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July 05, 2013 9:14 am

Diamondbacks win Powell Minors, fall in tournament

Written by Dante Geoffrey

Pitching depth carried the Powell Diamondbacks all the way to the championship game but the lack of a true ace cost them in the winner-take-all match against the Lovell Dodgers in Little League Minors play.

The Diamondbacks lost 10-2 June 27 to complete a successful 2013 campaign in which they went 15-3 overall and 2-1 in the postseason tournament.

Head coach Cory Ostermiller said his team ran into a dominant “fireballer” in the season’s final game, but he thinks the Diamondbacks could have won a three- or five-game series against Lovell.

The Diamondbacks beat two other Lovell teams on their way to the championship. They took care of the Tigers 15-4 June 25 in the playoffs’ first round before doing away with the Lovell Red Sox 6-2 in the semifinals June 26.

Last season, the Diamondbacks’ first in existence, Ostermiller drafted with the future in mind and chose a lot of 9-year-old players.

“We were a pretty experienced bunch going into this season,” he said.

His players were versatile, as well.

“We had 11 kids on our roster and nine of them could pitch, which, in the Minors, is kind of unheard of,” Ostermiller said. “We had a full arsenal of arms to choose from, which is nice.”

The Diamondbacks’ roster was Kolt Flores, Toran Graham, Traci Ann Gutierrez, Mathew Hobbs, Aidan Kister, Landon Lengfelder, Jaden Marchant, Mason Marchant, Kobe Ostermiller, Dylan Preator and Jaeden Winters. Cory Ostermiller was assisted by Mike Hobbs.

Five Diamondbacks — Langfelder, Jaden and Mason Marchant, Kobe Ostermiller and Preator — were named to Powell’s Minors Division All-Star team, the most players to be selected from any one team.

The Diamondbacks finished atop Powell’s league, ahead of the second place Red Sox (9-5-1), the Orioles (2-14) and Powell Dodgers (record).

The Red Sox, coached by Scott Schiller, were the only team other than the Diamondbacks to have a winning record in Powell’s league.

Schiller said a dramatic 11-10 come-from-behind victory against the Lovell Philles in the first round of the playoffs highlighted the Red Sox’s season.

The Red Sox’s players were Jace Bohlman, Royal Bradford, Jake Edgar, Brailey Gann, Gabe Lang, Joe Ooten, Josh Ooten, Keaton Rowton, Riley Schiller, Yogi Sullivan and Sam Whitlock. Bradford, Gann, Joe Ooten and Whitlock were selected to the all-star team.

Though their record might not show it, the Orioles could be a team on the rise.

“I was really proud of the kids, especially (over) our last five games,” said head coach Kane Morris.

With a roster compiled mostly of 9-year-olds, the Orioles gave the Lovell Red Sox a run for their money in the playoffs but lost 7-5 June 25 in the opening round.

The Orioles’ roster was Reece Bauer, Sam Bauer, Noah Blough, Sam Blough, Jaxton Braten, Cael Dutson, Lane Franks, Caleb Kaiser, Averee Johnson, Garrett Morris, Kaden Salas, Landon Sessions and Brandon Wentz.

Sam Bauer, Noah Blough and Sessions will represent the Orioles on Powell’s All-Star Team.

The Powell Dodgers went 1-10-3, but almost upset the eventual champion Lovell Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs June 25. Powell’s Dodgers led their Lovell counterparts 5-3 after three innings before losing 9-5.

The Dodgers’ roster was Riley Bennett, Alex Flores, Wyatt Gifford, Jacob Heib, Wyatt Herd, Dalton Nelson, Zach Ratcliff, Colton Rathe, Yared Robirds, Ethan Wardell, Kyler Warren, Jay Washington.

Bennett and Wardell were selected to the all-star game.

The Powell All-Stars will be coached by Cory Ostermiller and Chad Ooten.

Ostermiller said Powell will trot out a team with both a deep lineup and pitching staff.

“We’ve got some kids that can handle the bat real well,” he said. “We’ve got a couple kids that have shown some decent power and we’ve got some good speed on the top of our lineup.”

Ostermiller said the all-stars have been working hard and maintained a good attitude, even through tough morning practices in the heat.

With the majority of all-star players used to playing catcher, middle-infield, or pitcher, Ostermiller will have to find out how to best place his team in the field.

“A lot of them are playing positions they’re not accustomed to playing,” Ostermiller said.

The coach is relying on this weekend’s Twin Cities Tournament in Cody (Majors will be held in Powell) to help him understand his team before district play begins the following week.

“It will hopefully give us an idea where we’re at,” Ostermiller said. “I’m trying to figure out some of these kids from other (Powell Little League) teams.”

Ostermiller knows the Powell All-Stars will run into other very strong teams, but said his kids will be able to hold their own.

“Powell already has a good reputation on the ballfield,” he said. “I just hope to continue that.”

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