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Back: Jason Dick, Jack Jurgensen, Matt LaCasse, George Masson, Blake McCormick, Tanner Berwald, Daniel Salinas, Josh Steckler, Vaughn Pouncy
The 12's traveled to Waite Park for the State Tournament & opened up against Park Rapids. Vaughn Pouncy started on the mound & was holding a slim 5-3 lead into the 5 but then ran into trouble. Park Rapids got runners on 1st & 3rd with only one out, but George Masson came in in relief & blew away the next two hitters to work out. George added a perfect 6th to preserve the win!
Their next game brought Moorhead & that brought out the ET bats, pounding out 12 runs lead by home runs by Josh Steckler & Matt Lacasse. Noah Smith worked all 4 innings on the mound as ET ten-runned Moorhead 12-2.
ET 12's came ready to play in winner's bracket action against Baxter and took it to them early! Josh Steckler pitched 5 strong innings giving up just 3 hits. He was also on at the plate going 3-4. Daniel Salinas was 2-4, driving in 4 runs as ET cruised to a 9-0 win.
The Championship game Sunday brought on a familiar foe as ET faced off again against Park Rapids. Just like the opening round matchup, ET found themselves behind early giving up 2 runs in the first. Mike Koren hit a sac fly in the 2nd to cut the lead in half, but Park Rapids answered back & took a 4-1 lead into the 4th. The 12's were able to load up the bases with no body out & Mike Koren continued to drive in runs with a 2 RBI double. Alex Swanson followed a couple hitters later with a single to drive in a run & tie the game. Park Rapids answered right back with a 2 run HR in the top of the 5th to retake the lead 6-4, George Masson was brought in to pitch & worked out of the 5th & then lead off the bottom of the inning with a HR of his own to cut the lead to 6-5. Mike Koren then came up again with runners in scoring position as was the theme all game he produced, driving in Daniel Salinas for his 4th RBI & tying the game. Noah Smith followed up with another single & that gave the 12's a 7-6 lead! Masson was back on the mound to close it up & he did in dominate fashion striking out all 3 for the win & the State Championship for East Twins!
Next up will be the Midwest Plains Regional Tournament in Baxter, MN. ET will take on South Dakota at 10:30am on Thursday, July 28.
ET opened up the Midwest Plains Regional against Yankton, SD & came out firing scoring 3 in the bottom of the 1st inning, highlighted by a triple by George Masson to drive in Alex Swanson to start the scoring. ET would take advantage of some SD errors & another Masson triple to run the score to 7-0 after two innings. ET would add runs in the 3rd when Greg Dobihal scored on double steal with "Ocho" Jurgensen taking 2nd & would eventually come around to score himself. Noah Smith came across in the 4th with the 10th run & put an end to the game early with ET winning 10-0. Vaughn Pouncy dealt the shutout on the mound & George Masson was awarded "Outstanding Player of the Game".
The 12's were back at Saturday after the off day, taking on Dickenson, ND & it was tight early as the score remained 0-0 after 2 innings. With ET as the guest, Mike Koran lead off the top of the 3rd with a base hit & took second on a wild pitch. Noah Smith then laced a base hit & drove in Koren to get the scoring started. Jason Dick followed with an infield base hit & then a double steal put runners at 2nd & 3rd. Noah came in on a wild pitch & Jason scored on an Alex Swanson base hit. George Masson drove a pitch to right field that was misplayed by the ND outfielder that allowed Swanny to score & put George on 3rd. Vaughn Pouncy grounded out, but it was enought to score George from 3rd & drive the score to 5-0. That would prove to be more then enough as Noah Smith was dialed in on the mound, mixing his pitches beautifully & throwing some heat to keep the ND hitters off balance all game. Add in some stellar defense & that was good for the shutout, earning Noah "Outstanding Player of the Game" honors.
ET won the toss for Sunday's game & that made them home team vs. the host's from Baxter, MN. That also put ET in a spot they hadn't been in in a while, trailing, as Baxter was able to scratch a run in the top of the 1st inning. Mike Koren again got things going for the 12's in the 2nd with a leadoff single & Noah Smith followed it up with a double to bring Mike home & tie the score at 1-1. Baxter threatened in the 3rd with runners on 1st & 3rd, but ET was able to foil the double steal attempt & cut the runner down at the plate to prevent the hosts from scoring. Alex Swanson singled with one out in the 3rd & moved up a wild pitch bringing up George Masson, who came through with a big single scoring Alex & giving ET the lead 2-1 after 3 innings. Josh Steckler started on the mound for ET & kept up the run of great pitching to go with the awesome defense holding the Baxter squad to just the single run through 5 innings. George Masson pitched a perfect 6th inning for the save & putting ET in the Regional Championship game. Noah Smith was again named "Outstanding Player of the Game".
The Championship game on Monday was scheduled for a 11am start, but bad weather pushed the rematch with Baxter back a few hours, but that didn't seem to be an issue for the ET boys. Just like the day before the game started out tight with no score going into the bottom of the 3rd inning. Josh Steckler came through with a 1 out double & moved up to 3rd on an infield single by Alex Swanson. A wild pitch broke the scoreless tie though as Steckler came hom & Swanson scampered around to 3rd. George Masson singled in Swanson & eventually came around himself to score making it 3-0 ET after 3 innings. Noah Smith was back starting on the mound & took care of business by himself in the 4th with a web gem snag of comebacker line drive, fielding a groundball back to him & then getting a strikeout for the 3rd out. Tanner Berwald lead off the 4th with a base hit & was replaced on the bases by Jack Jurgensen. Daniel Salinas came through with a pinch hit single & both runners moved up on a wild pitch which lead to "Ocho" scoring on an infield single by Josh Steckler, Alex Swanson was then hit by the next pitch which brought up George Masson. With the bases loaded against the drawn-in Baxter infield, George punched a base hit through scoring Salinas & Steckler to give ET a 6-0 lead. Blake McCormick lead off the 5th with a pinch hit walk & moved up on a wild pitch, Mike Koren then drove a double to score Blake. Mike was replaced on the bases by Greg Dogihal, who moved to 3rd on a Berwald single then scored on a sac fly off the bat of Jason Dick to bring the score to 8-0 after 5 innings. 3 outs away from a trip to the World Series, Noah Smith was back on the mound working on his second shutout of the tournament. The Baxter lead off hitter scratched an infield single, but was quickly erased on a line out double play from Koren to Pouncy, the next hitter grounded out & that punched the 12's ticket to Visalia, CA & the Cal Ripken World Series!! Noah Smith was again awarded the "Outstanding Player of the Game" for the 3rd straight game!
They now are the 4th East Twins team to advance to World Series play & the 1st Cal Ripken team we have had advance. They check-in on Wed., Aug. 10 in Visalia, CA & begin play on Fri., Aug. 12 vs. the host team at 7:30pm.
While the games in Visalia didn't go as planned for the 12's the experiances & memories for all the boys, coaches, parents & fans was well worth the work & sacrifices made by all. East Twins is very proud of the team for getting to the level they did & are excited for the future of the program!!
The team & everyone involved would like to send out many, many thanks to everyone who donated time, items for auction or money to make the trip to California possible for all. Huge thank you's go to:
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