MOSES LAKE — The North Kitsap 16-year-old Babe Ruth All Star team saved its best for last.
After dropping its first two games of the regional tournament, North stormed back, winning its final two contests en route to a 2-2 tournament record and third place finish.
“We battled back pretty good. We were a different team in those last two games,” said North manager Rick Ritter. “Our team rose to the occasion at the end of the tournament.”
The highlight of regionals came in North’s fourth and final contest against a squad from Calgary, Alberta.
North found itself trailing 14-4 when it came to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
“Our bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh. We had one out the whole time and we just kept on hitting and scoring,” Ritter said. “We ended up tying the game at 14 by the end of the inning.”
North conquered Calgary in the bottom of the ninth, scoring the winning run to complete the comeback.
“It was a wild game,” Ritter said. “We did it against their No. 1 pitcher, too. It was pretty amazing.”
Ritter said the victory wouldn’t have been possible without Kyle Murray on the mound.
“Kyle closed out the final game of the season for us. He pitched the seventh, eighth and ninth innings and kept us in it,” he said. “He held them down and we were able to score a run to win the game.”
After missing the opening contests due to scheduling conflicts, Ritter said Paul Bagala and Justin Roulanaitis gave the team a much needed boost in the final two games of the tourney.
“When they showed up, you could tell our team felt more complete,” he said. “It pumped us up when they got there and it showed in our play.”
Even though North’s 16-year-old All Stars will not be making the trip to the World Series in Bentonville, Ark., Ritter said his team played well.
“It was a great season. Our team never gave up even after we lost those first two games,” he said. “They have been playing together for the last five years and they play together as a team. It was a good way to go out.”