Though the American Legion AA I-5 Toyota Mountain Dew squad was able to dispatch Junior A I-5 Jeep Renegades, another local Twin Cities club, they couldn’t get past Lower Columbia Baseball Club, 4-2, in the Brian Cox Tournament championship Sunday afternoon.
Mountain Dew dispatched the Renegades, 3-0, in a defensive battle in the semifinals at Ed Wheeler Field in Centralia, led by a dominant outing from Asher Guerrero on the mound. Guerrero threw a complete seven innings with seven strikeouts and just two hits.
His counterpart, Miles Martin of the Renegades, also had a strong game. Martin pitched five innings and allowed just five hits with three strikeouts. All three runs were earned.
Hunter Niemi scored a run in the second to get the action started for Mountain Dew, and Conner Holmes scored runs in the third and fifth innings for insurance. Brady Sprague and Niemi had four of Mountain Dew’s five hits.
In the championship game with LCBS, Mountain Dew got off to a poor start. Lower Columbia scored three runs in the first inning, and that would be enough to beat Mountain Dew, who couldn’t get any timely hits. Holmes pitched a complete game, with four strikeouts and six hits given up.
Mountain Dew peppered seven hits across the field, but hardly any were when runners were in scoring position. They stranded six baserunners in the loss.
“Not how we wanted to end the weekend,” coach Kyle Sprague said. “We started strong and then shot ourselves in the foot.”
Mountain Dew will live to play another day however, at the AA American Legion state tournament in Selah next Saturday.
On the weekend, Mountain Dew was led by Holmes 9 for 15 performance at the plate with four RBIs, Austin Chapman’s 8 for 17 line with three RBIs, Sprague’s 4 for 9 line with four RBIs, Niemi’s 6 for 11 line with three RBIs, and Avery Staloh’s 4 for 9 plate performance with two RBIs across five games.
The Renegades will also play next weekend at the Junior A state tournament in Chehalis.