Babe Ruth All-Stars prepare for state

Local players to start post-season quest in La Center this weekend

2018 Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth 15U All-Stars
  • Gabriel Kent, Washougal
  • Tristan Farrell, Washougal
  • Jack Davy, Washougal
  • Gavin Tyacke, Washougal
  • Vernon Peterson, Vancouver
  • Xavier Gilmore, Washougal
  • AJ Sorrells, Vancouver
  • Bradley Carter, Washougal
  • Chase Howington, Washougal
  • Luke Jamison, Camas
  • Treyton Briggs, Washougal
  • Zachary Yentsch, Washougal
  • Damian Panko, Washougal
  • Ashton Decker, Washougal
  • Reed Reinwald
  • Manager John Kent
  • Coach Aaron Howington
  • Assistant Coach Alan Sorrells

Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth All-Star AJ Sorrells, 13, of Washougal, fires a pitch during a practice game at Hockinson High School, Sunday, July 8.

Bradley Carter, 15, a starting pitcher with Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth 15U All-Stars, throws some heat during a practice game at Hockinson High School, Sunday, July 8.

One year after winning the state tournament and punching a ticket to the Babe Ruth World Series in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, a new group of local 13- to 15-year-old all stars is preparing for another run.

Fifteen players were selected for this year’s all-star team based on their performance during the Camas-Washougal Babe Ruth regular season.

The state tournament will be held in La Center from Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15.

There’s nothing like facing older, more experienced athletes to improve skills and that’s exactly what this talented all star team is doing to stay sharp.

The local team played a final practice game against the varsity players of Hockinson High School on Sunday, July 8.

“We are doing good, the struggle today is with batting, which is expected because we are just not used to guys pitching that fast,” John Kent, team manager, said.

The Camas Washougal Babe Ruth League has a storied history at the 78-year-old Louis Bloch Park, and this season the organization is going through a transition.

The league has new leadership with a new president and board of directors.

Tony Amburg, president, hopes the league can attract more players back to Babe Ruth who have recently chosen to play with local club programs.

“In 2015 the league had 15 teams, but this year we are down to just six teams because so many families are sending their kids to club ball programs, but we are going to reverse that trend,” Amburg said.

Scott and Heidi Ferrell watched their 15-year-old son, Tristan, who plays second base on the all-star team during the game against the Hockinson High team.

“He started out playing club ball, but so many of his friends are now playing Babe Ruth, he really wanted to play with them again,” Heidi Ferrell said.

Manager Kent’s son, Gabriel, who plays first base made a similar decision.

“My son was a club ball player when he was younger, but wanted to come back to play Babe Ruth because it’s with the same guys he’s going to play with at Washougal High School,” Kent said.

Children are starting sports at younger ages, and many of them are choosing to specialize in their favorite sport by joining club programs that have longer seasons. However, it’s more than just club baseball competing for Babe Ruth players. There are more options for young athletes than ever before.

“Just in the last few weeks there was a summer basketball league, spring football and some of our players are trying to do all that and play baseball, it’s challenging sometimes,” Kent said.

The Camas-Washougal 15U All-Stars will begin their post-season quest in La Center this weekend.

The top two teams from the state tournament will move on and play in the regional tournament, July 23 through July 29, in Portland. The winners of regionals will advance to the Babe Ruth World Series, held in Longview, Washington, Aug. 9 through Aug. 16.