The Dalles 12U All Stars start bracket play at 8 a.m. Saturday. The players are, pictured from left, starting back row, Keon Kiser, Keegan Losee, Drew Evans, Andru Weaver, Nathan Hedges, Gabe Petroff and Austin Agidius. In the front row are, from left, William Hoover, Gavin Cates, Jaxon Pullen, Elijah Roden, Shane Floyd and Isaac Anthony. Ray Rodriguez photo
As of Wednesday, June 22, 2016
For many on The Dalles 12U All Star roster, this is their last chance to get to the state playoffs.
It will not be an easy task by any stretch, but they believe in each other and their coach, Deric Anthony.
“I think it would be pretty cool to go to state, because it would be really fun. I have never been to state, so to get there in my last year in lLttle League would mean a lot to all of us,” said Austin Agidius. “It will show that the hard work has paid off.”
The Stars have Shane Floyd, William Hoover, Keegan Losee, Gabe Petroff, Jaxon Pullen, Elijah Roden, Andru Weaver, Keon Kiser, Nathan Hedges, Drew Evans, Gavin Cates, Agidius and Isaac Anthony on a roster that has offensive strength, but also deep pitching.
Anthony, Evans, Pullen and Agidius, headline a staff for coach Anthony, as they head into their first game at 8 a.m. on June 25 at All State Field.
Kiser said the pitching staff can bring the heat and mix things up to keep opposing hitters off-balanced.
Added to that, Anthony has shown to be dominant as one of the top left-handed Little League arms.
“We have some good pitchers and it is important to pitch good because if we don’t, the game can go downwards,” Petroff said. “If we pitch good, the other team will hit groundballs and then we can field it and get them out. That is why the defense and pitching are important.”
With Weaver, Agidius, Anthony, Petroff and Evans, the top of the order should be strong enough to give the pitchers enough breathing room with big leads.
“I think we will do good in batting. We have been hitting a lot of home runs during practice,” Kiser said. “If we can keep on hitting good, this team can go far. We just need to hit.”
This group is a year older and wiser as it heads into district action, so building off what occurred last season is important.
It is a new year with new hope.
“I think we can go out there and do good. We work good together as a team. We play good together, we all get along, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we know how to respond,” Agidius said of the chances.
If TD wins on Saturday, they play at 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 26 against John Day River.
The championship game is a 1 p.m. on Friday, July 1 in this double elimination tournament.