Page Closes Book On Payson Little League


A 22-2 shellacking dished out unmercifully by Page ended the Payson Little League Senior Division (15-years-of-age) All Star team's quest for Area One tournament honors.

Earlier in the Flagstaff-based double-elimination tournament, the local Little Leaguers dropped an opening round 8-7 nail-biter to Holbrook, 8-7.

The loss to Holbrook, played Tuesday evening, turned into a highly controversial contest that wasn't decided until the bottom of the ninth inning.

The controversy arose, team manager Gene Scott said, when an umpire allowed a run to score after the third out of the inning was recorded.

A protest was lodged but later turned down by Little League officials. The reason the protest was not upheld, local Little League Executive Director Pat Fagan said, was because it was not filed promptly.

League rules dictate that all protests must be filed immediately after the incident and before that next pitch is thrown.

Apparently that was not done, Fagan said. "It was a legitimate protest but was improperly done."

Scott agreed that the protest should have been lodged immediately and not later in the game.

In the loss, Tonto Basin's Jonathan Beeson opened on the mound and hurled six innings, striking out five and walking one.

Waylon Pettet, who'll be a freshman at Payson High next season, relieved and pitched the final three innings, striking out three.

Both hurlers, Scott said, did a commendable job.

In Thursday's rain-delayed elimination contest against Page, Robbie Ochoa received the starting pitching nod but quickly gave way to fireman's help from Eric Ricke.

Both pitchers suffered from a porous Rim country defense that committed numerous crucial errors, Scott said.

And when Payson hitters took their turn in the batter's box, they couldn't produce any type of offense.

"We hit the ball well, but everything was right at them," Scott said.

The manager cited Ochoa, Pettet and John Ewing as the top local hitters in the tournament.

Assisting Scott as coach of the all-star team was Rob Neuman of Pine.

The members of the all-star team were selected by local Little League coaches at the conclusion of the regular season in late May.

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