Cal Ripkin all stars return from California bringing home second
For the third year in a row Price has a young bunch of men who have worked extremely hard, and faced some very challenging competition. But through it all, filled with passion they stepped up to the plate and accomplished some amazing feats. For the second straight year they won the state championship to advance to the Southwest Pacific Division Championship outside of Fresno CA. It is a finish that hundreds of teams in the western United States would be envious of.
This team of 11 and 12 year olds had to prepare themselves mentally and physically to travel to stiff California competition. Not only were they working hard to get themselves ready to play and perform to the best of their abilities, but they also had the responsibility of raising the funds necessary to pay for the trip to Fresno. And a great thanks from the team goes out to the community who helped them raise money for all twelve families on the baseball experience of a lifetime.
"We would like to extend appreciation to the community for all of those businesses and individuals who came forward and so willingly opened their wallets to make this possible for our team. We are so proud to live in a community that is so selfless in their efforts to support us," read the teams official statement.
The team was filled with excitement to hear that the team that defeated them last year (Visalia, CA) would once again be competing for the division title. Other teams that qualified were Somerton AZ, Fremont CA, Bullard CA, Juab UT, and Guam.
The opportunity to play Guam was the most exciting part of the whole tournament for the players and coaches, because they didn't know what to expect.
To the Carbon team they looked like giants. And while this looked like a David and Goliath struggle, in the end both teams were simply glad to have the opportunity to compete.
The first game was a tough fought battle, but Carbon was the better team in all aspects. In one inning a few errors allowed them to score five runs. However, that was enough for a defeat 5-4.
Following the game discussion took place about the bad situation with heart breaking elimination being just one game away.
The next challenge was against the home team, the Easton/Caruthers. This game was a completely different story, as the team had worked out their jitters and their bats became alight with fire. An amazing 20 runs were scored and the Caruthers were shut out in four innings.
Guam would truly be a measure of the depth and strength for the Carbon team. The three and a half hour game was in burning 100 degree heat and by the end of the sixth the score was tied at six. Guam ended up throwing five different pitchers to try and keep the Carbon hitters off balance but regardless 12 runs were put in to pull off an amazing victory. Cole Fossat, Brayson Hurdsman, and Kayden Lewis shared the pitching chores over Guam. Austin Salazar hit an amazing three homers to lead the offense. It was the "never give up" hitting style of this Carbon team that won it.
Next, playing in another long, hot game against Fremont, CA. Hitting was too numerous to mention. Putting up 19 runs to their 10 in another great game that ended shortly before midnight. Pitching responsibilities went to Jarod Lessar, Lewis, and Wyatt Thayn.
The next team, Bullard, had beat Carbon to start out the tournament.
This game proved to be no less intense than the previous meeting between the two. Once again Carbon found themselves at the end of regulation play with a tied score four to four. Being the home team the momentum was turning Carbon's way, the fans were on the edge of their seats.
Beginning the eighth inning, with a lead batter hit in the head by a fast ball, things were once again looking bad. But Salazar advanced to third by a scorcher hit by Thayn. Now with runners on first and third, Kasey Moynier drilled a line drive over the right fielders head to score the winning run to end the game 5-4.
Finally Carbon was in the championship game.
Again the passion and will to win came through winning the game against Visalia. It ws a battle just as tough as many of the others. It was a pitcher's dual with Carbon dishing 13 strike outs, and Visalia giving up eight. Carbon's pitchers for this game were Thayn and Lewis.
In the sixth they scored when Thayn was hit by a pitch. Steven Zamatakis earned a walk. Alex Ruiz reached base and then scored on a hit by Dillon Lowe. That is where the game ended as Carbon was unable to continue with the momentum. Final was a 4-3 loss in another hard fought battle by a team that never knew the meaning of the word quit.
Kayden Lewis, Cole Fossat and Austin Salazar were names to the All-Tournament team. Salazar was also named tournament MVP.
As manager of the Carbon All star team, I could not be more proud of this bunch of young men than I am. Not only are they great athletes, but they are great young men. As coaches we had many individuals approach us while in California and also during the state tournament in West Valley and compliment not only the quality of them as athletes but as quality young men. That makes me just as proud as the accomplishments that they achieved on the ball diamond.