Baseball 'heats' up with Babe Ruth state tourneys




In baseball terminology, it's called the "Dog Days of Summer."

Hot and windy conditions during the middle of major league baseball, July and August have earned their well-deserved reputation.

That's likely what will be facing 16 of the 13-and-14-year old Babe Ruth Baseball teams who will converge on Garden City for their respective state tournaments that begin on Friday, run for sure through Monday and possibly into Tuesday.

The 13-year-olds will be competing at Clint Lightner Stadium while the 14-year-olds are at Williams Stadium on the campus of Garden City Community College. Each tournament consists of eight teams and is a double-elimination format.

Garden City will be represented in each age division with an all-star team comprised of players from the different teams, which have competed locally all summer.

In the case of the 13-year-olds, coached by Benito Hernandez, that all-star has been able to play two games prior to this weekend's tournament opener.

"We've got a great group of kids and they've been eager to learn," Hernandez said. "At this age, playing in the state tournament is like playing in the big leagues. We feel like we've selected the best of the kids at this age for the team. They're excited to go see how they do."

Hernandez said his starting pitcher in Friday's 8 p.m. opening game against Tri-Valley would likely be Lorenzo Hinojos.

In addition, Hernandez projected the following for his starting lineup: Pitcher, Lorenzo Hinojos; Catcher, Micheal Calderon; 1st, Lincoln Biera; 2nd, Cortez Rosales; shortstop, Zane Nichols; 3rd, Benito Hernandez III; Left field, David Hernandez; Center field, Lexes Guerrero; Right field, Ethan Yardley.

For the Garden City Rangers 14-year-old team, head coach Marcus Sabata said it would be a learning experience for his inexperienced team at the state tournament.

Comprised of 14 players from the summer Junior League, the team posted a 1-2 record at the District 1 tournament last weekend in Spearville. As the host team, they drew the 8 p.m. game against Coffeyville.

"A lot of them haven't played competitively at this level," Sabata said. "But they're competitive and they're a bunch of grinders."

Sabata said he saw some encouraging signs in the district tournament.

"We hit the ball well, by and large," Sabata said. "At this level, though, you can tell teams that have done this for a long time. We're looking at this as a preview for next year. Coffeyville earned their way in by winning their district, so I'm sure they're a pretty salty club."

The double-elimination tournaments continue on Saturday and Sunday with championship games scheduled for Monday. If necessary, a second championship game would be played on Tuesday morning.


Garden City All-Stars (13-Year-Old) Roster

Infielders--Benito Hernandez III, Zane Nichols, Cortez Rosales, Lincoln Biera. Pitchers--Lorenzo Hinojos, Cedric Hinojos, Colton Snodgrass. Catchers--Micheal Calderon, Levi Harris. Outfielders-- Ethan Yardley, David Hernandez, Jose Herrera, Jonathon Hutchinson, Adrian Longoria, Lexes Guerrero. Head Coach--Benito Hernandez Jr, Assistant Coaches--Robert Longoria, and Jeff Nichols.

Friday's First Round Games (13-Year-Old)

at Clint Lightner Stadium

Noon, Mid-Kansas vs. Ft. Scott; 2:30 p.m., Independence vs. Cimarron River; 5 p.m., Wellington vs. Ottawa; 8 p.m., Tri-Valley vs. Garden City.


Garden City Rangers (14-Year-Old) Roster

Cesar Rivas, OF/C; Earnesto Hinojosa, OF; Dillon Rojas, OF; Braden Davidson, 1B; Derek Hill, 2B; Devontae Goldsby, OF; Jordan Rincones, 3B/P; Ryan Sabata, SS/P; Addison DeHerrera, C/P; Issac Garcia, OF; Jesse Ruiz, OF/P; Marcus Zapata, Util.; Christian Rodriguez, OF; Conagher Britton, OF. Coaches--Marcus Sabata, Lyle Befort, Preston Sabata.

Friday's First Round Games (14-Year-Old)

at Williams Stadium

Noon, Wellington vs. Mid-Kansas; 2:30 p.m., Parsons vs. Cimarron River; 5 p.m., Ottawa vs. Osawatomie; 8 p.m., Coffeyville vs. Garden City Rangers.

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