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SLL Roundup — Diamondbacks defeat Dodgers, Juniors compete in season finale

by MAX OSWALD
Sports Reporter | June 9, 2023 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The Sandpoint Little League finished up their last regular season and championship games on June 6 and 7 at various fields in the area.

The Connie’s Cafe Diamondbacks defeated the Taylor and Sons Dodgers in the Majors championship at War Memorial Field while the Sandpoint Juniors Black defeated the Sandpoint Juniors Red in a fun and friendly season finale at Pine Street Field.

Connie’s Cafe Diamondbacks, 9 Taylor & Sons Dodgers 2

The Connie’s Cafe Diamondbacks were crowned champions of the Sandpoint Little League on Thursday as they took an early lead and never looked back. The Diamondbacks scored four runs in the top of the first inning and at least one run in every inning but the fourth.

Keerk Hillbroom pitched a gem on the mound for the Diamondbacks. He threw 3 2/3 innings giving up three hits, no runs, five walks, and stuck out three batters. Hillbroom did just as well at the plate going 1-for-2 with a single and two RBIs.

Mac Peters notched the only extra-base hit of the game for the Diamondbacks; he hit a triple that started the rally in the top of first inning. He also pitched two solid innings on the mound to close out the game.

For the Dodgers, Eli Franz and Kaleb Bogadi had solid games on the mound. Franz struck out four batters in the two complete innings he pitched. Bogadi went four innings only giving up one hit, four runs (one earned), three walks, and recorded six strikeouts. At the plate, Bogadi also went one-for-two with a double and two RBIs.

Drake Burk was the only player to record multiple hits in the contest. Burk went 2-for-2 with two singles for the Dodgers.

The 11- to 12-year-old all-star team was recently formed and includes players on both of these rosters. The all-star team will travel to several tournaments in North Idaho this summer.

Sandpoint Juniors Black, 21 Sandpoint Juniors Red, 4 (Four Innings)

The Juniors Black defeated the Juniors Red by putting up a 13-run third inning in Wednesday’s season finale. It was the first time the two Sandpoint teams faced each other since the first game of the season. Both teams traveled around this season playing other 13-14 year old teams in Boundary, Bonner, and Kootenai counties.

Throughout the game both teams made jokes with each other and chatted when on base or when approaching the batter’s box. Even though the game was competitive in nature, the teams made sure to have a lot of fun in their final regular season game against each other.

“It’s really fun watching these kids play each other because they’re all close friends,” Juniors Red head coach Travis Tyler said. “It’s been a great season for both teams and they have improved tremendously since the start of the season.”

This was the first year a majority of these athletes played on 90-foot base paths and with a 60-foot pitching mound.

“Some of our pitchers could barely get the ball to home plate in the beginning of the year, and now they are firing strikes consistently,” Tyler said.

For the Juniors Black, every player was able to reach base in some form or fashion. Curtis Sommerfield and Matthew Pennick both led the team with three hits and three RBIs on the day. Toby Walker also helped tremendously with four RBIs of his own. Trevor Skon and Jacob Alexander Jr. both pitched great games on the mound.

For the Juniors Red, Cody Gutierrez had a big hit in the top of the first which started a rally where the Red would score three runs. Jacob Bender and Jairden Bailey were both able to bat in one run each during that rally as well. Karsen Garvin started off the game on the mound and pitched a phenomenal two innings.

The two teams are considering forming an all-star team this summer, but are still unsure at this moment.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Curtis Sommerfield of the Juniors Black tags out Wyatt Buday at first base.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Kaleb Bogadi tags out Camden Clark at home in the Majors championship game.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Carlos Gutierrez lines a single to left field in the top of the first for the Juniors Red.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Mac Peters celebrates after hitting a triple in the first inning of the Majors championship.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Hunter Klinginsmith makes a great play at second base for the Juniors Red.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Karsen Garvin gets ready to release a fastball for the Juniors Red.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Eli Franz fires a pitch in the first inning of the Majors championship.

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Photo by MAX OSWALD

Jacob Alexander Jr. fires a pitch for the Juniors Black.

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