Photo by Jennie McGhan
Babe Ruth All Stars player Christian Malave of Prosser moves in on a ground ball as coach Jaime Malave and Sunnyside’s Miguel Nieto watch the action at Wednesday’s tryouts. In the background, Sunnyside’s Guillermo Reyes looks for a pop fly.
As of Friday, July 7, 2017
PROSSER Gearing up for the Babe Ruth South Washington 15-year-old state tournament in Longview are players from Grandview, Prosser and Sunnyside.
The 14-year-olds will be competing in Richland.
Both tournaments take place July 12-15, and the teams will move on to the regional tournaments against the winners of the North Washington Babe Ruth programs.
This week, a tryout for the Lower Yakima Valley teams took place at the Prosser High School baseball field.
The 15-year-old team will be made up of mostly players from the Prosser Babe Ruth team.
“They finished the season 12-0 last week,” coach Jaime Malave said.
He and Tim Shipley of Grandview will be working with the older boys in preparation for the state tournament.
They were watching Wednesday’s tryouts in hope of determining what the pitching line-up will be.
Guillermo Reyes of Sunnyside could be among the pitchers, Malave said.
“He is good in the outfield and pitching,” he said of Reyes.
Isaac Garza, a Grandview boy who played for Prosser’s Babe Ruth team, is another potential pitcher on the roster, Malave said.
Garza is talented both infield and outfield, Malave noted.
“Most of the players are a dual threat,” he said.
Malave and Shipley have been keeping an eye on the players as the teams competed throughout the regular season.
Although the boys were on opposing teams, they are now learning to work together, Malave said.
“They have to develop a camaraderie and we will be working on that,” he said.
Both the 14- and 15-year-old teams have more time to become better acquainted and cohesive this year.
“We don’t have a district tournament because there weren’t enough teams,” Malave said.
There are benefits to bringing together the players from throughout the lower valley. Some of the boys have played together or against one another since they were young. Others have developed their talents just this year, while there are many who also play for area American Legion teams, Malave said.
“Adding Sunnyside and Grandview players to the roster gives us depth,” Malave said, noting he is most familiar with the Prosser boys and will be counting on them to make plays.
This isn’t the first time in recent history there has been an all star team. Last year, the team was fourth at the state tournament.
It is the first year in a few that there have been players from Sunnyside. Reyes and teammate Miguel Nieto were hand-picked by the coaches.
The lone player from Grandview’s program is catcher Jaxson Lakins, although Garza and Angel Morales are also from Grandview.