Firecracker Tournament a dud for Rockies
POLSON — The Mission Valley Rockies are hoping a rough week at their inaugural appearance at the Firecracker Tournament will prepare them for the Montana Senior Babe Ruth Championship this week.
The Rockies, one of two Senior Babe Ruth teams entered in the Mariners’ 11-team American Legion tournament, went 0-4 this week in Polson as they prepare for this weekend’s state tournament in Bonner.
“It was a great experience. We got state next weekend, not to say the teams we’ll play there aren’t tough; they are, but playing teams at this level is just going to make us better in the long run and that’s what we want,” Rockies manager Alan Anderson said.
“It’s disappointing to go 0-for, but like I said this is our first time here. We seem to play at the level of the teams we play, so playing better teams raises our level up a little more,” Anderson said. “I’m looking forward to state,” he added.
The Rockies best chance of winning at the tournament came on Sunday against the Mariners B squad. The Rockies jumped out to the a 4-0 lead in the top of the first, but could only score one run the rest of the way and wrapped up the tournament with a 13-5 loss.
Justin Hoel, Eneas Inmee and Riley Grogan all had singles in the Rockies four-run rally to start the game. Jame Petersen and Devin Kamarainen both had walks in the rally.
After scoring four runs on three hits in the first inning, the Rockies only had three more hits in the final four innings. First baseman Curt Seidel drove in Riley Grogan in the fourth with a double and Petersen and Kamarainen singled in the fifth.
With only nine players at the game, Anderson’s hand was forced in the bottom of the fourth, when he had to pull starting pitcher Inmee. Inmee was starting to tire after having to get seven outs in the third innings. The defense behind him committed four errors in the inning, allowing the Mariners to score two runs and tie the game at 4.
“They had some bad throws, that always costs you. Mental mistakes; that’s what it comes down to. And it seems to compound, one rolls into another and into another and another,” Anderson said. “He (Inmee) wasted a lot of pitches. When you throw that deep into a count plus errors and the extra batters, your pitch count gets up there in a hurry. He did the best he could.”
Anderson had to turn to Riley Grogan to take the mound in the fourth. Grogan, usually the Rockies catcher, is low on the pitcher’s depth chart, but Anderson had already thrown all the other pitchers. Riley gave up six runs in the fourth and his brother Nick Grogan gave up three runs in the sixth. It was the first time Nick had pitched this season.
Mariners 9, Rockies 0
Rockies 0 0 0 0 0–0 2 2
Mariners 1 2 4 2 x–9 10 1
Jeremiah Crawford and Devin Kamarainen. Derrick Rathe and Kaileb Gillingham. W - Rathe. L - Crawford.
ROCKIES - Jame Petersen 0-2, Eneas Inmee 1-2, Jeremiah Crawford 0-2, Devin Kamarainen 0-2, Justin Hoel 1-2, Curt Seidel 0-2, Nick Grogan 0-2, Jacen Petersen 0-1, Quinn Harlan 0-2.
Cranbrook 13, Mission Valley 2
Mission V. 0 1 0 0 0 1–2 9 2
Cranbrook 0 2 0 4 0 7–13 12 3
Mariners 13, Rockies 5
Rockies 4 0 0 1 0–5 4 4
Mariners 2 0 2 6 3–13 7 2
ROCKIES - Justin Hoel 1-3, Jame Petersen 1-2, Devin Kamarainen 1-2, Eneas Inmee 1-3, Ryan Anderson 0-2, Riley Grogan 1-1, Nick Grogan 0-2, Jacen Petersen 0-2, Curt Seidel 1-2.