Baker’s Little League all-star baseball team will need quite a lot of fortitude to win the state championship, but that happens to be one attribute the group of 10- to 12-year-olds has in abundance, coach Kevin Logsdon said.
“I can guarantee you our kids will never give up,” Logsdon said on Sunday after Baker lost 7-0 to Redmond in the double-elimination tournament at Holland Youth Park in Salem.
“I don’t ever believe we’re out of a game,” Logsdon said.
Baker’s players proved his point in their opening game Saturday, rallying from an early 6-1 deficit to beat Klamath Falls, 9-6.
“We played really well,” Logsdson said. “I was pleased with both games.”
Sunday’s loss moves Baker into the part of the bracket that requires them to play, and win, three straight games on consecutive days, starting with tonight’s 6 o’clock matchup with Hollywood-Rose City of Portland, in order to advance to the championship round.
If Baker wins three straight it would have to beat one team twice on Thursday to claim the state title.
Logsdon expects that team would be either Redmond, which won its opening game 22-2, or Murrayhill of Beaverton.
“Those are the teams to beat,” he said.
Baker loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning against Redmond Sunday, but Redmond’s pitchers were dominant thereafter, allowing just two hits and striking out 12.
Jaxon Logsdon and Isaiah Jones had Baker’s two hits.
Jones started on the mound and threw 2 2/3 innings.
“Isaiah threw a heck of a game,” Kevin Logsdon said. “We just didn’t hit the ball. When you start playing teams like that, you can’t make mistakes.”
Saturday’s opener against Klamath Falls was a thriller.
After spotting Klamath Falls a 6-1 lead after two innings, Baker put on a stirring rally.
“We started slow,” Kevin Logsdon said. “We kind of came out flat.”
It started in the third inning.
Jaxon Logsdon led off with a single, and after an out, Jones also singled.
Then, with two outs, Kaden Conklin homered to center to cut Klamath Falls’ lead to 6-4.
Which is where the score stayed until the fifth inning.
After Jones walked, Conklin doubled to center. Giacomo Riguerio then doubled to drive in Jones, and Conklin scored on an error on the play to tie the score at 6.
Meanwhile, Hudson Spike, who relieved starting pitcher Paul Hobson in the third inning, was keeping Klamath Falls at bay in the third, fourth and fifth innings.
Spike allowed only one hit in three innings of work, striking out six.
Kade Rudi led off the top of the sixth with a single, and Logsdon followed with a single.
With one out, Jones had the game-winning hit, a line drive home run to center that gave Baker a 9-6 lead.
Jones came on in relief in the bottom of the sixth. After giving up a leadoff single, Jones shut down Klamath Falls to preserve the comeback win.
Baker players are Palmer Chandler, Kaden Conklin, Paul Hobson, Isaiah Jones, Resaan Jones, Sage Joseph, Jaxon Logsdon, Bean Newman, Giacomo Riguerio, Kade Rudi, Cooper Secl, Thomas Smithson and Hudson Spike. Coaches are Kevin Logsdon, Mike Rudi, Jebron Jones and Dustin Newman.
Baker 1 0 3 0 2 3 — 9
Klamath Falls 5 1 0 0 0 0 — 6
Baker hits — Logsdon 4, Jones 2, Conklin 2, Riguerio 2, Rudi. Baker RBI — Jones 3, Conklin 3, Riguerio.
Baker 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0
Redmond 4 2 1 0 0 x — 7
Baker hits — Logsdon, Jones.