Wood Bat Classic: AA Orioles come up short

The Trail AA Orioles played some exciting baseball at the Spokane American Legion Wood Bat Classic over the Independence Day weekend.

The Trail AA Orioles played some exciting baseball but failed to advance, going 1-4 at the Spokane American Legion Wood Bat Classic over the Independence Day weekend.

Almost 100 teams in three divisions from Canada and the United States played over 400 games at the annual Fourth of July weekend tournament in baseball parks around Spokane, Wash. and Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

The competition was as fierce as it was hot, as the U-17 AA Orioles dropped their opening match on Thursday 3-0 against Juanita out of Kirkland, Wash. before getting edged out by the Bitterroot Bucs from Montana in a close 5-4 match.

“We were in every game, it’s just that we didn’t make a timely hit, and we didn’t make a timely play here and there,” said hitting coach Kyle Mace. “But we easily could have been 4-0.”

The Orioles dropped a 9-4 decision to the Wildcats in their next match and would go down to Les Johnson Battlecats 8-7 on Friday to finish out of contention.

The Bucs and Juanita would go on to finish with identical 3-1 records ending up in a three-way tie for first with the Mt. Spokane Wildcats in their division.

“The other teams were getting the bounces, and we made a couple of costly errors and then in two games we left the bases loaded three times and no runs, so that will kill you,” said Mace.

In consolation play on Saturday, the Orioles found their bats and took out their frustration on Eagle, Idaho with a 10-2 thrashing.

Juanita would earn the number one seed and play East Valley on Saturday, however, scores were unavailable.

In Washington State American Legion league play the AA Orioles are right in the mix currently sitting in third place in their division with a 4-2 record.

“We have to win some games here, so we make sure we make the playoff round.”

The AA Orioles host Mead tonight at Butler Park in a doubleheader at 3 and 5:30 p.m. before traveling to Clarkston, Wash. to play an important two-game series with the first-place Asotin County Blues on Wednesday. The Blues at 7-3 are tied for top spot with Colville at 5-1-1, while the O’s sit one game back.

The top three teams in the division advance to the district championship and from there to the State finals.

Baseball Notes: The Trail A Orioles will host a pair of games against University A on Friday at Butler Park at 1 and 3 p.m. The U15 O’s team has struggled this year going 3-11 in Washington State American Legion play.