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12U Stars hope to erase memories of ‘12

TD Little League player Tyler Vassar ropes a shot to the fence during batting practice Wednesday. TD heads to Bend for regionals starting Saturday.

TD Little League player Tyler Vassar ropes a shot to the fence during batting practice Wednesday. TD heads to Bend for regionals starting Saturday. Photo by Ray Rodriguez.

On Tap

12U SCHEDULE

at Skyview M.S. (South)

in Bend (Double Elimination)

Saturday, June 29

The Dalles vs. Columbia, 8:30 a.m.

Bend So. vs. Redmond, 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, June 30

Bend North vs. Crook County, 8:30 a.m.

The Dalles-Columbia winner vs. John Day, 11:30 a.m.

Warm Springs vs. Bend South-Redmond winner, 2:30 p.m.

Hermiston vs. Hood River, 5:30 p.m.

Monday, July 1

Bend South-Redmond loser vs. The Dalles-Columbia-John Day loser, 8:30 a.m.

The Dalles-Columbia loser vs. Bend South-Redmond-WarmSprings loser, 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday, July 2

Loser’s bracket game No. 9, 8:30 a.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 10, 11:30 a.m.

Winner’s bracket game No. 11, 2:30 p.m.

Winner’s bracket game No. 12, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, July 3

Loser’s bracket No. 13, 2:30 p.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 14, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, July 4

Winner’s bracket game No. 15, 8:30 p.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 16, 11:30 a.m.

Friday, July 5

Loser’s bracket game No. 17, 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 6

Winner’s bracket game No. 18, 8:30 a.m.

Championship game No. 19, 11:30 a.m. (If first loss)

Jake Roetcisoender and his 12U teammates are tired of being the bridesmaid and not the bride.

For two consecutive seasons, this core group has finished in second place, last year losing to Bend in the finals.

It has certainly been a long 365 days for Roetcisoender, as he has been waiting to get started on his revenge tour.

“We are kind of done with this whole second place deal,” he said. “With some of the bigger players like me, Henry (Lee) and Jordan (Wetmore) and Andrew (Carlock), this is our last year, so we want to end with a championship. I don’t think we would mind finishing second, but we at least want to give ourselves a chance to win it.”

This roster is stout with several multi-year all-stars, Junior Baseball Organization standouts and The Dalles Little League Most Valuable players.

Aside from Lee, Wetmore, Carlock and Roetcisoender, there are Louis Red Cloud, Tyler Vassar, Ben Nelson, Devon Eiesland, Caden Mathisen, Isaac Abrams and Riley Mills on call to hit the field.

“We have all been playing together for a long time and we all know what we are capable of doing on the field,” Nelson said. “I think if we can get our minds into it, we can do it. If we all work as a team and we all cheer each other on, we will do better.”

All these parts are interchangeable, but this pitching staff may be the most talented in recent memory.

Nelson, Carlock, Wetmore and Lee are right-handers, and from the left side, Mathisen has shown shutdown ability.

“I think we have some guys who can pitch pretty good, but we are all good hitters,” Carlock said. “We have some kids who have the power to hit it over the fence and we have a lot of people who can get base hits.”

With his lightning speed and bunting ability, Nelson is penciled in at the leadoff spot and Vassar, Lee and Carlock will follow him up.

The rest of the order has the skill set to do some positive things from the box.

Offense, pitching and defense aside, throughout the roster there is confidence that top play will come out against some top programs, such as Columbia, Bend South and North, Redmond, Hermiston and Hood River.

“I am real excited. I think that we have the chance to win this all-star tournament down in Bend and then go on farther,” Nelson said. “We are going to have to get pretty lucky and we are going to have to hit really well and play good defense.”

The 12U Stars start play at 8:30 a.m. Saturday against Columbia.

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