Sports

Bainbridge Historical Baseball Society to play exhibition game on July 4

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For those baseball fans dismayed with the escapades of the Seattle Mariners – they of the 28-50 record at press-time – can take a trip back to yesteryear with the “Grand Old Game,” an exhibition baseball game played on the Fourth of July.

Put on by the Bainbridge Historical Baseball Society, this year’s contest takes place at the baseball field at Bainbridge High School at 9 a.m. and pits the Bainbridge Reds “All-Stars” against the Winslow “Homestead” Grays.

Both teams play for nine innings or until noon, whichever comes first.

The gates open at 8:30 a.m. with a donation of $5 accepted.

The event was created six years ago by Jeff Giblin as a fundraiser for various charities and community-based projects. It has raised over $25,000.

This year, the contest benefits Bainbridge Island Little League.

Event organizer Wilo Castillo said ever since its inception, attendance has increased steadily.

“It’s a very good game,” he said. “It’s a very competitive contest. It’s just a blast to play baseball instead of softball.”

The two teams play in authentic uniforms consisting of wool shirts and flannel pants. They also use wood bats and some players use mitts that were the style at the time.

But Castillo said they do make some modern concessions by using catcher’s gear and helmets.

The two teams are made up of members of the Bainbridge Island Men’s Baseball Club (of which Giblin is the president) and current and past Little League managers and coaches.

Castillo said that kids get a kick out of showing up and jeering their coaches and managers as revenge for all the grief the kids get from them.

“There’s pressure on a manager to play well,” he said. “If they muff a ball that gets hit to them, they never hear the end of it.”

The $5 donation goes toward a raffle ticket for various prizes. Coffee and donuts will be available.

Along with the raffle, several changes are in effect for this year’s game.

Organizers have hired a camera crew to film the contest and there will be baseball cards made up of several players to be made available for purchase and autographs.

There will be several players at the annual street fair July 3 to sell tickets to the game.

A dunk tank is available as well to raise money for BILL.

It’s $2 for one try and $5 for five tries.

Castillo said he and other board members, along with former president Mike Sheehan, will take part in the dunking.

For more information or to buy tickets, contact wilocastillo@hotmail.com.

Select soccer takes second

The Bainbridge Azzurri GU-12 youth soccer team rode into championship match of the annual Skagit Firecracker tournament June 22 with high hopes of knocking off one of the state’s top teams.

Yet despite a valiant effort, the title was not to be theirs.

The match score line, showing a 3-0 loss versus a big, smart and skilled Snohomish United side, proved much closer. The Azzurri had a chance midway through the first half to break open the scoring and take a 1-0 lead, but for a barely missed penalty kick.

Despite having only two substitutes available and with its starting goalkeeper, Deahna King, playing on a heavily taped right ankle, Bainbridge took the early play right at their opponent.

The Azzurri midfield of Riley Gregoire, DD Madigan, Carly D’Amato, Celia Story and Kelly Coffyn keyed an attack that repeatedly opened up the flanks of highly ranked Snohomish.

“We played really well in this tournament,” said coach James Ritchie. “The girls showed great character and skill and we know just what we need to do to take things even further with them.”

Prior to the championship the Azzurri had routed its competition, running off three consecutive wins by a cumulative score of 11-1. The goal allowed was the first given up by the Azzurri defense this year.

The championship loss was its first ever and for 2008 the side has allowed only four total goals while amassing 30 for a whopping +26 goal differential.

The side has now made the finals of three of its past four tournaments, sporting a 2-1 record overall.

Illustrating a balanced and varied attack, tournament scorers for the Azzurri were Katherine Pecora and Coffyn with two goals each, while Story, Madigan, Gregoire, King, D’Amato, Jessica Jelcick and Paige Brigham each scored once.

The Azzurri again overcame a difficult draw, playing its first three group matches in just under 21 hours starting this past Friday evening.

All of the clubs Bainbridge faced in the tournament –Snohomish United, Black Hills of Olympia, WSA of Vancouver and the Skagit Storm – are noted for having achieved consistently high rankings in the state’s Premier Development League. This level of competition represents a massive jump from the team’s first tournament championship earned last month.

“I’m very proud of the girls. They are showing a lot of folks just how good they are and can be – especially our defenders,” said coach Ben Pecora. “I want to single out Katie Keller, Reaghan Hoover and Virginia Swenson. They played every minute of this tournament.”

Over the team’s two tournaments in 2008, it has allowed a paltry four goals over eight matches and has sustained only a single loss. The second-place finish comes ahead of 14 other sides in this age group.

Next up for the girls will be Oregon’s prestigious Chinook Cup, reputed to be the largest tournament of its kind for this age group on the West Coast.

–With information provided by BIFC’s Ben Pecora

All-star LAX on Sunday

The five-time world champion U.S. U-19 men’s lacrosse team will take on a squad of Northwest collegiate all-stars Sunday at Mercer Island High School.

The exhibition is one of only five tune-ups for the U.S. squad prior to competing at the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) U-19 World Games, July 3–12 in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

The local exhibition game, which starts at 3 p.m. at Islander Stadium, is preceded by a youth lacrosse clinic for 250 local 3rd – 8th graders put on by U.S. players and coaches. The clinic is at noon.

General admission tickets are $8 and available at the event. Tickets for the full day including the clinic and game, which includes a commemorative T-shirt, are $15 in advance by June 24 or $20 at the gate.

The U.S. team is made up of 23 of the top lacrosse players under 19-years-old. Players on the roster now represent 14 U.S. collegiate programs. The 2008 team was selected in 2007 from 120 invitees to the U-19 tryout camp.

Among the 20-member Northwest roster are six players that have helped their college team earn a berth in the NCAA tournament, an Ivy League Rookie of the Week selection, seven former high school All-Americans, a 2005 Seattle Times Male High School Athlete of the Year and a US Lacrosse U-19 selection camp invitee.

The Northwst roster includes, two former Bainbridge lacrosse stars in Bryan Gilbreath who earned All-American honors at BHS and now plays at the U.S. Air Force Academy where he earned the rookie of the year for the team.

Dylan Masi, who also earned high school All-American honors and now plays for the Lehigh men’s lacrosse club team, is a member of the all-star team as well.

Other notable Washington alums include Harvard’s Sean Whitsitt, the 2005 Seattle Times Metro Male High School Athlete of the Year while playing for Lakeside; Ben York (Mercer Island, 2005) now playing at Bowdoin College; Drew Snider (Garfield, 2006), a two-time High School All-American who played on Maryland’s 2008 NCAA tournament team; Shane Moriarty (Garfield, 2005), who played for the University of Albany in the 2007 NCAA tournament; Chris Taylor (Mercer Island, 2005) a High School All-American who played on Georgetown’s 2006 and 2007 NCAA tournament teams; Shane O’Neill (Seattle Prep, 2006) an Ivy League Rookie of the Week this season with Cornell; and Greg Mahony (Mercer Island, 2007), a high school All-American who will enroll at Yale this fall.

Mahony was one of 120 athletes from across the U.S. that were invited to try out for the U-19 team.

“The Washington Chapter of US Lacrosse is thrilled to host the U-19 U.S. national team as they prepare to defend their world title,” said Kris Snider, US Lacrosse Washington State Chapter vice president and organizer of the exhibition visit.

“The U.S. team is made up of the rising stars in lacrosse and our local all-star squad includes high school players from our area that have gone on to success at the top colleges across the country,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to see local players compete at the highest level.

“I guarantee you will see 100 mph shots, amazing stick skills and spectacular saves.”

The U.S. squad began its exhibition schedule June 8 with an 11–9 win over a Long Island (NY) all-star team in New York state.

The 2008 ILF Under-19 World Championship, which is played every four years, features teams from 12 countries.

Participating nations include Australia, Canada, England, Iroquois, Japan, USA, Bermuda, Finland, Germany, Scotland, South Korea and Wales.

While in Seattle, U.S. players and coaches will be hosted in the housing, dining and athletic facilities at the University of Washington.

On Saturday, June 28, U.S. players and coaches will volunteer their time rebuilding sections of the Swamp and Big Tree Trails near High Point on Tiger Mountain east of Issaquah as a part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway project.

For more information on U-19 exhibition or to register for the youth clinic, please visit www.uslax-wa.org/U-19visit.html

For more information on the ILF U-19 World Championships, please visit www.2008worldlax.com.

–Information provided by WSL’s Mike McQuaid

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