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Oak Harbor routs Burlington for No. 2 seed to state | Babe Ruth
Shaking off the effects of a heart-breaking, extra-inning loss earlier in the week, the Oak Harbor 13/14 Babe Ruth baseball team played one of its best games of the year in defeating Burlington-La Conner 12-2 in five innings in the district tournament Friday, July 6, in Burlington.
The win earned Oak Harbor the No. 2 seed out of district behind champion Sedro-Woolley for the state Babe Ruth tournament in Port Angeles July 19.
Oak Harbor stepped on Burlington, the pre-tournament favorite, early with a four-run first and kept the pressure on as it scored in each inning.
Burlington hurt its cause with 14 walks, and Oak Harbor mixed in nine hits to make the most of its opportunities.
Christian Bertram and Kevyn Johnson led off the first with walks and scored on Robert Herring's hit-and-run double. After Sean Erskine walked, Preston Rankin's single scored Herring. Erskine stole home when Rankin was thrown out on the back end of a double-steal attempt.
Burlington scored one in the bottom of the first, and Oak Harbor got it back in the second. Johnson walked, moved up on Herring's single and scored on Tyler Snavely's base hit.
In the third, Oak Harbor made it 6-0 when Erskine singled and eventually scored on a bunt by Fred Miller.
Burlington-La Conner scored its final run in the bottom of the inning.
A five-run fourth blew open the game. Johnson lined a single off the third baseman's glove and Herring ripped a shot down the third base line to get things started. Consecutive walks to Snavely, Erskine and Rankin forced in two runs. Then Erskine scored all at the from second on a pitcher-to-catcher-to-first double play.
After Alex Harrison walked, Trent Benson singled in the fourth run. Bertram was hit by a pitch, and Johnson's walk plated the fifth run.
Snavely started the fifth inning with a single and scored after walks to Rankin, Zuniga and Max Van Dam.
Herring ended the day 3-for-4 and Snavely 2-for-3.
The Oak Harbor defense committed only one error, and coach Bill Young said his club received "great plays" from Zuniga, Snavely, Johnson, Benson, Rankin, Bertram and Erskine.
Benson pitched the first three innings and Johnson finished up. The pair allowed only two runs on five hits while striking out two and walking only one.
Young said his team "clearly showed up to play" and offensively was "patience at the plate" and used "proper execution of hit-and-runs and bunts."
He added, "It is rare to beat a Burlington-coached team, and to 10-run them is unheard of."