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MOSES LAKE — The North Olympic 10U Cal Ripken baseball team of Port Angeles finally ran out of gas at the state tournament.
North Olympic, which dominated most of the tournament, met its match in the state championship game Sunday against fellow unbeaten team Ferndale.
Ferndale (6-0) won 11-0 after Port Angeles (5-1) beat Bellingham 11-6 in the semifinals earlier Sunday.
Port Angeles should be proud of its performance during the week, North Olympic coach Ike Hall said.
“The kids played really well as a team for having been together for such a short period of time, and they represented Port Angeles well,” Hall said.
“Finishing second in a field of 12 is quite an accomplishment, and the boys should feel good about going so deep in the tournament.”
Port Angeles hit a wall in the championship game after going 5-0 through the semifinals and outscoring opponents 60-11.
In a match-up of undefeated teams, Ferndale came out swinging the bats hard and a tired Port Angeles pitching staff couldn’t contain them in the humbling loss.
North Olympic’s recipe for winning to that point had been strong pitching, defense and aggressive base running but all of those elements were missing in the finale as Ferndale’s pitchers didn’t allow a single hitter to reach base.
The lone highlight for Port Angeles was an excellent defensive play by second baseman Michael Soule, who raced to shallow center field to make an over-the-shoulder catch on a fly ball.
Despite the disappointing loss in the final, coaches Hall, Scott Soule and Jason Seibel were pleased with their team’s performance, Hall said.
North Olympic advanced to the state championship game with an exciting 11-6 win over Bellingham.
Port Angeles went behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning but came back with two runs in the bottom half with RBI-singles by Jacob Felton and Tanner Price.
Bellingham scored a run in the second and two in the third to reclaim the lead 4-2 but the resilient North Olympic squad put together big rallies in the fourth and fifth to pull away for good.
Felton led at the plate with a 4 for 4 performance and three runs scored while Adam Watkins and Price each had two hits for Port Angeles.
Pitchers Wyatt Hall and Kamron Noard were dealing strikes again; Noard issued only two walks while Wyatt Hall allowed none as they each tossed three quality innings.
(See team photo on Page B2).