PR-B Babe Ruth team wins title
After a disappointing high school baseball season, Pine River-Backus head coach Steve Snavely wanted to see what he could do with his Babe Ruth team this summer.
That answer for Snavely, and summer assistant coaches Ryan Wynn and Jordan Ackerman, ended with a perfect 12-0 record and the championship.
The Babe Ruth team was comprised of Timmy Bardeaux, Brenden Fenstermaker, Leighton Kangas, Evan Gravdahl, Zach Munsch, Tori Hershey, Cody Francis, Brandon Wolski, Nick Ackerman, Joe Davidson, Kiel Struss, Corey Hero, Travis Gordon and Zach Tulenchick.
The Tigers faced Aitkin to open the season and soundly defeated them 19-3. They traveled to Baxter to play their White team and won 12-4. PR-B would eventually face Baxter White in the championship game. The Tigers traveled to Pillager and topped them 6-4, before going to Pequot Lakes and earning a 3-2 win.The Tigers returned home and easily dispatched of Crosby 15-1 and then traveled back to Baxter to face Baxter Red and shut them out 9-0 to improve to 6-0 overall.
PR-B then hosted another Baxter team, who played a tight contest game won by the Tigers 12-11. They then defeated Aitkin 14-4 with and then hit the road to beat Baxter Black 5-2 to finish the regular season.
The Tigers were the top seed in the playoffs and met a Baxter Red team which they had defeated earlier in the summer. This game was close the whole way for a 5-2 Tigers win. PR-B then faced Pequot Lakes in a nail-bitter that went nine innings before the Tigers won 3-2 and advanced to the championship game.
The Tigers meet up with a familiar foe in the Baxter White team in the championship game on Monday, July 28. Tigers built a 3-2 lead late in the game and then added an insurance run on a balk for a 4-2 win and a perfect 12-0 record.
"Baxter White had a pretty good club and the championship was close right to the end, Snavely said. "The kids got better as the summer went on, the parents were very supportive and made sure their kids made it to practice.Our pitching was very good and we played good defense. I'm proud of each and every player."