John-Henry Line highlighted the Hermiston Little League Baseball Skills Challenge on Friday evening with some titantic home runs to claim the home run derby championship.

Line, who played for the Athletics in the Majors division this year, saved his best for last in the head-to-head finals with the Cubs’ Logan Wilson. Line belted five dingers to win the title after barely qualifying for the finals with a pair of homers in the preliminary round.

The Cubs had another player in the finals, Griffen Mattson, and the Cardinals were represented by Lukas Tolan.

In other events at the Challenge, the Giants’ Clayton Harris won the bunting competition with a score of nine points. The scoring was based upon where the hitter placed five bunt attempts with the most possible points being directly down each baseline, then becoming less toward the middle of the field.

The Cardinals’ Ty Knutz won the defense competition, which combined catching fly balls in center field, then throwing the ball to a target at home plate to accumulate points. He was the only competitor to throw the ball into an empty bucket placed on home plate.

The base running relay competition was won by the Giants’ quartet of Darion Ozuna, Will Sharkey, AJ Tuia and Ethan Buirch. Each runner sprinted one time around all the bases, and the Giants did it in 52.2 seconds, just .60 seconds ahead of the second-place Yankees.

In the team race, the Cardinals were the champions with 37 points. The Giants placed second with 31 and the Athletics jumped up to third with 24 behind Line’s strong performance in the home run derby.


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