The Central Point American Legion A baseball team apparently saved its best stuff for last.
That's saying something for a squad that's 39-13.
RECAP: Ty Fox goes 2-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored and Gunnar Asher finishes 3-for-6 with three RBIs and a run for Central Point, which uses a five-run burst in the fourth inning to pull away.
The Oregon state champion Comets are one victory away from claiming the Northwest Regional championship after defeating South Anchorage (Alaska) Post 4, 17-10, on Monday at the eight-team tournament in Wheatland, Wyo.
Central Point — yet to be defeated in the Cowboy State — has never looked better, head coach Jay Campbell said. The Northern Utah Eagles will have to beat the Comets twice today to claim the crown. The first game is at 11 a.m. PDT. If Central Point loses, a second game would follow.
"We are hitting on all cylinders," Campbell said.
Central Point — in its first regional ever — has racked up 60 hits in its four triumphs. On Monday, the Comets totaled 17 hits, but trailed for the first time in the tourney.
The deficit didn't last long though.
South Anchorage went ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning before Central Point scored two runs in the top of the third. The Comets then turned in five more runs in the fourth, which was highlighted by Paul Turner's two-run single.
"That really gave us some separation," Campbell said of Turner's hit.
By the time the top of the ninth rolled around, Central Point held a 17-7 advantage.
Everybody got in on the hitting act during the 31/2-hour affair.
Ty Fox, who smashed a two-run home run in the ninth, was 2-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored, and Gunnar Asher finished 3-for-6 with three RBIs and a run.
Tanner Ryerson went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run, Turner 2-for-6 with two RBIs and three runs, Tyler Aplin 2-for-5 with four runs and Taylor Tibbets 2-for-5 with an RBI and three runs.
"I think the kids have just been confident when they've gone to the plate," Campbell said. "They know they have a plan at the plate and they've been able to execute that plan. We are just trying to simplify the game. Right now it seems to be working fairly well. ... And we are really tough with two strikes. We had a bunch of hits after two strikes."
Campbell and the Comets are hoping one game is enough to get the job done today.
"The kids are excited," Campbell said. "They have made this town their home for five or six days and we are having a good time and the team is bonding. But they know we are still here to get the job done tomorrow. We came here to win the whole thing."
Central Point 102 511 034 — 17 17 3
South Anchorage 200 020 213 — 10 17 4
Roland, Tibbets (5) and Aplin; Baker, Crapps (5) and Hayhurst. W — Roland (5-3). L — Baker. 2B — CP: Aplin, Asher, Caballero, Ryerson; SA: Butcher, Floyd. HR — CP: Fox (3).