Central Point takes second at state

PORTLAND — Central Point's sensational run through the age 13-14 Little League Junior Boys state tournament came up one win shy of a regionals berth Thursday as St. Helens managed a 5-1 victory in the championship game.

Starting pitcher Ronny Herndon allowed only two runs in 52/3 innings and also plated Central Point's lone run with a fifth-inning single.

"He had a great tournament," said Brent Johnson, president of the Central Point Little League. "He's a pretty good player."

St. Helens, however, was able to counter with some standout pitching of its own after its starter pitched into the seventh inning in keeping Central Point at bay.

"They were a good team and they had a really solid pitcher tonight," added Johnson.

St. Helens advanced to the Western Regionals in Southern California with the win."The kids did a great job and we went further than we've gone in a long, long time," Johnson said of the second-place finish.

In the semifinals on Wednesday, Central Point defeated Cascade, the District 7 champion, 8-5.

Chris Painter pitched the first four innings and struck out four. Robbie Grabowski worked the final three frames, fanning eight and earning the save.

Herndon had three hits, including a triple.

Babe Ruth Baseball

AGE 11 REGIONAL — At Eugene, Upper Rogue defeated Twin Falls, Idaho, 8-6 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Pacific Northwest Regional.

Nate Brammer pitched four innings of one-run ball for Upper Rogue. Kollen Roohr was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and earned the save.

Jordan Ragan was 2-for-4 with two RBIs,

Upper Rogue, 3-0 in the tournament, plays at 2 p.m. today as the elimination round begins.

Little League Baseball

AGE 11-12 STATE — At Pendleton, Medford National Central received standout play from Adrian Garcia and Nate Walker but came up short in the semifinals for the second straight year in a 5-1 loss to South Suburban of Klamath Falls.

Medford will face Hermiston at 4:30 p.m. today in hopes of repeating last year's third-place finish. Hermiston lost 14-9 to Murray Hill of Beaverton in the other semifinal.

South Suburban's Jesse Hilyard tossed a two-hitter through five innings to keep Medford at bay, but also received outstanding defensive support and some fortunate bounces.

Walker ripped a first-inning offering deep to center field for what appeared to be a two-run home run, only to have South Suburban center fielder Cody Dykstra jump up over the fence and drag the ball back into the ballpark with his leaping catch.

Garcia had a similar experience when his fly ball to the outfield hit the top of the fence and fell back in play for an innocent single instead of a potential two-run homer.

Walker's single in the third and Garcia's single in the fifth proved to be the lone hits for Medford, while Garcia allowed only two hits of his own in 4 1/3 innings of work. Medford gave up only four hits for the game.

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