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At Legion regionals, Kennewick whacks NJ

EAGLE POINT ­ Kennewick, Wash., totaled 10 hits, including two homeruns, and took advantage of five North Jackson errors on Monday to end theRoyals' season.

Kennewick advanced to the finals of the Class A American Legion NorthwestRegional baseball tournament with a 14-2 win at The Yard on the Eagle PointHigh campus.

The game was halted after seven innings due to the tournament's 10-runrule.

Julio Blanco collected three hits in four at-bats, including a solo homerun in the third inning, to pace the Washington team. Donnie Watts went2-for-5 for Kennewick.

Willie Klahn clubbed a home run to open the scoring in the top of thesecond inning.

That's a good team, said Eagle Point manager Tom Britton.We eliminated them twice in the regionals (the last two seasons) andI know how it feels.

Fielding was the Royals' downfall.

It's tough to win games when you make five errors, said Britton.We made 19 errors in four games. That's too many

Jeremy Sitzer of the Royals hit his second home run of the season inthe third inning.

Sitzer's homer tied the score at 2-2 in the third.

It (the homer) felt awesome, said Sitzer. I was lookingfor a nice fastball to drive. I felt relaxed and hit it (the fastball frompitcher Jim Allenbaugh) hard.

Before that, in the second inning, Scott Roberts reached base when hewas hit by a pitch and scored on a throwing error by Kennewick catcher IanMcMullen.

North Jackson won the Class A state championship from 1994-96.

I told the kids after the game that a lot of players would liketo change places with them, said Britton. We had a 33-14 recordand won two games in the regionals.

All of our starters but one (catcher Mike Holte) are coming back,and this was a good experience for our young kids. It will pay off for themnext year.

North Jackson pitcher Dan Shopp, who won his 13th game against four losseson Friday over Burlington, Wash. in the Royals' tournament opener, gaveup the homers to Kahn in the second inning and to Blanco in the third.

I didn't have good control today, and that hurt, said Shopp.My arm didn't feel tired. I got behind on two good hitters (Blancoand Kahn) and had to throw them their pitches. They both hit them out.

Kennewick scored 12 runs in its final three innings to end the game.

Watts had a two-run single for Kennewick in the fifth and Mike O'Donnelldelivered a run-scoring double in the sixth. Two more runs came over whenSitzer misplayed a long fly ball to center field by Watts.

Watts had a two-run double and Bret Rutherford singled in a run in Kennewick'sfour-run seventh.

Allenbaugh allowed just three hits in picking up the complete-game winfor Kennewick.