By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– The NW Vandals 11U were en fuego entering Sunday’s West Coast Premier Tournament Championship game at the Keizer Little League facility.
When they went out to play the Central Oregon Crush, the Vandals collected 54 runs on 43 hits and seven home runs offensively in three games while their defense allowed 14 runs over that same span. Run-ruling each of their opposition by the fourth inning as they entered their final game of the tournament on a seven-game winning streak.
But the Crush presented a challenge that the NW Vandals hadn’t seen this weekend with a strong defense and a stout offense in the 7-1 Central Oregon win to close out the weekend for the Championship title.
“Overall (this) weekend wasn’t horrible,” said Talen Williams. “In (the Championship Game) our defense was not good and our hitting was not good either. Just practice those plays that we should’ve had.”
Williams went 3-for-3 with 7RBI’s and hit one of the seven home runs in their 14-1 afternoon opening win against the NW Diamond Sports and was 1-for-3 in the Championship game.
After a tough first inning where Central Oregon plated four runs, Teagan Scott and his defense settled in. The Crush were able to field baserunners, but couldn’t crack the Vandals defense to plate any of them over the second and third innings.
Central Oregon made it equally as tough for the NW Vandals squad to do the same, calming the Vandals bats to one-run and seven-hits in the longest game inning wise the boys in blue played this weekend. The lone run came off a Scott RBI single in the sixth inning, bringing Harrison Buckingham home to break the shutout with one out on the board.
But the deficit was too much to comeback from following the hit down 7-1. A double-play put them in a tight pickle, back-to-back walks gave them a chance to spark a late rally but the Vandals couldn’t capitalize on the baserunners before the final out was collected to end the game.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald