Peninsula boys shine in Oregon 15-year-old Babe Ruth tourney

<I>KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo</I><BR>Mooch Smith fires down to second base in Oregon Babe Ruth State Tournament baseball action last weekend. Smith hit .500 for the season.

ASTORIA - Mooch Smith and Nick Leonard, Ilwaco High School baseball standouts as freshmen last season, competed successfully for the Astoria 15-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars in state tournament play last weekend.

The Astoria squad upset undefeated Salem in the round-robin portion of the tournament by a 3-2 count. Smith walked and eventually scored the first run of the game on a suicide squeeze. He also played well defensively as catcher.

Astoria lost a squeaker to Hermiston 4-3 in 10 innings in the opening contest of the tournament. Leonard reached base five times in the marathon, smacking a single and a double. Smith was 3-5 and had a diving catch as left fielder.

Against Harney-Grant County, Smith was 2-3 at the plate and threw out two would-be base stealers in an 8-3 victory. Leonard made a run-saving catch in the outfield and pitched in the contest.

The Astoria all-stars were eliminated when Reynolds shut them out 4-0. Smith hit .500 for the season, and Leonard was right behind him with a sparkling .475 average going into state competition.

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