Green River Star -

By David Martin

Lessons learned at Calif. Little League tournament


August 9, 2017

While the trip to San Jose, Calif., to compete at the Junior League Baseball West Regional Tournament ended with a 0-3 record, the Green River team and its coaches learned valuable lessons that could improve the program.

Coach Garry McLean said the biggest hurdle the team faced when competing was the fact other teams in the tournament benefited from longer playing seasons than what’s available in Wyoming. The team’s first opponents from Yakima, Wash., competed in a playoff scenario featuring nearly as many games as Wyoming teams play throughout their entire season. Many teams, especially those in California, start playing games in late February while the Wyoming leagues don’t form until May.

For Alaska, teams compete at indoor facilities and are able to play longer seasons as a result.

McLean said the difference in skill wasn’t as high as his kids thought it would be and said with a longer playing season to give players more time to become familiar with their positions, the team would have a better chance of competing at the same level as other, more-seasoned teams in the tournament.

“We need to figure out how to extend our playing season,” McLean said.

The team played well throughout the tournament, having a lead against Washington until the third inning and routinely loading bases while at bat during the three games they competed in, McLean said. However, the team was unable to move runners to home plate, while their opponents had more consistent batters.

“We just lacked the horsepower to move them,” McLean said.

McLean said he plans to approach the Green River City Council about the possibility of initiating volunteer projects through Green River Little League make improvements to the Stratton-Myers Park baseball field.

He said the field is well-maintained by the city, but small improvements could be made to improve it.

Overall, McLean said the players had a good time in California, having an opportunity to enjoy some time at the beach during a break between games.

He also said he was impressed with the kids’ conduct during and after their games.


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