West Linn, South Salem 12U baseball teams heading to Cal Ripken World Series
(KPTV) - The boys of summer are still playing ball; 12-year-old baseball teams from both Salem and West Linn will represent the Pacific Northwest next week at the Cal Ripken World Series in the Midwest.
State, regionals, and now the world.
“It was amazing. It was a dream come true,” said Kellen Bowman, pitcher and catcher for South Salem.
The middle school boys in Columbia blue and scarlet from South Salem took home the 12U Pacific Northwest Regional title last Saturday in Meridian, Idaho.
“Pure joy, but we still know we have a lot of work to do, and it will be tough to win against this kind of competition,” said Sam Moser, third baseman and pitcher for South Salem.
The level of play picks up a notch for the kids from the “Cherry City” with a sweet taste of success at the Cal Ripken World Series from the Ballparks of America in Branson, Missouri.
“If we lose, we just come back the next day and fight harder than we ever have to win,” said South Salem shortstop Wyatt Timmerman.
The young Saxons were even paid a visit by South Salem alum Ryan Brown at turnout on Wednesday night. The all-Pac-12 closer for the Oregon State Beavers stopping in to celebrate the champs.
While South Salem will be certain to savor the World Series sensation, West Linn has been there, done that, recording a dazzling third place finish at the 11U tourney last summer in Florida.
“At the beginning we could not adjust to the heat, so we lost a couple of games early, so we didn’t get a good seed but we’re on the revenge tour hopefully to win Branson,” said Tanner Toney, catcher and first baseman for West Linn.
The Missouri-style mercury was peaking at practice this week in the Lions’ den too.
“We consider each other as family. We have been playing with each other since we were little,” said West Linn centerfielder Tyler Holmes.
“We have really good team chemistry, and that is what makes us a true contender for this World Series,” Toney said.
“The Linn” earned a return trip to the series after knocking out the Saxons for the regional crown in 2021.
“I have a bunch of good friends on South Salem, so it will be fun to see them down there, recognize faces, familiar faces, and it will be nice,” said Cohen Bissell, shortstop and catcher for West Linn.
“To be able to say that there are two teams, because if we get knocked out, at least there is another Pacific Northwest team there to represent ‚so it is kind of a win-win right there,” said South Salem pitcher Joel Sikel.
“Frenemies” playing the best brands of ball from the upper left coast.
“It’s pretty cool because there is a lot of talent in Oregon, and I think we will show it in Branson this year,” said West Linn pitcher Cash Dickson. “I think we are going to get first. I think we really have a chance.”
Good luck to both teams!
The Cal Ripken World Series kicks off August 5. More information can be found here.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with travel expense for the South Salem Saxons. Anyone who would like to donate can do so here.
Copyright 2022 KPTV-KPDX. All rights reserved.