PAL hosts mini state tournament
The Price American Legion Team hosted their first tournament on Friday July 19, as a legion team. They lost to Vernal 10-3. Earlier in the week they played Helper in Price and lost 12-15 in a game shortened by darkness.
Zach Rodreguez took the mound against Vernal in the tournament and went seven innings for his team. Price left six runners stranded and committed 10 errors behind Rodreguez in the loss.
Tyson Dameron had two of the three RBI's on the night for Price. Max Misner had the other RBI on the night. Price did not have a single extra base hit in the game, every hit was a single. Since the tournament was single elimination, Price took a quick seat and watched Cedar take the marbles and the tournament title.
Against Helper, Price took the early lead and were quickly up by four runs. Helper came back and seesawed in front by the score of 8-4. Price came back and tied it up before Helper took a 15-12 lead into the sixth.
Johnathann Garcia came within a hair of hitting his first grand slam but Helper's Ron Herrera pulled it back in with a great catch off the top of the fence. It was a bit of a disappointment for the players to call the game, but with the state tournament looming for Helper, neither coach wanted to risk injuries.
Coach Ellington is a bit frustrated about the way his season may be over. He is happy about the wins and even the losses, but the rest of the schedule has been canceled due to other teams preparing for post season play and dealing with injuries. He is still in negotiations with a few independent teams to add a game or two in August. If those are scheduled a revised schedule will be published.
Mostly Ellington feels like he accomplished some of what he wanted, "Baseball is just a tool to bring structure in the lives of some of these kids. I had the chance to talk with them about their choice in clothing and their attitudes. We talked about jobs and girls and stuff. For many of these boys, getting a second chance by making the team changed them a bit. I saw them walk a bit taller and take some pride in themselves."
Ellington also wanted to congratulate the 14 and 11 year old all-star teams headed to California. "We have so much talent coming up that we have room for both legion teams. There is plenty of talent and we need to make sure they all continue to have opportunities to play."
Ellington and his team are looking forward to next season. They have decided for now that they like the freedom that comes with staying an independent team and are not looking to join with Salt Lake Valley any time soon. Price has a good list of teams willing to travel down to play them next season.
"It will be a better schedule and if our kids stick with it we should really begin to gel next season," Ellington summed up.