The Ferndale 12U baseball team won the Cal Ripken Major 60-foot World Series title Thursday evening in Clemmons, North Carolina. The boys in blue and gold beat Cedar Cliff, Pennsylvania, 6-4 to claim the crown.
Dylan Strom hit a grand slam just left of straightaway center with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to open up what had been a nail-biter through the first four frames. Ferndale never trailed in the game, as Jacob Mason hit a solo homer in the first.
Strom also was strong on the mound, limiting Cedar Cliff to two runs through 4 2/3 innings of work. Isaiah Carlson came on in relief to get the final out in the fifth but put two on in the bottom of the sixth. Strom came back on and took a line drive off what appeared to be his leg to load the bases, but he bounced back to get the final three outs, including the last on a strike out.
With the two home runs Thursday, Ferndale finished with 19 for the tournament and averaged 10.1 runs per game.
Cedar Cliff was one of only two teams to beat Ferndale this summer when the two teams met in the opener of pool play Aug. 3, but Thursday’s win certainly avenged that loss.
Ferndale, which won seven straight after that loss to claim the title, wrapped up the season with a 36-2 record, a Northern Washington state title, the Pacific Northwest Region championship and, of course, the Cal Ripken World Series crown.
The team is the first from Washington to win a Cal Ripken Major 60-foot World Series title since West Lewis County in 2009.
The Ferndale roster included Strom, Carlson, Landen Hatchett, Andrew James, Conner Walcker, Hunter Jones, Tipton Bundy, Giovanni Contreras, Jordan Mason, Jacob Mason, Lane Oostra and Sean Morrison. The team is managed by Bill Hatchett and coached by Dean Oostra and Hank Schwarz.