Baseball: American Legion Orioles open at Butler Park

The single-A and double-A Trail Orioles baseball teams will make their 2014 season debuts at Butler Park this weekend.

The single-A and double-A Trail Orioles baseball teams will make their 2014 season debuts at Butler Park this weekend.

Both teams will once again compete in the Washington State American Legion Baseball League out of Spokane.

On Friday, the Trail ‘A’ Orioles will host Chewelah in a doubleheader  while the ‘AA’ Orioles  will play a pair of back-to-back games against Cheney on Saturday and East Valley Sunday

The single A Orioles opened its season in Chewelah last weekend after going 1-3 in four exhibition matches. While they dropped both games 10-2 and 7-4, Oriole coach Darren Miracle is confident that the team will rebound.

“We have a young team and kids that are new to this type of system, but you know what we played quite well.”

In four exhibition matches the Orioles three losses came in close matches losing by only three runs in two of the tilts and four in another, before rolling to a 14-1 victory in Deer Park.

Numbers were again a challenge this season as both teams struggled to fill their rosters, but in the end Miracle is happy with the dedication showed by the 13-to 16-year-old players who came to play.

“It’s going to be a learning curve for a lot of kids this year but we’ve got a lot of keeners that want to play ball and they’re excited to play.”

The A-Orioles start is eerily reminiscent of last year’s 0-6 opening, but then the team reeled off 10 wins to finish second and earn a spot in the A Washington State District championship.

“All we’re basically looking at is for the kids to improve and enjoy themselves,” said Miracle. “The kids are working really hard and trying their best. As long as they work hard and have good attitudes, good things will come of it . . . We’re going to have a lot of fun. Last year we started off pretty rough too, we were 0-6, so we’re hoping for the same.”

The team will play 22 games this season in addition to the Wood Bat Tournament in Spokane in July.

The AA Orioles notched their first win in the opening match 5-4 to Lakeside, but then lost their following three games to Lakeside and Freeman to fall to 1-3 in AA WSALB.

The former West Kootenay Diamondbacks was a force in the league last season, going 18-2 and finishing in top spot in in Federal division standings to advance to the District championship.

The AA Orioles will look to the cozy confines of their home turf, Butler Park, to get them back in the win column as they take on Cheney and East Valley Saturday and Sunday with games going at 2 and 4 p.m. on both days.

The single A Orioles meanwhile will face Chewelah on Friday at Butler Park at 5 and 7 p.m.

Also the A.M. Ford Trail Orioles play in Vernon this weekend with a doubleheader against the Kelowna Jays.

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