The Summit Storm baseball team may have as good as young talent and potential as any team in the state, but yesterday was not their day in trying to overcome an early 1-0 deficit to #9 South Medford.
Summit, with only 3 seniors on its roster, hung tough and played like “rock stars” with the class 6A Panthers (8-3) for 5 innings until the bottom fell out and lost, 10-3.
It was a combination of facing a savvy senior pitcher for South, Justin James (2-0), who allowed just 2 runs through 6 innings, and Summits young pitching staff yielding 5 runs in the 6th inning. The Storm used 6 pitchers on the day.
And, some misplayed balls, dropped balls, wild pitches, and unforced errors (3) doomed the young Storm who finished the preseason 5-3.
But, the young frustrated Storm never gave up, and tried to answer the bell late in the game.
South Medford, the 2010 State runner-up opens SOC League play Tuesday facing its rival, and 6th ranked North Medford (9-1).
Summit will open ‘IMC’ (Intermountain League) play Monday at #2 Bend (6-3) who start only 2 underclassmen in the Lava Bears lineup. The Storm and Lava Bears play a 3-game series next week, Wednesday at Bend, and concluding Friday at Summit.
Keep your eye on Summit as this team is set to build in to a statewide power coached by former 17-year Major League pitcher Alan Embree, who is assisted by former Mariner great Richie Sexson.
Brad Waterman who led the Bend South Little League team to the Western Regional semifinals in 2011 is assisting Embree.
With seniors Josh Cherry, and Tyler Mullen, the Storm feature some tremendous young talent led by Cal Waterman, Troy Viola, Colby Scott, Ace Embree, and pitcher Chris Mason.
Like the 2011 Bend South All-Star team, I have a hunch this group will go to the top of the baseball lineup card in Oregon in the coming seasons, if not by June 7th this year.