Hood River Valley’s 10U Oregon All-Star District-5 Little League Championship Baseball team had a remarkable accomplishment in reaching the 2018 Oregon State Tournament.
The Hood River All-Stars (6-2 overall) concluded the season with a spectacular performance by taking third place out of a total of 64 teams that competed at district and state level tournaments.
The squad, guided by manager Tyson Jacobs and coaches Danny Ybarra and Dave Stuben, was the first Hood River Little League team in recent history to qualify for the prestigious eight-team, double-elimination tournament July 12-17 in Salem.
Hood River won its first two games at state before being eliminated in the semifinals following a 7-0 loss to District-6 Champion Klamath Falls July 16 at Holland Field in Salem.
“The Klamath Falls pitcher (Brody Van Gastel) that played in their opening contest wasn’t available to pitch in our first matchup against Klamath Falls on July 13,” said Jacobs. “He was their number one pitcher too and he threw a good fastball and a pretty good curveball that kind of kept us off balance in our second game against Klamath Falls on July 16. After they scored a couple of runs, we kind of fell apart a little bit and that made it really tough for us.”
In its opening contest on July 12, Hood River demonstrated that it had the potential to be one of the top contenders for a state championship following an impressive 11-0 win over District-8 Champion Del Norte.
“I just feel super proud of all 13 kids on the team,” said Jacobs, who guided a Little League team to state for the first time ever in his coaching career. “We had a couple of younger kids that didn’t get a lot of playing time, but they were definitely very helpful throughout the entire season. There wasn’t one moment during the season that I regretted anything. Obviously, losing wasn’t fun, but everybody had a good time at Salem. It was a great experience for all the kids.”
Starting pitcher Nick Tuttle and Deacon Ybarra combined to throw a four-inning no-hitter to help lead Hood River to the win versus Del Norte.
Hood River capitalized on three walks and one error by Del Norte in building a 6-0 first inning lead.
A three RBI double by Max Graves, along with Ybarra’s RBI triple and Tuttle’s RBI single contributed to Hood River’s explosive offense in the first inning (11 hits).
Hood River’s momentum continued in the second inning, highlighted by Tuttle’s three RBI triple.
Hood River took advantage of two walks, a hit batter and one error to extend its lead to 10-0 heading into the third inning.
They added a run in the third to go up 11-0 and Hood River’s defense was rock solid as it shut down the Del Norte All-Stars in the top of the fourth to win the game early via the 10-run Mercy Rule.
In its second game on Friday the 13th, Hood River didn’t need any luck to get another big win.
Hood River won its sixth straight district/state tournament game and improved to 2-0 at state with another dominating performance in a 10-0 win in five innings over Klamath Falls.
In what was a scoreless game after two innings, Hood River scored nine runs in the third to take control.
Davin Snyder’s two RBI triple, Tristan Baker’s RBI single, Trevor Jacobs two RBI single and Ybarra’s RBI triple helped lead Hood River’s potent offense.
Hood River scored another run in the fifth on Baker’s RBI double, driving home Wyatt Muma, who earlier drew a leadoff walk.
The duo of starting pitchers Bodie Stuben and Maverick Hockett combined to toss a one-hitter versus Klamath Falls.
Stuben allowed one hit with five strikeouts and a walk in three and one third innings. Hockett relieved Stuben on the mound and pitched the final one and two third innings.
In what later turned out to be a very surprising rematch three days later between the two squads, who could’ve predicted that Klamath Falls would get revenge in the semifinals?
Following a day off on Saturday, Hood River came back on July 15 to face a tough District-4 Champion in Lake Oswego.
Hood River was unable to sustain the momentum from its first two games and had five errors in a 4-0 loss to Lake Oswego.
Ybarra (double) and Hockett (single) had the only hits as Hood River couldn’t get anything going offensively.
“I think since the kids were always jumping out on top against our other opponents, they felt a little uncomfortable when we fell behind, and we struggled in trying to make a comeback,” said Jacobs, who played on Hood River Valley High School’s OSAA state championship baseball team in 1988. “I really felt like we had a good chance to win the state championship. All year long, these kids were beating up other teams. This was really the first time that they were ever challenged in any games this year.”
In the rematch with Klamath Falls, Hood River fell behind 1-0 in the first and 4-0 in the third.
Hood River was unaccustomed to making comebacks and just struggled again offensively with just four hits, along with five costly errors on defense.
Stuben, Ybarra, Hockett and Baker each had singles in the surprising and disappointing season-ending defeat.
Nevertheless, Hood River’s 10U All-Stars can certainly feel proud of what they accomplished this summer in advancing all the way to the state tournament semifinals at the Oregon State Tournament in Salem.