Charleston repeats as state Senior Babe Ruth baseball tournament champion

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Charleston used the hard road to repeat as Missouri Senior Babe Ruth state champion.

The host Fighting Squirrels dropped their second tournament game but battled back to post six straight wins in the nine-team, double-elimination event at Hillhouse Park.

Charleston capped its impressive run Wednesday night by beating Poplar Bluff twice, 11-5 and 9-0. The Thunder (36-6) had emerged from the winners bracket as the only squad without a tournament loss.

The Squirrels (28-23), who went 7-1 in the tournament, received major contributions from two local high school players Wednesday.

Poplar Bluff scored four runs in the first inning of the opening game before Charleston rallied.

Ryan Fortner, who will be a senior at Scott City High School, homered to lead off the bottom of the third inning to break a 4-4 tie and put the Squirrels ahead for good.

Fortner's RBI ground out in the first inning of the if-necessary championship contest gave Charleston a quick 1-0 lead. The Squirrels broke open things with eight runs in the fifth inning.

Ryan Moses, a 2012 Advance High School graduate, was the winning pitcher.

A third local player on the Charleston roster is pitcher Zac Chasteen, a 2011 Oran High School graduate.

Charleston qualified for next week's Midwest Plains Regional in Montrose, Colo.

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