Friday, July 22, 2011/lk
Hood River can claim two Little League district titles this year.
A few days after the Hood River 9-10 softball team claimed a District 5 championship, the Hood River 9-10 baseball team replicated the feat.
They did it the hard way, beating The Dalles twice Friday to advance to the state tournament in Gresham which got under way Saturday.
The Dalles had been the only team to beat Hood River in the tournament, knocking them off 8-7 in extra innings in the tournament opener.
However Hood River tore through the losers bracket to earn the right to face their rivals in the championship.
Needing to win twice to take the title, Hood River opened with a 12-0 win on a no-hitter by Caden Leibleins and numerous big offensive contributions.
In the second game, William Gross' strong pitching performance paced the team to a 13-3 to take the district title.
"From top to bottom everyone did a great job," coach Rob Leibleins said.
In the district tournament Hood River outscored its opponents 135-13.
Leibleins credited Ryan Zeller, Peyton Stewart, Trenton Hough, Gross and JJ Mears for all coming up with big hits.
Hood River did not get much opportunity to rest, having to open state championship play the next day in Gresham.
Hood River opened the tournament with an 11-1 win over Rainier at the Gresham Little League fields.
"Our kids jumped on them right off the bat," Leibleins said.
They were scheduled to play their second game Tuesday evening against defending state champion Murrayhill.
The Hood River 11-12 team finished in third place Friday morning after a 5-4 loss to Bend North.
Bryce Donald pitched a strong game and Bradley Moe homered for Hood River, but it was not enough to get by Bend.