It’s a big day for about 165 youth baseball players. Tonight the first pitch will be thrown in the 2013 Southern Oregon Cal Ripken State Championships. While three games will be played in Roseburg to accommodate teams from the Umpqua Valley, the majority of the games will be at the Willamette Valley Babe Ruth Complex in west Eugene.
Six of the teams vying for a state title are made up of all-stars from 10 local areas: Churchill, Elmira, Junction City, North Eugene, Pleasant Hill, Sheldon, South Eugene, Springfield, Thurston and Willamette. Teams from the Umpqua Valley and Upper Rogue will make their way up Thursday to the local complex at 5700 Babe Ruth Lane off of Legacy Street in the Bethel community.
There will actually be three tournaments occurring at once for three age groups: 10-and-under (10U), 11-and-under (11U) and 12-and-under (12U). The Willamette Valley Babe Ruth League will have two teams represented in each of the three age-groups. The 10U and 12U tournaments are comprised of five teams each, and four teams will play for the 11U title. The first three days teams will compete in pool play. They will each play the other teams once and the four teams with the best records will move on to Saturday’s single-game elimination contests. The championship games will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The following is a brief report on the six local teams competing. We were unable to gather detailed information for the Willamette Valley 10B team.
Willamette Valley 10A Team
Coach Bert Harrison’s 10A team enters the state championships having won its last tournament and three since beginning the all-star season the week after Father’s Day. The 10A team is 17-1, it’s only loss came to a team from Black Hills, Wash. in a tournament semifinal. The four runs they surrendered to Black Hills was the most opponents have scored. The 10A pitching staff has thrown one perfect game and three no-hitters. Of its 12 players, seven are pitchers. Dawson Muggy and Kevin Pierson are the teams two main starting pitchers. A left-hander, Muggy combined with Isaiah Burke to throw a perfect game. Pierson threw a complete game no-hitter and finished with 14 strikeouts. In terms of hitting, Burke and Tanner Windom bat third and fourth in the order. “They hit the ball more than they don’t,” Harrison said. “Both of them have been on fire.” The 10A team is able to hit with power and play the small-ball-bunting game, too.
10A Roster (Player name and number in parenthesis): Dawson Muggy (00), Jayden Casarez (3), Dane Woodcook (6), Trent Bynum (7), Bert Harrison (9), Cardin Haffner (10), Kyle Fuller (11), Isaiah Burke (16), Xavier Little (24), Jake Martines (25), Tanner Windom (26), Kevin Pierson (33). Assistant coaches: Wes Woodcook, Eric Fuller. Bat boy: Sawyer Casarez.
10A Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley B today at 6 p.m.; Umpqua Valley B at 1:30 p.m. and Umpqua Valley A at 6:30 Thursday; and Upper Rogue at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
Willamette Valley 10B Team
10B Roster: Callan Vreim (1), Garrett Pratt (3), Lucas Patterson (6), Ian Noonan (8), Nicholas Salazar (11), Calvin Lavassaur (14), Dylan Irwin (15), David Codington (20), Olias Laughlin (21), Ty Weiskind (22), Kai Kanealii (28), C.J. Smith (41). Head coach: Tony Salazar. Assistant coaches: John Patterson, Mark Codington
10B Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley A today at 6 p.m.; Upper Rogue at 1:30 p.m. Thursday; Umpqua Valley A at 1:30 p.m. and Umpqua Valley B at 4 p.m. Friday.
Willamette Valley 11A Team
Coach Jody Allard’s team is made up of the same players finished in second place at the Cal Ripken World Series as 10-year-old all-stars. Of the team’s 14 players, 13 played on the World Series team. Four players were named to the All-World Series team last season: Bryce Boettcher, Cade Crist, Kaden Miller, and Walker Wonham. This season, 11A team is 19-4 and won its last four games to bring home the championship trophy in the Happy Valley Tournament. The 11A team’s pitchers only allowed three runs in the entire tournament. “It’s a group that is very hard working, coachable and like to have fun during games,” Allard said. “They are known for dancing and singing during games to stay loose.”
When hitting, the 11A team is led by C.J. Townsend and Drew Williams. Townsend has a .611 batting average and Williams is second on the team at .564. Wonham is the only other player batting over .500 with a .538 average. The team has nine players hitting over .400 and 12 over .300.
11A Roster: Dawson Prickel (1), Kade McDaniel (3), C.J. Townsend (4), Nathan Duke (7), Jake Riley (8), Drew Williams (9), Gavin Parker (10), Kaden Miller (12), Bryce Boettcher (15), Jonathon Prescott (21), Dylan Edwards (23), Walker Wonham (24), Cade Crist (25), Ty Bailey (32), Cameron Parks (92). Assistant coaches: Jacky Allard, Gary Miller. Bat boy: Eli Crist.
11A Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley B at 6 p.m. today; Umpqua Valley B at 4 p.m. Thursday; Umpqua Valley A at 6:30 Friday.
Willamette Valley 11B Team
Coach Jeff Brown’s team has come off a tough tournament performance last weekend with the goal of beating the Willamette Valley 11A team. “They are really focused and really serious,” Brown said. His team has finished as high as second place in tournaments this season. The 11B team has played two of the three other teams in the tournament with the exception of the Umpqua Valley 11A team. Earlier this season, the Willamette Valley 11B team dropped the Umpqua Valley 11B team by a score of 18-1. The leading hitters on the Willamette Valley 11B team is Hunter Brown, who has a .565 batting average. Trey Nelson is averaging .380 as a hitter and Spencer Misfeldt is at .370. Key to the pitching will be closing pitcher Peyton Bracy, who throws 60 mph.
11B Roster: Peyton Bracy (3), Hunter Brown (5), Jackson Bushnell (20), Kyle Casley (4), Kyle Davis (13), Trevor Dilley (2), Carson Dolbin (12), Spencer Misfeldt (9), Trey Nelson (00), Kai Schindler (7), Kensen Smith (54), Nate Tavakolian (1). Assistant coaches: Kurt Nelson, Ryan Smith.
11B Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley A at 6 p.m. today; Umpqua Valley A at 4 p.m. Thursday; Umpqua Valley B at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Willamette Valley 12A Team
Coach Mitchell Morgan’s team has played in four tournaments during this all-star season and finished first in two and second place in a third. The team’s record is 17-4. Of the 11 players on the roster, seven played in the World Series as 10 year olds. This past weekend, the 12A team finished second in the Nations NW Summer Championship Tournament after losing one-run game in extra innings. In the semifinals of that tournament, pitcher Samuel Lerch threw a no-hitter. Lerch is 8-0 and has given up an average of 0.63 earned runs a game. Trevor Duran has seven wins and a 1.80 ERA.
The 12A team has two batters hitting over .500, Patrick Herbert and Dylan Hansen and two others hitting in the mid-to-high .400, Duran and Trevor Groves. “We’re very balanced,” Morgan said. “Even though we have guys with high averages, we don’t have a hole in the lineup. We got guys that can hit up and down the lineup.”
12A Roster: Micah Burke (6), Beau Burnett (7), Decker (D.J.) Stedman (13), Patrick Herbert (14), Calin Morgan (15), Trevor Groves (17), Noah Francis (18), Samuel Lerch (21), Stephen Parmenter (27), Trevor Duran (28), Dylan Hansen (32). Assistant coaches: Randy Groves, Kelly Stedman.
12A Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley B at 6 p.m. today; Umpqua Valley B at 4 p.m. and Umpqua Valley A at 6:30 p.m. Thursday; Upper Rogue at 4 p.m. Friday.
Willamette Valley 12B Team
Coach Shawn Spaht’s team is coming off a tough weekend tournament in which it lost its last three games. Not many of the players pitched during the regular season, so lack of pitching experience is something the team is working to overcome. The team has played the toughest competition in preparation for the state tournament and has a 6-9 record. The leading hitter for the team is Caleb Spaht, who had a .448 batting average and .688 on base percentage going into last weekend’s tournament. The top pitcher for the 12B team is Caden Blum. “He’s a big, strong power pitcher, and we lean on him quite a bit,” coach Shawn Spaht said. “He is the guy we want out there in a big game.” Spaht says his players are developing into leaders on the field. “What I like about my team is that they are just a really nice group of kids who are all on the brink of being more than just supporting players,” he said. “Hopefully through this experience they are developing some of the skills to be guys who will be future leaders on their teams as they go on to the next level and into high school.”
12B Roster: Joseph Barr (1), Joshua Hatten (2), Mikeal Lane (6), Rys Maks (7), Jackson Chalmers (11), Blake Hayes (15), Gordon Brunson (18), Caden Blum (19), Mason Crowson (23), Jack Weiskind (26), Caleb Spaht (58). Assistant coaches: Brian Barr, Mike Chalmers.
12B Tournament Schedule: Play Willamette Valley A at 6 p.m. today; Upper Rogue at 4 p.m. Thursday; Umpqua Valley A at 4 p.m. and Umpqua Valley B at 6:30 Friday.