“This has been a terrific experience for these kids,” said the All-Stars' skipper. “We saw so many good pitchers and good hitters that I think it opened a lot of these kids' eyes. It has made them realize that there's this whole …
Team loses last two at Pacific Northwest eventThe Powell Babe Ruth All-Stars may have been out-manned and out-gunned during their Pacific Northwest regional appearance in Washington, but head coach Pudge Fagan has no regrets about the experience.
“This has been a terrific experience for these kids,” said the All-Stars' skipper. “We saw so many good pitchers and good hitters that I think it opened a lot of these kids' eyes. It has made them realize that there's this whole other level that they can take their game to and that they need to work to try and reach.”
The All-Stars dropped their final two games in pool play. The team fell 15-4 to host Centralia, Wash., on Wednesday. After a day off, the team returned to action, dropping its final tournament game 10-0 to South Coast, Ore.
In the Centralia game, Powell scored its runs in the first and third innings. Cooper Wise opened the first with a walk and reached third on a double off the bat of Olie Olsen. Seth Gilmore followed with an RBI single and Frankie Vogt delivered a sacrifice fly to score Powell's second run.
That same battery accounted for the scoring in the third as Olsen led off with a single and moved to third on a Gilmore double. Vogt delivered his second sac-fly RBI of the ball game and Justin Lynn delivered an RBI single to account for Powell's final run.
“A lot of our games followed the same pattern out here,” said Fagan. “We didn't give up a lot of runs early, but in those fourth, fifth and sixth innings it seemed like we'd have one bad inning and never recovered.”
The entire week seemed at times to be an uphill battle for the Wyoming representatives, who finished without a victory at the regional tournament.
“We were definitely outgunned,” said Fagan. “I think if you check the birth certificates, we were probably the only team that had 14-year-olds on the roster there.”
The All-Stars were also competing against teams made up of a collection of talent from multiple communities.
“You look at a team like Calgary, that can draw from 1.2 million people to find its roster, or some of these teams that are five, six or seven communities all pooling players together and it is tough for us to compete against that,” acknowledged Fagan. “But I'm proud of the way we do things in Wyoming. I'm proud that we can come from a community of 4,500 and that we're here as teammates. I think the way we do it is the right way.”
“It just makes it very hard when you get to this level to compete for that spot in the World Series,” Fagan noted.
While the dream of a spot in the Babe Ruth World Series is over, Fagan hopes the week spent in Washington has created some new dreams for the members of the All-Stars.
“There's no doubt this got a few kids hungry,” said Fagan. “They saw the pitching and hitting and want to be at that level, and that's good for both the Babe Ruth program and the Legion team. This was a great experience and our 14-year-olds are going to be so much better next year because of it.”
The team also had the opportunity to experience a bit of the west coast during its off day. Some team members spent the time getting their first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean while others went east to visit famed Washington landmark Mount Rainier. The team also attended a Seattle Mariners game against the Tampa Bay Rays together.