Needing a win to keep the season going into the Babe Ruth Regional Championship rounds Sunday, The Dalles had a stiff challenge ahead with South Washington standing across the diamond.
The Washington squad led 3-0 and 7-1 midway through the game, but TD responded from a late rally with four unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth frame to grab an 11-4 victory Saturday in Baker City.
“The Washington team just came out hitting the ball, they didn’t make any errors and they were sound,” said TD skipper Sean Herriges.
Johnny Miller paced TD’s 10-hit effort from his leadoff spot by posting a 3 for 4 split with an RBI and a run scored.
Denzel Arellano added two hits, an RBI and a run and in the middle of the batting order, teammates Boston Bate, Tyler Westin and Preston Klindt went a combined 3 for 7 with two walks, a run and two RBIs.
“Once again, we had plenty of chances to score, but could not get them strung otgether,” Herriges said. “In order to win games like these, you need to take advantage of your chances to score. We could not and they did and that was the difference.”
Miller took the loss on the hill, as he lasted 3 2/3 innings.
The righty allowed six hits, hit a batter and walked one to go with two strikeouts.
Of the five runs he allowed, three were earned.
“They kept on fighting until the end,” coach Herriges said of his team. “We were able to put some runs on the board in the last two innings, but they had the inning of death, which was in the sixth, where they had four runs on three errors. We just kind of fell apart.”
TD hangs tough in Friday win
Leading up to Saturday’s finale, The Dalles went toe-to-toe with Wyoming in what turned out to be the game of the tournament Friday night at the Baker Sports Complex.
Wyoming led 7-2 through four frames, but TD chipped away with four in the sixth inning and one in the seventh before using an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning from Boston Bate to score Dawson Hoffman to secure an 8-7 extra-inning winner.
Up by one run, ace reliever Johnny Miller toed the slab and hammered down a win with a flyout, a strikeout and a groundout.
“The team showed the intentional fortitude that separates great teams while under an immense amount of pressure when your tournament hopes are on the line,” said TD head coach Sean Herriges.
Cameron Wang was named Player of the Game, as he followed starting pitcher Dylon Jinkins with a five innings of three-hit, shutout ball with four strikeouts to keep the contest tied up.
“He is a weapon that puts us over the top,” Herriges said of Wang, who finished the tournament with nine innings. “He was money.”
Through this marathon contest, TD rattled off 18 hits, received five walks and had four players reach on hit by pitches.
Tyler Westin paced the offense by going 4 for 6 with an RBI and a run scored. Bate went 3 for 6 with a run and two RBIs, and Miller, Izaac Tapia and Preston Klindt netted two hits each. Klindt also tacked on two walks, two runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base to his stat line.
“We had to scrap and fight for that win,” the TD coach said. “It was the best game of the tournament by far and anybody will tell you that. It was a fun game to watch and a fun game to be a part of for sure. It is a credit to the kids. They just didn’t quit.”
That win put TD with a 2-1 record and a situation where a win Saturday over South Washington could have vaulted them into the championship bracket.
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