by Scott Boyle
“Did you see that change-up I threw?” inquired the pitcher.
“Yes, but I didn’t call it,” deadpanned the manager.
Nope, I’m not quoting Major League baseball, but youth baseball right here in San Juan County, where we take our baseball seriously; fun but serious.
Several Pinto League teams, plus a Mustang All Star team, gathered in Blanding on Friday and Saturday for the annual Blanding 4th of July Pinto Baseball Tournament.
This year’s version sported a new winner, the Monticello Dodgers coached by Steve Draper. The Dodgers went 4-0, thanks to some strong pitching by Austin Wilcox, Shane Christensen, and Dillon Maughan, and stellar defensive play, including some outstanding plays such as several leaping catches by Wilcox and a double play by Chandler Draper.
The Dodger defense allowed only six runs in four games, while recording two shutouts. With a 14-0 victory over the Blanding Dodgers, the Dodgers started their run to the title on Friday.
They added a victory over the Mustang All-Stars to set up a rematch with the Monticello Red Sox, who have triumphed over the Dodgers twice this season in league play, both in one run affairs.
Another nail biter came out in the Dodgers favor this time, leaving them victorious, 5-4 over the Red Sox.
In the final, the Dodger shut out the Blanding Giants of Lyle Nielson, 7-0 to grab the biggest trophy.
“Our play was phenomenal,” marveled Dodger coach Steve Draper. “We played solid baseball all weekend.”
Other team members are Sheldon Lewis, Sheldon Black, Curtis Baird, Isaiah Weatherford, Hunter Helquist, Dakota Aikens, Dustin Christensen, Dallin Shumway, Justice Beh, Matt Freestone, and Jed McArthur.
In the Pinto league, the Red Sox still lead the league with an unblemished 6-0 record.
Last Thursday, the Deseret News ran a story about the Ragnar Relay and included a photo of Lynda Boyle and Suzanne Duke of the “I Thought We Were Running To Cold Stone” team from Monticello.
Go to http://deseretnews.com/photo/slideshow/1,5587,5078,00.html?linkTrack=rotator-cvr-6055 and you’ll get a little bit of the flavor of the race.
Lynda and Suzanne are in the slide show with about 20 seconds remaining and are caught at the instant they were whimpering, “I want my mommy,” or “We did it!” I can’t tell for sure.
It’s summer time so that means... basketball? Yep, and Monticello and Blanding boys spent a productive four days in Grand Junction last week at the Mesa State basketball camp.
Ryan Nielson and his Blanding boys came out on top in every game they played to post a 10-0 record, including an overtime victory over Rhett Maughan’s Monticello boys.
Nielson’s team hoped to play at the 4A-5A level, which they were able to do by going 6-0 in pool play. Then in the 4A-5A four team mini-tournament, the Bronco boys triumphed in both games to capture their bracket.
Nielson, along with assistant Jason Torgerson, also coached two other teams, a jv-sophomore team and an eighth grade team that played in the ninth grade division, winning four games against the older fellers. Three teams, and 21 kids, participated in the popular annual camp.
Rhett Maughan of Monticello also took a large contingent to the camp, with his varsity boys posting a 7-3 record, including winning their four team bracket. The JV team mirrored Blanding’s varsity record, going 10-0 in the tournament, including a victory over San Juan.
The Hideout Golf Course staff is nearly at full strength now, with the arrival of new superintendent Tom Cook. Cook, who comes from Illinois, is adjusting to the lower humidity in the west which requires more water than the humid and rainy east, according to Terry Eardley, director of golf at the Hideout. Eardley also reports that golf is increasing at the Hideout, as the course grows into playing shape.
Forty two teams recently competed in the Arch and Horsehead Two Man Tournament and play is up to highest levels ever. As of June 30, 2,991 rounds had been played in June 2008, the most ever for the month and significantly higher than the four-year June average of 2,425.
Revenue is up significantly, with an all time June high of $42,162, higher than the four year June average of $32,637. On the year, 5,852 rounds have been played at the Hideout, including the piddlely three I have played this year.
On July 12, the men’s league is sponsoring a Volunteer Work Party and Tournament beginning at 9 or 10 a.m. Particpants will first play a nine hole tourney, followed by lunch and a work day around the clubhouse.