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.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
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.”