Central Vancouver knew Sunday’s game would be its last at the Junior League Western Regional Tournament.
So, it’s players took the field at Clark College for the same reason as every other game this season — for fun.
Central Vancouver lost 5-3 to West Valley of Yakima. But even a victory wouldn’t have put the team into the semifinals, which start Tuesday.
Earlier Sunday, wins by Anchorage (Alaska) and Parrish (Oregon) meant no tiebreaking scenario would favor Central Vancouver even if it finished pool play 2-1.
Instead, Central couldn’t recover after it allowed four third-inning runs to West Valley, which advances to the semifinals with a 2-1 record.
For Central’s players, Sunday’s loss didn’t put a damper on the thrill of playing against some of the best teams of 13- and 14-year-olds in the Western U.S.
“As a team, we’ve been together ever since T-ball,” said Central infielder Josh Mulcahey. “This tournament was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us.”
Central took a 3-1 lead in the third inning, thanks to four errors by West Valley.
But the Washington champions retook the lead over the host team in the bottom of the inning. Four runs scored with the help of three walks, a hit batter and a two-RBI double.
Central was not as crisp as it was Friday, when it beat Northern California representative Woodcreek.
“Beating North Cal really gave us motivation to think that we really had a chance in the tournament,” Mulcahey said. “We really will look back on this tournament and just laugh, and say we had a good time.”
Anchorage (Alaska) 4, Woodcreek (Calif.) 3 — Anchorage finished pool play undefeated to claim a spot in the semifinals Tuesday.
The Alaska champions managed just four hits. They scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning.
Woodcreek (1-2) stranded nine baserunners.
Parrish (Ore.) 17, Nampa Valley (Idaho) 2 — Parrish scored 10 runs in the fourth inning to pull away in a game called after five innings.
Mario Sanchez had three hits for the Salem team, which finished pool play 2-1.
Tanner Calhoun had two hits, including a double, for Nampa (0-3)
In the end, only one team stood between Hazel Dell Metro and a trip to the Babe Ruth World Series.
Mound Time of Hillsboro, Ore., defeated Hazel Dell 5-4 Sunday to win the Pacific Northwest Babe Ruth Regional Tournament for 13-year-olds.
Mound Time had beaten Hazel Dell 12-5 Friday in pool play, and was the only team to defeat Hazel Dell in the tournament.
The season is over for Hazel Dell, while Mound Time advances to the World Series Aug. 17-24 in Williston, N.D.
Senior Little League
A 4-2 loss to Manhattan Little League (Calif.) dropped Columbia Little League to 2-4 at the West Regional in Ontario, Calif.
Columbia’s Marquese Williams gave up five hits while striking out seven and allowing two earned runs. Williams, Kody Ulrich and Jose Deleon Guerrero had two hits each for Columbia.
Columbia plays its final game at the tournament today.
Manhattan and Pearl City (Hawaii) will play Tuesday with the winner going to the Senior Little League World Series in Bangor Maine.