Hazel Dell Metro clinches regional semifinal spot
HDM improves to 3-0 in pool play
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Generally, it’s not a good thing when sports teams become predictable.
The one exception?
When people just start predicting you are going to win.
This has become the case for Hazel Dell Metro, which improved to 3-0 in pool play Thursday by beating South Coast of Oregon 8-5 in the Babe Ruth Pacific Northwest 15-year-old Regional at Propstra Stadium.
The victory secured HDM the top seed heading into Saturday’s semifinal, with the tournament winner advancing to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jamestown, N.Y.
Despite the normalcy of outscoring its opponent, there were some differences for Metro on Thursday than from what it has seen throughout the tournament. The first was that the mercy rule did not go into effect, and the second was ... HDM actually trailed.
South Coast, which entered the game 2-0 in the regional, took a 2-0 lead when Clayton Duryee knocked in John Dodson with an inside-the-park home run in the first inning. But Metro — perhaps predictably — didn’t rattle.
“I was just thinking that we need to hit the ball and get them back,” HDM catcher Brady Benson said.
And his team did just that — right away.
Kaiden Grotte hit a single with one out in the second inning, Brooks Hanson walked, and a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. Then, Andrew Haley reached on an error, Benson slapped an RBI single, Sam Walker drove in a run on a fielder’s choice, and Benson scored on a wild pitch. Just like that it was 4-2.
South Coast, however, recovered immediately, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second to tie it. Then, Seth Rayburn came in to pitch 3⅓ scoreless innings for Metro, and let his teammates’ bats do the rest.
HDM added two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. South Coast managed its final run in the seventh but never really threatened.
Benson finished 3 for 4 and was named the game’s MVP. Haley was 3 for 4 with two doubles, while Jay Becker had his third straight multi-hit game.
Metro will take on Montana (1-2) at 4 p.m. Friday, although the result is not relevant.
“We didn’t get a chance to get our subs in much today,” HDM manager Dennis Zyph said. “Those guys deserve to play as much as anyone, so tomorrow we’ll get them out there.”
PACIFIC NORTHWEST 15-YO REGIONAL
Aug. 1-6 at Propstra Stadium in Vancouver
Hazel Dell Metro 3 0
South Coast (Coos Bay, Ore.) 3 1
Puyallup (Midland) 1 2
N. Bitteroot Valley (Mont.) 1 2
Calgary 0 3
Centralia 2 1
Ellensburg 2 1
The Dalles, Ore. 2 1
Lewiston 2 2
Green River, Wyo. 0 3
North Bitteroot Valley 18, Calgary 15
The Dalles 5, Ellensburg 0
Centralia 8, Lewiston 4
Hazel Dell Metro 8, South Coast 5
HAZEL DELL METRO 8, SOUTH COAST 5
Hazel Dell Metro 040 020 2—8 10 2
South Coast 220 000 1—5 3 6
Hazel Dell Metro
Pitching — Kaiden Grotte 1⅔ IP; Seth Rayburn 3⅓ IP, 0 earned runs; Jake Lewis 2 IP. Highlights — Brady Benson 3 for 4; Andrew Daley 3 for 4, 2-2B; Jay Becker 2 for 4.
MONTANA 18, ALBERTA 15
Alberta 122 009 1—15 16
Montana 210 474 x—18 20
W — Baney. L — Marin.
THE DALLES 5, ELLENSBURG 0
Ellensburg 000 000 0—0 3
The Dalles 101 030 x—5 9
W — Steven Bartells. L — Kyler Watts.
CENTRALIA 8, IDAHO 4
Centralia 130 004 0—8 10
Idaho 003 010 0—4 6
W — Putman. L — Blunt.
The Dalles vs. Green River, 10 a.m.
Calgary vs. Midland, 1 p.m.
North Bitteroot Valley vs. Hazel Dell Metro, 4 p.m.
Ellensburg vs. Centralia, 7 p.m.
American 1 vs. National 2, 10 a.m.
National 1 vs. American 2, 1 p.m.
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.
Tickets: $5 per game, or $40 for a family tournament pass to all games. Champion advances to Babe Ruth World Series Aug. 20-27 in Jamestown, N.Y.