Youth team wins title

By Josh Benham, The Observer May 30, 2014 11:21 am

La Grande 14-under team takes Meridian tournament

Even a step up in age groups did not deter the La Grande under-14 baseball team.

Last weekend La Grande went undefeated at the Memorial Day Invitational in Meridian, Idaho, with its 6-5 win in the bottom of the seventh against Meridian Youth Baseball in the championship game.

What made it all the more impressive was that the team is comprised of almost entirely 14-year-olds, fielding just two 15-year-old players in the 15-and-under tournament that went from last Saturday through Sunday.

“The kids really stepped up this past weekend, because this is by far the best pitching they’ve seen the last couple years,” head coach Lee Atkinson said. “It seems like the kids always play up to the challenge. It’s just a really good, fun bunch of guys to coach.”

La Grande started its march to the title with 10-0 win over the Meridian Cadets, with Ryan Adams, Aaron Goss, Caleb Lathrop and Andrew Peasely combining on the mound for a one-hit shutout.

The second-round game saw La Grande pull off a 4-3 win over Bishop Kelly, giving it the No.1 seed for the single-elimination bracket on Sunday. Bishop Kelly won a play-in game to earn another crack at La Grande, After seven innings in the second game, the game was tied at five to force extra innings.