SPORTS: Wilder Baseball Team prepares for state competition

PORT ANGELES — Wilder Baseball Club had little trouble winning its own eight-team tournament Sunday, and now is set to tune up for the state championships by playing at the 12-team Clackamas, Ore., tourney starting Thursday.

The Senior Babe Ruth Washington state championships are slated to start July 13 in Ephrata.

Wilder went 2-2 at state last year, claiming sixth place in the 12-team tournament.

The North Olympic Peninsula team will get a good test for state beginning Thursday in Clackamas, Ore.

Wilder opens the tough wood-bat tourney at 3 p.m. against sports powerhouse Lake Oswego, Ore.

Lake Oswego, a Portland suburb, has produced a number of national prep blue-chip prospects. The Lake Oswego Lakers produced basketball sensation Kevin Love, who went to UCLA, while the Lakeridge Pacers produced a couple of Division I quarterbacks.

Jason Palumbis played at Stanford while Mike Miadich went to Colorado.

Owning Firecracker

Wilder, meanwhile, is its own powerhouse on the baseball field, improving to 19-6 while going 4-0 in the 12th annual Dick Brown Memorial Firecracker Classic this past weekend.

The Port Angeles-based team wrapped up the tourney crown by beating Kitsap Baseball Club 7-3 at Civic Field on Sunday.

Wilder outscored opponents 39-4 in the tourney, producing two shutouts in the first three games.

“We expect to win our tournament every year,” Wilder coach Rob Merritt said.

“We just compete. When we play with high energy we play well. And we played with energy and enthusiasm all weekend.”

Wilder never trailed in the title game, leading 2-0 at the end of the first inning, 3-0 after two and 4-0 after three.

Kitsap got two more runs back in the fourth but Wilder scored two in the fifth to break the game open.

Quilcene’s Brandon Bancroft (4-1) started the game on the mound, giving up just four hits and three earned runs in five innings, striking out four and walking two.

Sequim’s Spencer Middleton gave up no runs in the final two innings, allowing just three hits while walking none and fanning one.

Kyler Morgan carried the big bat, going 2-for-3 with a two-run homer, scoring two runs and knocking in a total of three runs.

A.J. Konopaski of Port Angeles scored a run while going 2-for-3 while Middleton had an RBI while going 2-for-3.

Derek Crain was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate, scoring two runs and hitting in another run.

Austin McConnell of Chimacum was 1-of-3 with an RBI double.

Wilder 7, Kitsap 3

Wilder 2 1 1 0 2 0 1 ­– 7 10 3

Kitsap 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 — 3 7 0

WP- Brandon Bancroft (4-1)

Pitching Statistics

Wilder: Bancroft 5 IP (3ER, 4H, 4K, 2BB); Spencer Middleton 2 IP (0R, 3H, 1K, 0BB).

Hitting Statistics

Wilder: Kyler Morgan 2-3 (HR, 2R, 3RBIs); A.J. Konopaski 2-3 (R); Middleton 2-3 (RBI); Derek Crain 2-2 (2R, RBI); Austin McConnell 1-3 (RBI-2B).

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