15U Babe Ruth League World Series

Jack Morrill

BISMARCK, N.D — The Interstate 90 corridor back and forth to the Columbia Basin became an all too familiar drive for the Morrill family this summer. But the extra effort paid off and now the regular trip across the Columbia River has led all the way to Bismarck, N.D.

The Columbia Basin River Dogs U15 team became just the third Basin team since 1978 to qualify for the 13-15-year old Babe Ruth World Series and Ellensburg catcher Jack Morrill will play on the big stage when the River Dogs face host Bismarck tonight in the 8 o’clock game to open the World Series.

“I made a commitment (to the Columbia Basin program) this summer, so to be on a team that’s playing for the national championship is pretty amazing,” said Morrill, who was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases in the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament semifinal game in Camas. “Getting to the World Series is a great experience. Everybody is coming into this tournament as a regional champion.

“Everybody’s good, it’s definitely a step up from regionals. At this level it’s about mentality and working as a team.”

The River Dogs defeated Camas/Washougal 5-4 in the Pacific Northwest regional title game to punch its ticket to the World Series. The 10-team U15 World Series field is a national showcase of up-and-coming baseball talent.

Last year’s third-place team from Albany, Minn., is back. Defending champion Tallahassee-Leon, Fla., failed to make it out of the Southeast Region tournament this year, falling in pool play. Mifflin County, Pa., the 2018 runner-up, didn’t make it to the Middle Atlantic Region tournament this time around. Mifflin County lost in the state championship game. So this is a wide open tournament, and the River Dogs are gearing toward winning the first national championship in U15 Columbia Basin history.

“Coming from Ellensburg where baseball is such a big thing, it important to represent well,” said Morrill, who goes into the tournament hitting .424. “We just need to play together and take care of all the little things and we’ll be fine.”

Two five-team pools will compete in round-robin play with the top three teams advancing to the bracket. Two quarterfinals are scheduled for Tuesday, with the No. 1 team from each pool drawing a bye.

For live streaming or results visit https://www.bisparks.org/2019-babe-ruth-league-13-15-year-old-world-series.

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