PILOT ROCK - Ten of the players from Pendleton's 11-12-year-old team were on the 9-10-year-old team that brought home a state title two years ago, and they'll get their shot at another one after a 7-0 win over Pilot Rock in the District 3 title game Friday in Pilot Rock.
"They have the experience and the confidence to know they can compete with the best in the state," coach Shawn Rivera said. "We expect to be playing in the championship rounds."
They will play Lakeside in their first game of pool play July 21 in Portland.
Taylor Hammersla was nearly untouchable for Pendleton Friday, going six innings and allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out 14.
"It was a dominating performance for Taylor," Rivera said.
He estimated Hammersla's pitch speed at near 70 mph and said he had his curve ball working for him.
Pendleton also had a big game at the plate, getting a second-inning leadoff home run from Ian Rivera, who was 2 for 3 at the plate, a 3-for-3 day out of Conner Johnson and a double from Matt Holmes.
Hammersla was also 2-for-2 with a double and two intentional walks. The team racked up 10 hits in the game.
"La Grande threw pretty good," Shawn Rivera said of their semifinal 1-0 win. "That kind of got us up to speed for what we could expect today. We just came out firing."
Pilot Rock's only hit came in the fifth inning off the bat of Josh Barkley, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double by Pendleton's Holmes.
Skyler Leasy was the losing pitcher for Pilot Rock, lasting just one inning and surrendering four runs.
R H E
PENDLETON 410 020 - 7 10 0
PILOT ROCK 000 000 - 0 1 2
Taylor Hammersla and Ted Baker; Skyler Leasy, Demarcus Bowie (2), Austin Weinke (6) and Fisher Shank. W - Hammersla; L - Leasy.
2B - Matt Holmes, Hammersla (Pendleton). HR - Ian Rivera (Pendleton)