LEWISTON — The Burley Green Sox saw their season end Sunday at the Northwest Class A Regional Tournament.
Burley played a high-scoring game with several ties and lead changes, but a late rally lifted the North Coos (Ore.) Waterfront 16-11 and into the final four of the tournament. The Green Sox finished the season with a 33-17 record.
“We are out of gas,” Burley coach Devin Kunz said over the phone after Sunday’s game. “Hopefully we have enough gas to get home.”
In the first inning, North Coos scored one run and Burley scored three. In the second, North Coos plated three and Burley plated one. Those first two frames foreshadowed a see-saw battle to come.
The Waterfront roared ahead 10-4 with six runs in the third and led 11-5 going into the bottom of the fourth. The Green Sox scored four runs that inning and two in the fifth to tie the game up, but the Waterfront posted five on the scoreboard in the sixth to pull away.
Burley’s Andrew Ferrin went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and finished a home run short of the cycle. Slayder Watterson was 2-for-3 with a walk, and his brother Easton Watterson was 1-for-2 with three walks.
“They fought like heck. They were great teammates. I know we made some life lessons for these kids,” Kunz said. “It was a heck of a ride.”
Burley’s players and coaches entered the summer coming off a losing season with Burley High School’s baseball team. Though many of their spring opponents played a level higher than the Green Sox (in Double-A) this summer, the legion season was an unquestioned success.
Burley had to grind its way through a weather-delayed district tournament to earn Area C’s No. 3 seed at the state tournament, also held in Lewiston. A week later, the Green Sox played some of their best baseball all season, winning four of five games to capture their first state title since 2012.
Any accomplishment after state would have been gravy for Burley, which won its first regional tournament game and lost its last two.
“We’re a top six team in the whole region,” Kunz said. “It’s all good times, and at the end of the day, we’re state champs.”