The season concluded for the District 3 champion 9-11-year-old Baker Little League all-star team with an 18-0 loss to North Bend on Tuesday, July 20 at the state tournament in Scappoose.
Baker, which beat Grants Pass 21-7 in its opening game Saturday, July 17, finished fifth out of eight teams, with a 1-2 record.
“The kids had a lot of fun,” Baker manager Brandon Briels said.
North Bend had a strong performance at the plate from the start Tuesday.
“The opposing team came out hitting the ball, even their bad hits would just find their way to spots where we didn’t have players,” Briels said. “They earned it, they hit the ball very well.”
Baker, facing a 12-0 deficit after half a inning, was able to put runners on base, but that didn’t translate into runs.
“They (North Bend) pitched well and they defended really well, it was a well-coached team,” Briels said.
Coleman Ingram and Liam Jobes relieved starting pitcher Ambrose Rexroad, but North Bend continued its offensive momentum.
Still, Briels was proud to see the team, which won the district championship in late June at Wade Williams Field in Baker City, remain enthusiastic, cheering each other on regardless of the score.
“They all really gelled well together, there were never really any spats or anything, they really supported each other all the way through,” Briels said.
The game ended after four innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Briels said he’s grateful for the kids, and their parents and siblings, who sacrificed some of their summer.
“It’s not just the coaches, it’s everybody, the parents were so awesome, they were always there to help, it was amazing getting to know a lot of people otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten to know,” Briels said.
He’s also thankful for the Baker City community for their support during the team’s journey.
“A huge thanks to the community for sticking behind us, all of their donations and all their parents and everyone that was involved, it was super cool,” Briels said.
He’s also proud of how the Baker team represented not only its town, but all of District 3.
“We represented the entire district, not just Baker,” Briels said. “To win a game here was pretty special, winning fifth place out of eight districts, that was pretty cool. We never dropped to any poor level of saying mean things to the other team, we always held our composure and we were good sports no matter what.”