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Bellevue wins NWAACC Baseball Title

Bulldogs nip Lower Columbia in title game

By Rick McCorkle / The Daily News The Daily News Online | Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 9:22 pm

Photos by Jeff Hinds

After claiming his third NWAACC baseball title in the last five seasons, Bellevue coach Mark Yoshino gave Lower Columbia College high praise in front of a near-packed house at David Story Field.

Bellevue's Tyler Baumgartner was selected the tourmament MVP (pictured with NWAACC Executive Director Dick McClain)

Yoshino admitted he didn't want to face the Red Devils in the title game of the NWAACC baseball championships on Monday.

"I would've rather played Mount Hood," Yoshino said. "Lower Columbia is pesky and hard to control."

Yoshino's Bulldogs plated all of their runs in the initial three innings as Bellevue outlasted the Red Devils 5-3 in the tournament title game. Lower Columbia (36-12) had to beat Mount Hood 7-3 in the Saturday morning matchup to advance to its 12th title game in 17 seasons under coach Kelly Smith.

"We gave them (the Bulldogs) a game," Smith said. "They didn't want to play us because we're pesky. We'll always be that way. The key word for us this season was relentless. Whether we were up or down, we were relentless."

Bellevue (37-14) claimed its fifth NWAACC baseball crown. The Bulldogs also won in 1973, '79, 2007 and '09 along with four second-place finishes in that span. The runner-up placing was the seventh for Smith, who has also claimed titles from 1995-97, 2005 and last year.

"We've had a lot of seconds, and you can refer to me as Bud Levy," Smith cracked after the game, referring to former NFL coaches Bud Grant and Marv Levy, who had many second-place Super Bowl finishes. "Twelve championship games is the Red Devil way with guts, guile and experience. We were overmatched physically, but I wouldn't sub one of their guys for ours."

Lower Columbia parlayed base hits from Ben McQuown and Eric Tinnell into a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Bulldogs countered with two hits of their own in the bottom of the first for a 1-1 deadlock.

McQuown had three of the Devils' 10 hits, with Tinnell adding a pair.

"We gave it all we had and I wouldn't change anything for the world," McQuown said. "No one thought we would've been here, but we stuck together and made it happen. I thought we should've won the game, but we went down competing."

A two-run homer from Bellevue's Jerad Casper gave it a 3-1 lead in the second, and the Bulldogs converted a Tyler Baumgartner double and singles from Kyle Conwell and Tyler Cox into a 5-1 advantage in the third.

The Devils bounced back with a solo homer from Sam Williams in the fourth and an RBI single from Tinnell in the fifth, but were unable to further close the scoring gap. Lower Columbia left five baserunners stranded in the last four innings, including three in scoring position.

"We had opportunities but they came up with big plays," Smith said. "This was satisfying because we got here with a team which wasn't a big machine like we've had in the past, but I'm almost as proud of this team as any one I've had."

Lower Columbia's best scoring opportunities came in the seventh and ninth innings. In the seventh, Bret Bitow and McQuown laced back-to-back, one-out singles, but McQuown was erased at second when Spencer Hannah hit into a fielder's choice. Tinnell followed with a ground out to end the threat.

In the ninth, Bitow laced a one-out double to the right-center field gap, and McQuown was hit by a pitch from Bellevue starter Kyle Swannick. Bellevue coach Yoshino lifted Swannick for Andrew Groves, who coaxed Garrett Tygerson and Tinnell into left field fly-outs to end the game.

"The last inning for me was heartbreaking because I wanted to finish the game," Swannick said. "I was running on nerves and adrenaline, and I'm glad my team pulled it out."

Swannick scattered 10 hits and struck out three hitters for the victory.

"All of my pitches worked well," the sophomore from Renton said. "My arm was a little tired with three days rest, but I tried to keep us in it and get the win."

Stuart Fewel, who was pitching on a day's rest after facing Bellevue on Saturday, scattered seven hits through four innings. Doug Christie gave 3 1/3 innings of two-hit relief with four strikeouts, and Braydon Poole made his tournament debut with 2/3 of an inning of hitless relief.

"I'm really proud of this team because we didn't think they could achieve this much," said Lower Columbia pitching coach Rob Hippi, who retired from college coaching at the end of the game. "It's a great way to go out."

Bitow finished with three hits, including a double.

"We weren't out of a game all season, with is a testament to the backbone of this team," Smith added. "They're all gamers, and that's the biggest compliment I can give them."

Read more at The Daily News
All-Tournament Team | Tournament Stats and box scores

All-Tournament Team
MVP - Tyler Baumgartner, Bellevue
C - Baily Graham, Lower Columbia
IF - Jerad Casper, Bellevue
IF - Alex Foulon, Mt. Hood
IF - Brent Graham, Lower Columbia
IF - John Reilly, Columbia Basin
OF - Ben McQouwn, Lower Columbia
OF - Andy Smith, Bellevue
OF - Jimmy Sanchez - Lane
OF - Kyle Conwell, Bellevue
P - Jeff Ames, Lower Columbia
P - Kyle Swannack, Bellevue
P - Adrian Sampson, Bellevue
P - Matt Cooper, Bellevue
P - Matt Pechman, Mt. Hood
RP - Zach Kayser, Lane
UT - Tyler Cox, Bellevue
DH - Sam Williams, Lower Columbia

Bulldogs nip Lower Columbia in title game

By Rick McCorkle / The Daily News The Daily News Online | Posted: Monday, May 30, 2011 9:22 pm

Photos by Jeff Hinds

After claiming his third NWAACC baseball title in the last five seasons, Bellevue coach Mark Yoshino gave Lower Columbia College high praise in front of a near-packed house at David Story Field.

Bellevue's Tyler Baumgartner was selected the tourmament MVP (pictured with NWAACC Executive Director Dick McClain)

Yoshino admitted he didn't want to face the Red Devils in the title game of the NWAACC baseball championships on Monday.

"I would've rather played Mount Hood," Yoshino said. "Lower Columbia is pesky and hard to control."

Yoshino's Bulldogs plated all of their runs in the initial three innings as Bellevue outlasted the Red Devils 5-3 in the tournament title game. Lower Columbia (36-12) had to beat Mount Hood 7-3 in the Saturday morning matchup to advance to its 12th title game in 17 seasons under coach Kelly Smith.

"We gave them (the Bulldogs) a game," Smith said. "They didn't want to play us because we're pesky. We'll always be that way. The key word for us this season was relentless. Whether we were up or down, we were relentless."

Bellevue (37-14) claimed its fifth NWAACC baseball crown. The Bulldogs also won in 1973, '79, 2007 and '09 along with four second-place finishes in that span. The runner-up placing was the seventh for Smith, who has also claimed titles from 1995-97, 2005 and last year.

"We've had a lot of seconds, and you can refer to me as Bud Levy," Smith cracked after the game, referring to former NFL coaches Bud Grant and Marv Levy, who had many second-place Super Bowl finishes. "Twelve championship games is the Red Devil way with guts, guile and experience. We were overmatched physically, but I wouldn't sub one of their guys for ours."

Lower Columbia parlayed base hits from Ben McQuown and Eric Tinnell into a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Bulldogs countered with two hits of their own in the bottom of the first for a 1-1 deadlock.

McQuown had three of the Devils' 10 hits, with Tinnell adding a pair.

"We gave it all we had and I wouldn't change anything for the world," McQuown said. "No one thought we would've been here, but we stuck together and made it happen. I thought we should've won the game, but we went down competing."

A two-run homer from Bellevue's Jerad Casper gave it a 3-1 lead in the second, and the Bulldogs converted a Tyler Baumgartner double and singles from Kyle Conwell and Tyler Cox into a 5-1 advantage in the third.

The Devils bounced back with a solo homer from Sam Williams in the fourth and an RBI single from Tinnell in the fifth, but were unable to further close the scoring gap. Lower Columbia left five baserunners stranded in the last four innings, including three in scoring position.

"We had opportunities but they came up with big plays," Smith said. "This was satisfying because we got here with a team which wasn't a big machine like we've had in the past, but I'm almost as proud of this team as any one I've had."

Lower Columbia's best scoring opportunities came in the seventh and ninth innings. In the seventh, Bret Bitow and McQuown laced back-to-back, one-out singles, but McQuown was erased at second when Spencer Hannah hit into a fielder's choice. Tinnell followed with a ground out to end the threat.

In the ninth, Bitow laced a one-out double to the right-center field gap, and McQuown was hit by a pitch from Bellevue starter Kyle Swannick. Bellevue coach Yoshino lifted Swannick for Andrew Groves, who coaxed Garrett Tygerson and Tinnell into left field fly-outs to end the game.

"The last inning for me was heartbreaking because I wanted to finish the game," Swannick said. "I was running on nerves and adrenaline, and I'm glad my team pulled it out."

Swannick scattered 10 hits and struck out three hitters for the victory.

"All of my pitches worked well," the sophomore from Renton said. "My arm was a little tired with three days rest, but I tried to keep us in it and get the win."

Stuart Fewel, who was pitching on a day's rest after facing Bellevue on Saturday, scattered seven hits through four innings. Doug Christie gave 3 1/3 innings of two-hit relief with four strikeouts, and Braydon Poole made his tournament debut with 2/3 of an inning of hitless relief.

"I'm really proud of this team because we didn't think they could achieve this much," said Lower Columbia pitching coach Rob Hippi, who retired from college coaching at the end of the game. "It's a great way to go out."

Bitow finished with three hits, including a double.

"We weren't out of a game all season, with is a testament to the backbone of this team," Smith added. "They're all gamers, and that's the biggest compliment I can give them."

Read more at The Daily News
All-Tournament Team | Tournament Stats and box scores

All-Tournament Team
MVP - Tyler Baumgartner, Bellevue
C - Baily Graham, Lower Columbia
IF - Cory Urquart. Bellevue
IF - Jerad Casper, Bellevue
IF - Alex Foulon, Mt. Hood
IF - Brent Graham, Lower Columbia
IF - John Reilly, Columbia Basin
OF - Ben McQouwn, Lower Columbia
OF - Andy Smith, Bellevue
OF - Jimmy Sanchez - Lane
OF - Kyle Conwell, Bellevue
P - Jeff Ames, Lower Columbia
P - Kyle Swannack, Bellevue
P - Adrian Sampson, Bellevue
P - Matt Cooper, Bellevue
P - Matt Pechman, Mt. Hood
RP - Zach Kayser, Lane
UT - Tyler Cox, Bellevue
DH - Sam Williams, Lower Columbia


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