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Bend North wins trip to Little League World Series


The Bend North Little League’s bats were as hot as the field on a sweltering day in the 100s at San Bernardino, Calif., on Saturday as they defeated Pacific (Lynnwood) Washington 5-1 to advance to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa. — the first team from the High Desert to do so.

The victory in the Northwest Regional championship at Al Houghton Stadium, nationally televised by ESPN, avenged not only the 12-under all-star team’s 8-2 opening loss in the double-elimination tournament, but a defeat by the same Pacific team in the 2014 title game.

After two scoreless innings, Joe Schutz scored on a wild pitch in the third and Julian Mora reached home on a double by pitcher Zach Reynolds to take a 2-0 lead. Mora scored again in the top of the fifth and Declan Corrigan ad the team’s fourth run. Bowen Nelson finished the offensive output with a fifth-inning score.

Bend North is the second straight Oregon team to earn a trip to Williamsport and the third in five years, as Wilshire-Riverside Little League of Portland went last year and Gresham National in 2012.

Bend North pitcher Zach Reynolds pitched 5 1/3 innings for the victory and after he reached the 85-pitch limit, Mora took to the mound and got the last out.

The 12-1 Bend North team takes on Southeast champion Goodlettsville, Tennessee in an opening-round game next Thursday at 4 p.m. Pacific time in Williamsport.

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