EPHRATA, Washington — In a rematch against Chaffey Baseball from Bellevue, Washington, Saturday, the Klamath Falls Falcons were defeated in their fourth game of the Pacific Northwest Senior Babe Ruth regional here.
The Falcons held a 4-3 lead, with two outs in the 7th inning, and Klamath pitcher Aiden McAulliffe had two strikes on the opponent’s hitter.
One strike away from a championship game appearance on Sunday.
The scenario would happen two other times in the next few minutes, but when the dust settled, Ziah Acklus had singled home two runs to give Chaffey a one run lead, and they held on to eliminate the Falcons , 5-4, from championship contention.
You could see the frustration on the face of McAulliffe, as multiple strike-two pitches that looked good to him, were not called as strikes by the home plate umpire. Chaffey didn’t swing the bat for 13 pitches.
Klamath Falls suffered their first loss after winning three in a row by one run. With 12 teams vying for the championship trophy, double elimination was not the chosen format once teams got out of their individual brackets.
“This one hurts”, Klamath Falls assistant head coach Craig Conner said after the game. The Falcons had previously defeated Chaffey 5-2 on Thursday.
“Our kids represented our area, and Oregon, very well in this tournament”, head coach Pete Whisler said Sunday after the Falcons defeated Lakeside Recovery from Issaquah, Washington, for third place, 3-2. “We as coaches are proud of their efforts this week.”
Sunday, Marcus Ulloa-Ford was outstanding on the mound, and Gavin Graham came in to pick up his second save of the tournament in the 7th inning. Kadin Bolanos had a great tournament for Klamath Falls, hitting over .600 in five games and with an on-base percentage of nearly 90 percent.
Some key players on the roster weren’t available for the trip north, but Whisler made the best of it with solid play from the younger players on the roster.
“We will leave with the feeling that we are one of the best teams here. Our pitching was solid throughout the tournament. Our kids competed hard in every game. We won four out of five.”
Chaffey Baseball defeated the Northwest Bandits from Kirkland for the championship, 4-3.