The Ashland Ambush rallied from an early three-run deficit to trounce Hermiston 21-11 and clinch the Oregon State Little League Intermediate 50/70 tournament championship Wednesday night at Morrison Park in Grants Pass.
The victory secured for Ashland a spot in the 50/70 West regional tournament July 18-25 in Nogales, Arizona. The winner of the nine-team regional tournament advances to the 50/70 World Series, July 30-Aug. 6 in Livermore, California.
The Intermediate 50/70 division of Little League, for players league age 11 to 13, serves as a stepping stone between the miniaturized Little League field and a full-sized field, as the “50” refers to the distance from the pitcher’s plate to home and “70” the distance between bases (those distances on a full-sized field are 60 feet, 6 inches and 90 feet, respectively).
Hermiston erupted for five runs in the second inning to take a 5-2 lead, but Ashland answered by scoring five runs of its own in the top of the third, four on a two-out grand slam by Toby Barnes. The Ambush pulled away by adding three in the fourth, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and six in the seventh.
Ashland ace Ean Lawrence earned the victory after pitching 3 2/3 innings, striking out eight, while Eyera Nogues struck out two in two innings of work.
Barnes, Ian McKenna-Woods and Alden Hadley each belted homers for Ashland, and Barnes and Jackson Kemper had four hits apiece.
McKenna-Woods and Hadley added three hits apiece, as did Jude Vandersnick and Lawrence.
Ashland's first-ever 50/70 team was white hot from the plate all tournament long, going 21-for-42 in the championship game and 51-for-102 for the tournament for a team batting average of .500.
Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.