The Whatcom Americans are “at the top of their game right now,” coach Hank Schwarz said in a phone interview, and have a berth in the 12U Cal Ripken Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament semifinal to prove it.
Whatcom topped Kelso 12-1 on Friday, July 24, in Meridian, Idaho, to finish pool play with a perfect record and move into the semifinals as the No. 1 seed, where they’ll face Polson Montana at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 25, in a loser-out contest.
Jacob Kaeperncik threw a gem in three innings of work, allowing only one run and four hits, while striking out six. He also went 2 for 3 at the plate to add to Trent Miller’s big day at the plate (2-3, 2B, HR, 4 RBI).
“He pitched a great game,” Schwarz said. “He was dialed in and hit his spots while the defense behind him made plays.”
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In the first two games of pool play, Whatcom topped Miles City Montana 13-0 and then defeated Meridian Idaho 9-6.
“We’ve got five kids hitting over .700 right now. We’re playing outstanding defense with great pitching,” Schwarz said. “Going in as the No. 1 seed, it shows the talent we have. This team is special. We figure on winning two games tomorrow and heading to Arkansas for the national championship.”