DEFENSIVE PLAY. Ray Siderius (left) tries to tag a Richmond player during a District Eight playoff game last week. Siderius plays second base for the Ballard Little League 9/10 All-Stars. Dean Wong photo.
Local teams compete in playoffs
By Dean Wong
Little league teams in the Ballard, Northwest Seattle and Magnolia were busy this month competing in the district and state playoffs, drawing large numbers of parents and fans to local fields.
For the first time in recent memory, two teams representing the Ballard Little League played for the District Eight championships in two age divisions.
A team from another Ballard league, the Northwest Little League Juniors, beat the Ballard Little League Juniors 5-0 to win the District Eight junior championship and advanced to the state tournament in Auburn on July 14.
"They were very excited. It was a battle between two teams," said Ed Kommers, president of the Northwest Little League.
At the state tournament, the Northwest Little League Juniors lost to a District Seven team 5-1, they came back and defeated a District Two team 13-5. Their post season ended on July 17 with a 14-2 loss to a District 11 team from Whidbey Island.
A select team of 14-year-olds from the Magnolia Baseball Club won the state title to become the Sandy Koufax State Champions on July 9. The team's players are from Magnolia, Queen Anne and Ballard. They were seeded number seven out of eight teams when the tournament started, according to parent Rhonda Patton.
The Ballard Little League's 9/10 All-Star team, composed of nine and ten year olds lost to Richmond 4 to 0 at Raye Field in Queen Anne on July 10. This set up a double elimination loser out game on July 11 with Ballard losing again to Richmond 3-2.
The Ballard 9/10 team had beaten Woodinville 11-6, Northwest 7-1, Magnolia 7-3 and Richmond 3-2 on their way to the District Eight title game.
"We've had a pretty good streak going. They are doing very well. The defense, pitching and hitting has been solid. They are all very good ballplayers," said John Siderius, coach of the 9/10 team.
"This is as far as we have gotten in recent memory. It was great, everyone has been supportive, it has been fun," said parent Jane Wheeler.
The Ballard Little League's Junior 13/14 year old team beat North King County, Northwest, Richmond and RUG (Roosevelt, University, Green Lake) on the way to the District Eight championship round. The Junior 13/14 team lost its first game in the double elimination championship to Northwest 12-6 on July 9. Their second loss to Northwest, 5-0 last Tuesday ended their season.
Ballard Junior right fielder Sean Thurman credited the 13/14-year-old team's defense for its success this season.
"The teams we beat could not score off of us," said Thurman.
The Ballard Little League, a non-profit organization run by volunteers. At season's end, leagues form all-star teams to send to the District tournament. The players have two weeks to prepare for the post season. "You have different kids playing at different levels, getting their chemistry together," said Ballard Little League President John Verduin.
"We have a smaller base of kids compared to other little league districts. It's pretty unusual for a Ballard team to go this far," said Verduin.
Historically, Ballard is one the first incorporated little leagues in the state of Washington.
Siderius said the Ballard Little League teams, along with teams from Queen Anne and Magnolia are starting to do well against eastside programs like Woodinville and Bothell.
The Ballard 9/10 All-Stars are: Devon Arbis-Jackson; Robert Brownlee; Adan Chavez; Matthew Culp; Morris Fortmann; Owen Leonard; David Monlux; Tyson Randall; Ray Siderius; Jacob Westerman; Kintla Wheeler and Tommy Wicker-Fetzer.
John Verduin is president of the Ballard Little League. The team's manger is John Siderius and the coach is Lee Whalen.
The Ballard 13/14 All-Stars are: Danny Bucher; Avery Hamilton; Caleb Jaeger; Larry Lindsey; Tim Marquez; Beny Puro; Trevor Ransom; Nik Sergeeff; Sean Thurman; Athan Kost; Taylor McGrew and Steven Weber. They are managed by Dennis Chandler and coached by Jim Kost.
The Northwest Little League Juniors are: Brenden Foor; Patrick Stewart; Justin Kneeland; Alex Namba; Jeremy Webb; Patrick Fillingham; Silas Delistovic; Grady Rhodes; Nick Onstad-Hawes; Riley Asmussen; J.D. Leverenz; Martin Horst; Kenny Lane; and Griffin McGibbon. The manager is Robert Rhodes. The coaches are Drew Sellers and Chris England.