered every pitcher it faced except Kyle Barras.
That singular failure was costly.
Their inability to decipher Barras' array of off-speed tosses denied Baker's 13-15-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars a state championship on Sunday at Ontario.
Instead, Barras' Snake River Valley Nationals claimed the title with a 10-0 win in six innings.
It was a familiar painfully familiar position for Baker.
The SRV Nationals also beat Baker in the championship game of the district tournament earlier this month at Leo Adler Field.
The score in the district title game was 13-3.
Although Barras deserved his honor as most valuable player in the state tournament, he didn't dominate Baker in the manner the championship game boxscore, with six 0's in Baker's line, suggests, Baker Coach Matt Reidy said.
"We had our opportunities in that game," Reidy said.
Specifically, Baker put two runners on base in the first, third and fifth innings.
"We just couldn't push any of them across," Reidy said.
Baker's leadoff hitter, Trend Dixon, went 3-for-3.
"He got on base all three times he was doing his job," Reidy said.
Dixon led Baker with a .666 batting average during the five-day tournament.
Dixon also made a spectacular over-the-shoulder catch in center field during the championship game, a feat duplicated by left-fielder Justin Durflinger.
Baker advanced to Sunday's championship game by winning five straight games.
Baker beat the Snake River Valley Americans 11-6 on Wednesday, Tigard-Tualatin 6-4 on Thursday, then completed pool play with a 3-0 record by beating Blue Mountain (from Milton-Freewater) 22-5 on Friday.
In Friday's annihilation of Blue Mountain, Baker scored four runs in each of the first two innings to take an 8-0 lead.
After Blue Mountain scored five runs in the bottom of the third, Baker responded by plating four more runs in the top of the fourth.
Baker then scored 10 runs in the top of the sixth.
Will Barr went 4-for-4 with a double, and Ty Everson was just a home run shy of hitting for the cycle, with two singles, a double and a triple in his five plate appearances.
On Saturday Baker, the No. 1 seed in its bracket, beat Harney-Grant 14-4.
Jesse Brown was 3-for-3. Anthony Shankle was the winning pitcher. He also hit a triple.
On Sunday morning Baker beat Snake River Valley Americans 20-6.
"We just pounded the ball," Reidy said.
Coleman Lay went 4-for-4, and Barr was 3-for-3. Barr also earned the win on the mound.