Patience indeed was a virtue for Granite Construction of Camas-Washougal.
Scoring the tying and winning runs without benefit of a hit, Granite rallied from far back to capture the Southern Washington State Senior Babe Ruth Baseball tournament with a wild 12-11, eight-inning victory over J.H. Kelly of Longview-Kelso on Monday at Hoquiam’s Olympic Stadium.
Alex Boyer drew a walk-off walk in the bottom of the eighth to complete Granite’s unbeaten run to the championship. Both finalists advanced to regionals next weekend at Clark College in Vancouver.
Granite had edged 3 Rivers Baseball of the Tri-Cities area, 2-1, in Sunday’s winners bracket final. J.H. Kelly, which won three loser-out games after falling to 3 Rivers in the semifinals, eliminated the Spradlin Rock Hawks of Hoquiam, 9-5, and 3 Rivers, 8-4, on Sunday.
A second championship game in the double-elimination tournament appeared likely when J.H. Kelly parlayed a seven-run fourth inning into a 9-4 lead. Six of those runs came with two outs after Granite botched a rundown that could have ended the inning.
The Camas club, however, charged back to tie it at 10-all with a four-run sixth highlighted by Jake Meyers’ two-run double.
Luke Brown’s fourth hit of the contest, an RBI single in the top of the seventh, enabled J.H. Kelly to regain the lead at 11-10.
Granite again equalized in its half of the inning when Brandon Casteel, who walked and moved up on a passed ball, stole third and continued home on a scoring error.
Levi Middling, the second Granite pitcher, retired Kelly in order in the eighth. Then Connor Coombs walked on four pitches and took second on a wild pitch in the Granite half of the same inning.
Meyers bunted back to the mound — the only ball the Camas crew put in play against Kelly reliever Isaac Kjose in his 1 2/3-inning mound stint. Kjose’s throw to third had the runner beaten, but Coombs was ruled to have gotten in under the tag.
One out later, Matt Rawlins walked to load the bases. Kjose regrouped to strike out Casteel, but Boyer walked on five pitches to force across Coombs.
The speedy Casteel had three hits for Granite, while Boyer. Gage Metzger and Coombs added two apiece.
Brown went 4-for-5, drove in three runs and scored twice for Kelly.
Granite’s Braden Devlin tripled home one run and scored on Middling’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning to snap a scoreless tie against 3 Rivers in the winners bracket final. 3 Rivers scored once in the bottom of that inning.
The Spradlin Rock Hawks mustered only four hits against J.H. Kelly in Sunday’s loser-out affair. Brody Bennett scored twice for the Hoquiamites.
Metzger’s RBI double in the seventh gave Granite a 7-6 win over Spradlin’s in Saturday’s semifinals. The Hawks had tied it at 6-6 on four walks, sandwiched around Jake Guined’s double. Guined had gone 4-for-4 for the Hoquiamites.
J.H. Kelly 011 701 10 — 11 12 3 Granite 103 204 11 — 12 12 2
Meyers, Middling (4) and Casteel; Morton, Warren (5), Kjose (7) and Teigan.