Hood River Baseball’s 12-year-old travel team was on fire over the weekend as it won five straight games and outscored the opposition 56-16 to claim the first-place trophy in the annual Cherry Festival baseball tournament in The Dalles.
The team opened on Saturday with a 10-4 win over Lincoln City. Ian Searcy threw four shut-out innings, while the team’s powerful offense took over early.
The second game of the day, against Camas, got out of hand in a hurry. Aided by six home runs in the game, the team won 19-1. Nolan Ryan started the home run fest off in the second inning, followed by homers from Derek Homer, Ryan Gray, Aiden Hicks, Greyson Losee and Juan Luis Jimenez.
Championship Sunday started out with a hard-fought game against Lincoln. Behind standout pitching from Brandon Rivera and Jimenez, the boys pulled out a narrow 6-5 victory. Timely hitting from Ryan and Ian Searcy in the final inning sealed the win.
The semifinal round pitted Hood River against the host team from The Dalles. Hood River went down 4-0 early in the game, but battled back with a thrilling five-run second inning fueled by home runs from Greyson Losee and Jimenez. Gray threw five innings, allowing only two hits and one run to keep The Dalles at bay and lead the team to a 10-5 victory.
The boys followed with their championship against Gresham Elite, and after finding their rhythm all day, they went out with a bang. Hicks hit his second home run of the weekend and the boys racked up 16 hits in four innings off Gresham’s pitching.
Gray sealed the deal with a walk-off single, scoring two in the bottom of the fourth to invoke the Mercy Rule. Strong pitching from Rivera and Jimenez kept Gresham at bay as the boys ended the weekend with an 11-1 win.