BEND — Pendleton’s 12U Little League baseball team’s state run came to an end on Monday.
The Pendleton All-Stars went 1-2 at the 12U state tournament in Bend. The team opened the weekend with a 10-1 loss to Hollywood Rose City on Saturday morning, knocking them into the loser’s bracket. From there, they blew out Clackamas 8-1, and finished things off with a 9-3 loss to North Bend.
Hollywood buried the All-Stars early on in game one, putting up five runs in the bottom of the second inning, from which Pendleton never recovered.
The All-Stars sent four pitchers to the mound in an effort to contain Hollywood, and although they collectively tallied eight strikeouts — two more than their opponents could — it was still not enough to stifle their hitting.
The California-based team highlighted their second-inning charge with a home run.
Evan Lehnert was able to get Pendleton on the board in the top of the fourth, stealing home plate for the All-Stars’ first and only run of the game. The run came with two outs on the board, and the inning was ended in the same play as Krister Litfin was picked off at first base.
The All-Stars soon found redemption in their game against Clackamas on Sunday afternoon.
Lehnert once again led Pendleton with a 3-for-4 batting performance that scored a run and an RBI.
Tugg McQuinn played a vital role in the victory, keeping Clackamas scoreless from the mound for 2⅔ innings. He racked up four strikeouts and never walked a batter.
Pendleton did not hesitate to steal Clackamas bases to get their offense going — the All-Stars stole a grand total of 10 by game’s end. Vance Nelson led the way with four.
Unfortunately, there was no fighting their way out of the loser’s bracket. Despite Sunday’s win, Pendleton’s momentum fell short against North Bend.
McQuinn’s RBI single helped Pendleton to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but North Bend knotted the board in the bottom of the inning.
Nelson scored on an error at shortstop in the top of the second, and Kaden Moore’s sacrifice fly to left field sent Keegan Kline across home to give Pendleton their second and final advantage.
North Bend tied the score once again in the bottom of the second, and drove in five more runs in the fourth inning to keep the Pendleton All-Stars down for good.
In the final game, Moore led Pendleton with a 1-for-2 showing at the plate. He scored a run and had an RBI.