SPOKANE —?Catcher Alex O’Rourke lit the spark for the Hodgen Distributing Red Bulls on Wednesday at the Fourth of July Spokane Wood Bat Tournament, keeping the team in contention for a run into the weekend and a trophy.

After dropping their morning game 7-4 to the Calgary Redbirds, the American Legion Red Bulls found themselves with no energy in Game 2 against Central Valley (Spokane, Wash.) in the afternoon, according to coach Travis Zander.

O’Rourke, a sophomore at Pendleton High School, put a charge into the team from behind the plate, catching the leadoff runner trying to steal in the first inning, then picking off the leadoff runner in the second inning. Zander said his defensive prowess kept Hodgen in the game until the offense picked up in the later innings. O’Rourke also added two hits, and the team won 5-2.

In Game 1, the team committed eight errors — two in the first inning, which led to three runs for Calgary. Zander gave Kevin O’Rourke credit for pitching a great game in which the defense was unprepared to field the ball.

“He pitches his tail off, and he’s a contact pitcher,” the coach said. “He makes guys take terrible swings, and he did his job. The guys behind him didn’t take care of the ball.”

Rashaan Foreman picked up the win against Central Valley in Game 2.

The team will continue play today with an 8 a.m. game against Woodinville (Wash.) and a 1 p.m. game against Mead (Wash.). The team is guaranteed one game Friday, but depending on seeding and results could play deeper into the weekend.

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