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11U Stars ready to take flight

THE DALLES Little League 11U all-star outfield Dominic Smith makes a running catch of a ball hit in Wednesday’s practice in The Dalles. Smith and the Stars bring a potent mix of hitting and speed to tourney play next week in Bend.

THE DALLES Little League 11U all-star outfield Dominic Smith makes a running catch of a ball hit in Wednesday’s practice in The Dalles. Smith and the Stars bring a potent mix of hitting and speed to tourney play next week in Bend. Photo by Ray Rodriguez.

On Tap

11U SCHEDULE

at Lava Ridge School (North)

in Bend (Double Elimination)

Saturday, June 29

Crook County vs. Hood River, 8:30 a.m.

Bend South vs. Warm Springs, 12:20 p.m.

Sunday, June 30

Hermiston vs. Jefferson County, 8:15 a.m.

Crook County-Hood River winner vs. The Dalles, 11:15 a.m.

Bend South-Warm Springs winner vs. Bend North, 2:15 p.m.

John Day River vs. South Central, 5:15 p.m.

Monday, July 1

Bend South-Warm Springs loser vs. Crook County-Hood River vs. The Dalles loser, 8:15 a.m.

Crook County-Hood River loser vs. Bend North-Bend South-Warm Springs loser, 11:15 a.m.

Hermiston-Jefferson winner vs. The Dalles-Crook County-Hood River winner, 2:15 p.m.

Bend North-Bend South-Warm Springs winner vs. John Day River-South Central winner, 5:15 p.m.

Tuesday, July 2

Loser’s bracket game No. 9, 2:15 p.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 10, 5:15 p.m.

Wednesday, July 3

Loser’s bracket game No. 13, 8:15 a.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 14, 11:15 a.m.

Thursday, July 4

Winner’s bracket game No. 15, 8:15 p.m.

Loser’s bracket game No. 16, 11:15 a.m.

Friday, July 5

Loser’s bracket game No. 17, 11:15 a.m.

Saturday, July 6

Winner’s bracket game No. 18, 11:30 a.m.

Championship game No. 19, 2:30 p.m.

11U Roster

TDLL All-Stars 11U Roster

Joe Abbas .................Head Coach

Mike Armstrong ..............Assistant

Chris Schanno ................Assistant


Mac Abbas ....................................

.....................................Austin Weir

Sam Thalhofer ...............................

.........................Dalles Seufalemua

Dominic Smith ...............................

...............................Zach Anderson

Gabe Helseth .................................

.................................Josh Johnson

Steven Preston ..............................

..................................Ben Schanno

Michael Armstrong ........................

— While many aspects of success for The Dalles’ 11U Little League team lie in what happens on the field, head coach Joe Abbas points out that what occurs between the ears is just as important.

He wants his group physically and mentally prepared to handle whatever is thrown their way.

“{We Need to} be mentally ready to play and stay focused,” Abbas said. “(It) doesn’t matter what happens, whether it is good things or bad things, things are going to happen. We need to work through that and they will. I have no doubt in my mind that they will.”

TD is set for regional baseball action over the next seven days at Lava Ridge School in Bend for a chance to hoist a first-place trophy and keep the season alive.

There is a realistic possibility that the season can keep progressing forward to the state level given the thoroughbreds in the stable.

Michael Armstrong is going to play an important role at shortstop and at the top of the order, and Ben Schanno, Dominic Smith, Gabe Helseth and Steven Preston bring a speed element to the lineup.

Austin Weir will don the tools as catcher, and the quartet of Mac Abbas, Sam Thalhofer, Dalles Seufalemua, Zach Anderson and Josh Johnson bring the power and gap-to-gap stroke to the mix.

“It is a pretty impressive group. We play hard,” Johnson said. “It will take aggressive hitting, small ball and focus to do good there. I am 110 percent sure this team will perform good.”

With so many versatile players in tow, coach Abbas has devised a plan to move people around to offset some of the heat issues that can wreak havoc on miscues.

Weir said the squad has come together very well in the past two weeks of practice. “Our team has looked really good. We are just a group of good ballplayers,” Weir said. “We are good power hitters and we have good pitchers.”

Coach Abbas said most of these kids are experiencing the regional tournament for the first time in new territory, three hours from home.

Both Bend teams, Hood River, John Day River and Hermiston will bring some good skills, so this TD group will need to have their full attention to detail.

“It is pretty important to take this seriously,” Weir said. “It is going to take hard work and focus to win. We just have to hit good and play good defense.”

TD has a bye Saturday, and then they take on the winner of Crook County and Hood River’s Saturday tussle at 11:15 a.m. Sunday.

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