By Landon Negri
For The Bulletin
Bend North schedule
Friday: Washington 10, Bend North 2
Saturday: Bend North vs. Wyoming, 7 p.m.
Today: No game
Monday: Bend North vs. Alaska, 11 a.m.
Tuesday: Bend North vs. Montana, 8:30 a.m.
• After pool play ends Wednesday, the top four teams in the six-team tournament field will advance to Thursday’s semifinal round.
Thursday: No. 2 seed vs. No. 3 seed, 2 p.m.; No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 seed, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 9: Championship game, 1 p.m.
Pool play standings
W L RA
Washington 1 0 2
Alaska 1 0 4
Montana 1 0 7
Oregon (Bend) 1 1 10
Wyoming 0 1 15
Idaho 0 2 19
Alaska 6, Idaho 4
Oregon 15, Wyoming 0
Washington vs. Montana, 8:30 a.m.
Wyoming vs. Alaska, 4:30 p.m.
Note: The top four teams after pool play advance to the semifinals.
Bend North 15, Cody (Wyo.) 0
(4 inning mercy rule)
Bend North 077 1 – 15 14 0
Wyoming 000 0 – 0 2 4
Tobias, Ruhl (3) and F. Lovejoy. Hays, Harris (3), Bronnenberg (4) and Williams. W – Tobias. L – Hays. 2B – A. Lovejoy, Wehman. HR – Scalley.
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — If Bend North could have spent every waking moment since Friday morning’s loss to Washington hitting, you get the feeling they would have done it.
It didn’t matter that Saturday’s second pool play game started an hour late and featured a Southern California rarity — rain in August. This team wasn’t going to tolerate another loss — or another weak hitting performance.
Bend scored a whopping 14 times in the middle two innings Saturday night, including a mammoth three-run home run by Evan Scalley, and responded from losing its opener with a 15-0, mercy-rule, four-inning victory over Cody, Wyoming, in the Little League Northwest Regional at Al Houghton Stadium.
“We needed it,” Bend North manager Dan Ruhl said. “We needed it bad. (Cody) gave us a few runs early on. It was enough time for our bats to get started. And it was nice to see the bats come alive — finally.”
Really, the bats from Bend (10-1 overall, 1-1 tournament) were alive all day.
Ruhl took his team out for an early morning practice and had his players take some additional batting practice prior to Saturday’s night game, which was played under a light, yet steady rain that cooled off the 100-plus degree temperatures from Friday.
Ruhl, his staff and his team saw a gigantic difference in batting practice.
“All day, we were hitting the ball crazy,” Scalley said. “We were just ready to come out.”
Said Ruhl: “Everyone was smoking the ball.”
And boy, did it carry over.
Bend North racked up 14 hits and took advantage of four errors by Wyoming (8-3, 0-1). Logan Wehrman, batting out of the No. 9 spot, went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, B.B. Logan drove in two runs, Owen Aylward drove in two runs in his pinch-hit at-bat and Jackson Murphy had two hits.
But the biggest hit of them all came in the second inning, when Scalley slammed a 3-1 offering over the right-center field seats, and past the outfield EZ-Ups, to cap a seven-run outburst.
Ruhl estimated it went about 280-290 feet.
“I just got the right pitch,” Scalley said. “It was a little inside — and I thought I just had to pull the ball and get it in the air.”
Starter Henry Tobias struck out three in two innings for the win. Gone were some of the mental breakdowns and visible frustrations from Bend’s 10-2 loss to Edmonds (Wash.) Pacific on Friday morning.
“We wanted to stay focused,” Tobias said, “and just worry about getting it done tonight.”
Bend showed versatility, too, getting two bunts down and moving runners over early in the game.
“We’re going to need that kind of ball to win this tournament,” said Ruhl, who said his team was 1 for its previous 15 in getting bunts down before Dylan Ruhl and Flynn Lovejoy both did it in the second inning.
Bend will get today off before facing Eagle River (Alaska) Knik Little League at 11 a.m. Monday.
Safe to say, the Bend North players will spend their off day in a far happier frame of mind.
“We feel way better now,” Scalley said.