The Meridian squad won the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament on Saturday, defeating Willamette Valley 6-3 in the championship game. It is the third straight year a U-12 team from Meridian will compete in the Cal Ripken World Series, and will be the second World Series appearance for this team, which competed in the U-10 Cal Ripken World Series in Ocala, Fla., in 2013. Meridian placed fifth out of 12 teams that year, according to coach Scott Whiles, who has been coaching this core group since they were 9-year-olds. This time around, the team will be headed to Aberdeen, Md., to compete with nine other teams from the United States and eight international teams from July 24 to Aug. 1. “We’re going obviously to experience it, but we’re going to compete too,” Whiles said. Meridian went undefeated in group play in Eugene, defeating South Oregon 8-0, East Boise 6-3, and Olympia, Wash., 2-1 (11 innings). Meridian beat South Oregon again 11-1 in the semifinals.
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