Oregon team takes a little a long way

Squad that cut no one rises to 1-1 in Ripken play


August 16, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Willamette Valley, Ore., is having a memorable time at the Cal Ripken 12-and-Under World Series in Aberdeen, moments that almost didn't happen.

The Pacific Northwest Region champs are playing well at 1-1 after nearly being deprived of playing.

Unlike most community all-star teams in the series, Willamette, which is about two hours from Portland, didn't have to cut anybody trying out.

"Our team came out of a pool of 10 teams and 120 kids," said Oregon manager Jody Allard.

"We only had 12 come out, so we kept all 12 players to come here and this is great. The other kids either weren't interested, burned out or on other travel teams."

One of the 12 making the cross-country trip is pitcher-catcher William Swindling, who yesterday hit a grand slam to highlight a five-run second inning that led to a 7-1 victory over Meridian, Miss. (1-1).

"I struggled a little bit at the plate in our first game, but I got a pitch right down the middle today," Swindling said. "It felt really good going around the bases with my teammates waiting for me at home plate."

This is Swindling's second world series in Babe Ruth League competition, the other as a 9-year-old on a 10-year-old national runner-up to Jacksonville, Fla., three years ago.

"I've always played up until this year to play with kids my age," said Swindling, who also plays basketball and football back home.

In addition to his hitting, Swindling's pitching kept his team in the game against perennial contender Oahu, Hawaii, in a 3-1 loss Saturday.

NOTES: The host Harford County team remains winless in three years, having lost its 11th in a row to the Bronx, N.Y., 8-2, last night. Hickory Fountain Green manager Guy Hancock had predicted a win, but said, "It's like David and Goliath for us, but we are not frustrated. We were ecstatic to kick things off Friday night at Cal Sr.'s Yard." Hickory has one game left - noon tomorrow vs. Jackson, Mo. ... Maryland champion Calvert County (1-1) bounced back from its 2-1 loss to Meridian with a 6-4 win over Marblehead, Mass. (0-2). Taylor Deed was the winning pitcher and Nikolay Uherek, the hard-luck loser Sunday, had a two-run double in a decisive five-run fifth. ... Ripken Baseball PR man John Maroon broadcast the Meridian game back to Mississippi live by phone, showing the interest this series generates. ... . Australia (2-0) defeated the Republic of Korea, 7-4, to set up a showdown with two-time defending champion Mexico (1-0) tonight at 6. ... Canada (1-1) won its first game, 5-3, over the Dominican Republic (1-2). ... Cal and Bill Ripken will conduct a clinic at Ripken Stadium, home of the IronBirds, from 9 to 12 this morning for all the players who want to attend and several teams will attend tonight's Hudson Valley-Aberdeen game in the New York-Penn League.

Ripken World Series



W L Pct. GB

Lexington, Ky. 2 0 1.000 -

West Raleigh, N.C. 2 0 1.000 -

Bronx, N.Y. 2 1 .666 1/2

Jackson, Mo. 0 2 .000 2

Hickory Fountain Green 0 3 .000 2 1/2


W L Pct. GB

Oahu, Hawaii 2 0 1.000 -

Meridian, Miss. 1 1 .500 1

Calvert County 1 1 .500 1

Willamette Valley, Ore. 1 1 .500 1

Marblehead, Mass. 0 2 .000 2


W L Pct. GB

Australia 2 0 1.000 -

Mexico 1 0 1.000 1/2

Canada 1 1 .500 1

Dominicam Republic 1 2 .333 1 1/2

South Korea 0 2 .000 2

Results, schedule

Round-robin format; games played at Cal Sr.'s Yard (C), Memorial field (M) and Wrigley field (W)


Lexington, Ky. 2, Bronx, N.Y. 0 Mexico 2, Dominican Republic 0 W. Raleigh, N.C. 13, Hickory Fountain Green 1 Meridian, Miss. 2, Calvert County 1 Oahu, Hawaii 21, Marblehead, Mass. 3


Australia 7, South Korea 4 Bronx, N.Y. 8, Hickory Fountain Green 2 Willamette Valley, Ore. 7, Meridian, Miss. 1 Canada 5, Dominican Republic 3 Calvert County 6, Marblehead, Mass. 4 West Raleigh, N.C. 10, Jackson, Mo. 0


Oahu, Hawaii vs. Meridian, Miss., 1 p.m. (M) Canada vs. South Korea, 3 p.m. (W) Lexington, Ky. vs. West Raleigh, N.C., 4 p.m. (M) Australia vs. Mexico, 6 p.m., (C) Willamette Valley, Ore. vs. Calvert County, 8 p.m. (C)

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