It was the boys’ turn this week as several Blanding and Monticello teams participated in various state baseball tournaments.
The Monticello Dodgers, coached by Kraig Black, played their way to a fine third place finish in the Pinto League tournament in Spanish Fork, going 5-1, including a 10-0 win over the Provo Red Sox in the third place game.
Some coach-speak from Coach Black: “After the boys got their first game jitters out of the way (a 5-4 win) they played really well (victories of 11-7, 13-4, 16-3 and 9-3 loss to the eventually champs from Spanish Fork).
“We were led by solid pitching from Makade Maloy, Drew Baird and Sheldon Black, with a couple of good innings from Hunter Helquist and Nolan Freestone. Our guys played great fundamental baseball, with great defensive plays that included several double plays, great catches, throws and hustle.
“After our fourth game, another team’s coach commented that we have a very disciplined team and that most boys don’t put in that kind of effort after two days of playing ball in the hot sun.
“Even more impressive was our hitting. Everyone had some good hits, with the highlight being home runs by Nolan Freestone and Drew Baird. Several guys hit the fence, including Makade Maloy, Hunter Helquist, and Dustin Christensen.
“We faced some very good pitchers and our guys hit the best they have hit all year. The Yankees pitcher was one of the two best pitchers we faced and our guys lit him up for 11 runs in the first inning and two runs in the second before they pulled him.
“His coach and dad gave congrats and big compliments to our boys, stating, ‘Very few teams have scored a run on this pitcher this entire year’ and ‘that was very impressive what your boys just did…congrats.’
“These guys truly entertained our crowd and all spectators with some great baseball. It was a great group of boys to coach.”
Also from Monticello, the Red Sox played well in the Pony League tournament, but didn’t place.
After coming flat in their first game and losing, Coach RT Nielson’s boys 10-runned two teams to advance to the single elimination tournament, where they lost a tight game in the last inning after taking an 8-4 lead.
“We just needed some more depth in our pitching,” said Nielson.
Nielson cited the hitting and pitching of the Austins – Maloy and Wilcox – several fine catches in the outfield by Rocqe DeAnda, a couple of thrown out base runners by catcher Hunter Bowring, and some fine hitting, especially in the last game by Jake Giles.
More coach-speak from Blanding Dodgers Pony League coach, Ron Kirk: “Only nine players made the trip to the UBBA State Pony League Tourney in Payson… which really helped when it came to enough playing time for each game.
“Using a committee of pitchers, the Dodgers beat Payson 5-0 and Provo 13-8,” entering themselves in the single eliminations championship tournament.
“Balancing pitching in a multi-game three day tournament is a challenge,” states Kirk, “because of inning limitations.”
Much like the Red Sox, the Dodgers had a 10-3 lead before losing to Spanish Fork 12-11.
Kirk here: “Winning pitchers were Logan Meyer and Tyson Kirk, with other pitchers Jens Grover, Brett Laws, Antonio Cly and Barkley Christensen. Hitting was fabulous, with every team member contributing.
“In fact, tournament officials commented on how well the Dodgers hit the Utah Valley pitchers.
“Braden Giddings, Grover, and Cly all had multiple RBI hits. Shawn Hatathle and Mason Shumway played great defense and each had great hits to drive in runs.
“Kirk, Christensen, Laws and Meyer had multiple hits and runs scored for a great end to a great year. Kirk had a 3-run homerun against Provo that ignited a comeback rally. Another exciting and fun year!”
The great golf legend Byron Nielson once said, “I was incurably infected with golf. Perhaps more than any other sport, golf remains a game of etiquette and sportsmanship.”
With that in mind, it would be a great idea to bring your youngsters to the Hideout Golf Course on July 28 and 29 for a Junior Golf Clinic. The instructor will be the golf professional from the Moab Golf Club, Robert Jones, (related to Bobby?).
The clinic is for golfers 7-17 and costs $20 per child. After the second day of the clinic, some fun golf activities will be enjoyed. Sign up at the pro shop or call 435-587-2200.
Said Nielson, “Golf is played in a healthy environment. I don’t know of many kids – who play a lot of golf – who get in much trouble.” See you there!
Looking for a way this Saturday morning to work off those delectable dutch oven potatoes you’re going to overindulge on Friday night while commemorating the annual Pioneer Day celebration in Monticello? Here’s a great way to do just that.
The 117th annual Blue Mountain Pioneer Day Family 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning at Loyd’s Lake.
Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. with age group prizes and a prize raffle afterwards. A one-mile Kid’s Race begins at 8:15 a.m.
Or if you had two or more heaping helpings of those potatoes, perhaps you might want to try the annual Hillman Triathlon in Blanding Saturday morning. The race begins at 8 a.m. For more info on the Hillman, go to www.hillmantriathlon.info.
Enjoy Pioneer Day!