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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Anthony Varriano photo

Glendive All-Star teams ready for weekend play

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

The Glendive 10- and 15-years-and-under All-Star teams will head to their respective state tournaments this week, playing through the weekend.

The 10U team went 2-3 in Lewistown two weeks ago, good for a third-place finish in the tournament. It gave head coach Zach Wahl a good look at his team in live game action.

“Our pitching and hitting are pretty good right now. Defense is getting better everyday we practice,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good all-around team.”

Wahl is assisted by Kyle Berry and Ron Crockett, and said out of 11 players, five will probably pitch, with Crockett’s son, Chase, and Wahl’s son, Teagan, getting most of the innings on the mound come state tournament time.

Joining Crockett and Wahl on the 10U All-Star team is Carter Amsler, Quinn Hoffer, Aiden Zody, Kason Berry, Kohbe Smith, Ethan Cross, Hunter Moos, Shann McPherson and Tristan Jarvis.

The Glendive 10U All-Stars will play its state tournament in Glasgow starting Thursday and running through the weekend. 

The 15U All-Stars are just an hour away in Miles City, but managed to pull the first game of pool play against Havre at 8 a.m. on Thursday.

“I don’t know how the hosts end up playing at 10:30 a.m. and not the early game, but there’s nothing we can do about it,” head coach Blayne Hellman said. 

The Glendive 15U All-Stars will finish up pool play at 1 p.m. against Glacier. Tournament play starts Friday.

“Depending on how we do in pool play, we’ll hopefully move onto the tournament on Friday,” Hellman said.

The 15U All-Star team consists of center fielder Cash Laken, second baseman Clay Mattern, shortstop Kade Hellman, first baseman and pitcher Keegan Mires, pitcher and shortstop Kobe Begger, left fielder Jacob Marley, right fielder Jacoby Mattern, catcher Dalton Nicholson, third baseman Sloan McPherson and reserves Avery Holley and Ephram Yohan.

The 15U team played six pretty good innings against the Scobey Blues on Friday during the Culli Memorial Tournament in Glendive. Down 3-1 in the top of the third, starting pitcher Kobe Begger got a little help from his catcher Dalton Nicholson to get out of a jam. Nicholson blocked a few balls in the dirt until Begger got two strikeouts to end the Blues’ threat.

Hellman dropped a bloop single behind the Blues’ second baseman to move a runner into scoring position, and Mires followed with a solid single down the first baseline to load the bases with none out and Beggar batting. Beggar smacked a hot shot that ate up Scobey’s shortstop to tie it 3-3. 

An error allowed the go-ahead run to score, and another error made it 5-3 Glendive after three.

Mires, a lefty who hides the ball well, replaced Beggar on the mound in the fourth. He got a strikeout with a runner on second and nearly chased down a foul ball for the second out, but the ball dropped, and Scobey picked up a run on a seeing-eye single through the hole on the left side to make it 6-4. 

Mires again limited the damage in the fifth, picking off a leadoff walk at first and striking out another, but an error allowed the Blues to pull within one.

The seventh inning was a nightmare for Glendive, as Scobey scored 11 runs to pull ahead. The 15U All-Stars hung around in a game against the Glendive Legion B team, falling 8-5 on Saturday.

“We kind of melted down,” coach Hellman said. “The boys played really well … I guess everybody hit t he ball well here this weekend. We’ve got to clean up a few things. The boys have only been playing together for two weeks as a team. We have a few things communication-wise we gotta clean up a little bit, but otherwise I’d say we’re ready.”

The Glendive 15U team will leave for Miles City early Thursday and would appreciate some friendly fans in the stands.

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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