North Idaho American Legion: Jays grounded for season

The Trail AAA Jays went down swinging on the weekend as they finished off a difficult summer dropping their final two games of the season.

The Trail AAA Jays went down swinging on the weekend as they finished off a difficult summer dropping their final two games of the season at the North Idaho American Legion district tournament at McEuen Field in Coeur d’Alene on the weekend.

The fourth-seeded Jays met top-seed Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen in the opening match Friday and the loggers didn’t waste anytime in pounding a young Jays team 16-2, in seven innings.

The Prairie Cardinals out of Post Falls came back to beat Lewis-Clark Twins 8-6 in 11 innings,   so the Jays next faced the Twins in a loser-goes-home match.

The inexperienced Jays have struggled on defence all year, and it would plague them again, as Lewis-Clark prevailed by a score of 14-4.

If anything, the Jays will look forward to next year. Coaches Nick and Chris Combo fielded one of the youngest Jays teams in recent history with not one 19-year-old on the team. Their youth and inexperience may have hurt them this year, but it surely bodes well for the future.

The Lumbermen played the Prairie Cardinals in the final and after taking a 6-1 lead would hold on for a 7-5 victory. The top two seeds automatically qualify for the State championship, but this year, because Lewiston is hosting it, all three will compete, with only Trail on the outside looking in.

NIAL notes: The tournament marks the last Legion games to be played at McEuen Field. The veteran diamond has been home to the Lumbermen since 1967 and is set for demolish.

“Farewell to McEuen Field,” P.A. announcer Jim Benson said following the game. “She’s been a wonderful home.”

Coeur d’Alene is slated to move to a new home at Ramsey Park near the Kroc Center for the start of next season.

“It was a little tough today,” Coeur d’Alene coach Lloyd Duman told the CdA Press.

“When you think of all the people that were walking around talking about the memories they have, it was tough. To not have any more is going to be a really tough thing.”