WENATCHEE — Rallying in its final turn at the plate, the Port Angeles 12U baseball team recently captured its first 50/70 Cal Ripken North Washington State Championship with a back-and-forth triumph over Lynden 7-6.
Trailing 6-5 in the top of the sixth inning, Port Angeles’ Phoenix Flores got the better of an eight-pitch at-bat with a leadoff single. Luke Flodstrom followed with a one-out double to the gap that put runners at second and third.
Flores tied the game up on a head-first slide on a play at the plate after a Derek Stadmeyer sacrifice fly to short left field.
Flodstrom scored the eventual game-winning run with two outs when Alex Angevine hit a ground ball to shortstop but beat out the throw to first base.
Stadmeyer closed out the game on the mound to preserve the big win.
“High emotions all around,” coach JR Flores said. “When we got down and rallied back that was an awesome thing to see.”
Flores said the team enjoyed a traditional postgame celebration.
“The kids dumped the water bucket on me and got coach on the back pretty good,” Flores said with a laugh.
Josiah Gooding was 3 for 3 at the plate in the title game and Port Angeles also received timely hitting from Cole Johnson and Cole Romero. Romero also went 3 2/3 innings on the mound, allowing just one run.
Kaleb Mullen was a major contributor for the whole tournament with four home runs at the plate while also pitching a complete game. Mullen hit a three-run bomb that put the game out of reach against Spokane in a 16-11 semifinal victory.
“The cool part about that one was Lynden, the team we played in the championship game, had just won their semifinal and were walking past our field, so they got a preview of what we were about.”
Mullen also hit a grand slam during pool play as Port Angeles went 6-1.
“If I had to pick a tournament MVP, he’d be the choice,” Flores said of Mullen.
Jordan Shumway also pitched a complete game and Johnson was the team captain for the weekend.
Port Angeles, representing North Olympic Baseball and Softball, advances to play in the Cal Ripken 70 Pacific Northwest Region Championship in Meridian, Idaho, with tournament play beginning Thursday.
Flores said the teams will be grouped into two five-team brackets with the top seeds advancing to Saturday’s regional championship.
The winner of that gane will advance to the Cal Ripken World Series in Branson, Mo.
The Port Angeles squad also is raising funds for their tournament travel.