After weeks of cold and rain, Parks and Recreation baseball is back on schedule
It was difficult to decide which was the more rare sight Monday at Woodbury Sports Complex.
Baseball or sunshine.
With blue skies and warm weather, Craig Parks and Recreation summer baseball was welcomed back with a slate of games featuring 11- to 12-year-old sluggers from Moffat County and Hayden.
After missing several games because of rain, teams squared off a week before the season-ending tournament.
Originally, before 2.30 inches of June rain fell in Craig, the tournament was slated to start Monday.
Because teams missed games, the tournament was pushed back a week.
Sean Leonard, Elk Run Inn coach, said rain has hampered his team.
“When we actually get to play, we’re pretty good,” he said. “It’s just been raining so much, it’s been hard to get any kind of rhythm.”
His team found something better than rhythm Monday night.
They found the plate.
The Elk Run Inn team defeated the Hayden Tigers, 7-6, in extra innings. Croix Orona scored the winning run after walking, stealing second and third and eventually coming home on a throwing error.
Kody Leonard started the game, and Brett Loyd finished it, pitching three innings for the win.
“I threw pretty good today,” Loyd said. “I threw a lot of strikes.”
Loyd was around the plate all day – he tagged out a Hayden runner trying to score while he served as catcher for the first four innings, and struck out the side in the sixth.
“I like being a pitcher more,” he said. “You get to throw the ball harder. And, because it’s great to see the batter’s face when you catch him looking.”
The Elk Run Inn team owns a 4-6 record, which coach Vaughn Ahlstrom said is because of the weather.
“The rain keeps them from practicing,” he said. “So, we’re probably not as competitive as we should be.”
Ahlstrom said he was happy with his team’s effort against Hayden.
“They’ve played us really tough – last time out, we won, 11-10,” he said. “The boys played well the second time around.”
John Chadwick, Auto Parts of Craig’s skipper, said bad weather has been tough on his players.
“The kids all made plans to come out here and play – not dodge rain drops,” he said. “I know they’re excited for the warm weather.”
Chadwick said his team would focus on getting better as the tournament approaches.
“When we have the tournament, it’ll be good practice for four games,” he said. “We’ll just take it game by game.”
Auto Parts of Craig lost Monday to the Mountain West Insurance team, 11-1.
Chadwick said his team has only has one win for the summer, but players were taking something away from the diamond each time out.
“It’s been a learning year,” he said. “This is the age where they learn a lot, and they certainly are.”
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