SPORTS: Port Angeles 11U Cal Ripken team claims second in state; Wilder loses in Firecracker title game

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Peninsula Daily News

EAST WENATCHEE — The North Olympic 11U Cal Ripken all-star baseball team from Port Angeles captured second place at the state tournament this past week.

The Port Angeles boys arrived in East Wenatchee early last week to take on the top 10 programs in the state.

It took only a couple of days of tournament play for teams to take notice of the Port Angeles team.

North Olympic beat higher-seeded Othello 3-1 in early bracket play.

Port Angeles pitchers Brody “Tonka” Merritt, Ethan Flodstrom and Gabe Ritchie combined for 10 strikeouts and only one walk, holding Othello to one run.

North Olympic hits came from Merritt, Tanner Lunt and Lucas Jarnagin. Each had an RBI.

Port Angeles then faced Wenatchee, the defending state champion, in the semifinals.

North Olympic, which had lost 12-7 to Wenatchee in pool play earlier in the week, turned the tables by winning 19-14.

Slugging away

Both teams came out hitting in the semifinals, combining for 25 hits, including four extra-base hits.

Port Angeles took the early lead with seven hitters combining for 17 hits, 14 RBI, and 16 runs scored.

When it was over, the upset was complete with Port Angeles on top by five runs in the three-hour game.

Nathan Miller went 4 for 4 in the game with a walk, scoring all five times.

Milo Whitman and Merritt earned three hits each with Whitman knocking in five runs and Merritt with four RBI.

Flodstrom, Brady Nickerson and Derek Bowechop all had two hits each, combining for four RBI.

Lucas Jarnagin had a hit with two RBI and Timmy Adams had a hit and a walk, and scored both times.

Merritt was the winning pitcher, throwing the first two innings.

Flodstrom took control by throwing the third and fourth innings.

Gabe Ritchie, Adams and Whitman closed out the game on the mound.

The contest lasted just over three hours in 90-degree heat.

Port Angeles had no time to celebrate because the championship game was to be underway within 30 minutes.

The players were packing gear and hydrating on the move to the next field.

North Olympic played undefeated Ellensburg in the state championship game.

Ellensburg was knocked out of the tournament in 2012 by losing to eventual champion Wenatchee in the semifinals.

Championship action

Port Angeles out-hit Ellensburg 14-11 but lost the contest 13-9.

North Olympic started the game by leading early at 4-0.

Miller was hit by a pitch, while Adams hit a single, moving Miller to second base.

Whitman hit into a fielder’s choice, Miller getting tagged out at third base.

Merritt then singled to right field, plating Adams.

Flodstrom reached first base on an infield error, which scored Whitman.

Merritt scored on a single to right field by Nickerson.

Derek Bowechop hit another single to right field, scoring Flodstrom.

Ellensburg answered back with four runs in the bottom of the first inning, and it appeared that the teams were staged to battle it out with the bats.

Both team’s bullpens were running on fumes by this stage in the tournament.

Port Angeles added two more runs in the second inning and followed it up with another two runs in the third inning.

In the bottom of the third, Ellensburg scored eight runs on a fielder’s choice, four singles and a wild pitch, and never looked back.

North Olympic’s Jarnagin had an RBI-single, which would be the end of the threat for Ellensburg.

“The 11U Port Angeles boys made a great run that fell short, but there is always next year,” North Olympic manager Kevin Miller said.

Firecracker Classic

PORT ANGELES — Wilder Baseball’s winning streak ended at 15 games as the Washington Nationals of Port Orchard beat the North Olympic Peninsula team 10-0 in six innings for the Firecracker Classic championship at Civic Field.

The Nationals finished the tournament at 4-0 and improved to 30-16 on the year while Wilder concluded the tourney 3-1 and fell to 16-4 on the summer season.

“We played terrible,” Wilder coach Chad Wagner said.

Wilder had five errors in the contest.

“We played a very disappointing game, and everyone on our team, including my coaching staff, were embarrassed that so many fans had to see by far the worst game we have played all year in a title game.

“We will rebound, and have to work that much harder to get going in the right direction again.”

Nick Johnston started the game and had uncharacteristic mound composure, Wilder said.

“Michael Konopaski then came in and did a really good job trying to keep us in the game.”

Marcus Konopaski was 2 for 3 at the plate.

“Marcus was the only one able to compete with [starting pitcher Michael] Wood, who will attend Everett Community College next year under [coach] Levi Lacey,” Wagner said.

“We have to realize for the rest of the summer we will face that type of pitching.”

Last modified: July 09. 2013 5:37PM
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