Post Falls Little League falls short

Team loses to Gresham, Ore. in quest to play in Williamsport, Pa.

Post Falls Little League fans cheer for Post Falls as they play against Oregon in the Little League Baseball Northwestern Regional Tournament championship game at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif., Saturday.

POST FALLS - That team from little old Post Falls almost made some big noise on a national stage.

Unfortunately, their run toward a berth in the Little League World Series fell one game short, losing 8-4 to Gresham, Ore., on Saturday afternoon in San Bernardino, Calif.

Dave Brubaker, who has been a sponsor of the Post Falls Little League team, held a viewing party on Saturday at the Pit Stop Tavern in Post Falls, which he owns with his wife, Cindy.

"Just the fact that little old Post Falls, with a population of 28,000 has made it to San Bernardino," Brubaker said. "And the fact they've made it that far."

Brubaker has been a sponsor of the Post Falls Little League for more than 14 years.

"It was just nice to see them get that far," Brubaker said. "They've got a great team. With good pitching and really good defense. Their offense has been really good. We just wanted to get together and support little old Post Falls."

After falling behind 8-1 to Gresham, Ore., Post Falls rallied with three runs in the fifth inning, but couldn't come all the way back.

"We're really proud of them," Brubaker said. "Hopefully they can stay together with the nucleus they have - and in three or four years, maybe we'll see a state (high school) baseball championship from this."

The last team from Idaho to compete in Williamsport, Pa., was a team from Boise in 1999, which finished 1-2 in pool play. Coeur d'Alene sent two teams to regionals in 2001 and 2002, but neither advanced to the championship game.

"I thought they played really well," Terry Kozier said. "I wish their pitching was a little better today, but they did awesome. They've done an awesome job this season."

Kozier coached Post Falls catcher Nate Buer earlier this year.

"I wish they would have went a little further," Kozier said. "But it was a tough game. We didn't get many hits and Oregon just put the ball in better spots, hit it a little farther and played a better game today."

Post Falls beat Billings, Mont., in a semifinal 3-2 on Thursday in another nationally televised game on ESPN2.

"Hopefully our support is getting stronger," Brubaker said. "We're hoping to develop some more community support to that in Coeur d'Alene."

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