Babe Ruth takes fourth

It was quite a run, but the season finally came to an end for the Island Paint and Glass Babe Ruth 13-year-old team with a fourth place finish at the state tournament last weekend.

Competing as the only league team and non-all-star team in the tournament, the Cats gave all they had only to lose to eventual state champion Yakima 10-0 in a semi-final game on Sunday.

“Oak Harbor hit the ball often and hard, but unfortunately right at someone,” assistant coach Bill Young said.

Brendan Kays gave everything he had on the mound, unfortunately for the Cats Yakima was able to find the gaps for extra base hits.

Oak Harbor started the tournament off with a 3-2 loss to the host team Port Angeles, but bounced back with a strong 8-3 win over the Moses Lake All-Stars.

Ricardo Hernandez picked up the win, scattering six hits, six strikeouts and no walks.

The Cats then moved on to blow out Spokane, 21-2 in the following game. Daniel Lura pitched for Oak Harbor, only giving up five hits for the game. He also went 4-for-4 at the plate. Brendan Kays added to the hit parade, collecting two hits, including a bases loaded triple. Mike Bumberger also had two hits.

Oak Harbor then took on Bainbridge Island for the rights to advance to the championship round.

“Most in attendance at the state tourney indicated that the Oak Harbor versus Bainbridge contest was the game of the tourney,” Young said.

Holding a 9-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth, things went south for the Cats. After four walks, three solid hits and an Oak Harbor error, the Bainbridge stars pushed across eight runs to take a 12-9 advantage.

It didn’t take long for the Cats to respond. With two outs in the top of the seventh, Johnny Encinas and Eric McCardle generated a rally on two singles. After a walk of Chris Valencia, the bases were loaded for Brendan Kays, who already had four hits. Kays kept his streak alive, nailing a double that tied the game at 12-12. Bo Carptener and Chris Vallery picked up two more singles to give Oak Harbor a 14-12 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh.

The Cats sealed the win an unassisted double-play from shortstop Eric McCardle.

Despite finishing fourth at state, there was no disappointment in the season, which saw Oak Harbor finish at 41-6 overall.

“Every player on this team played a pivotal role at one time or another in a victory through superior pitching, a clutch base hit or making an exceptional play in the field during the season,” Young said.

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