Season Over, Little Leaguers Focus On Next Year

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The Payson Little League Junior Division All-Stars' stay in the Area One postseason tournament was a short-lived one.

Finishing 0-2 in the double-elimination shoot-out, the Rim country celestial squad was thumped 11-0 by Page, in the rain-delay tournament played Thursday morning at Payson High School.

Later that evening, the Rim crew absorbed a 21-14 thumping from Flagstaff Continental in a loser's bracket contest.

In falling to Page, the local stars had the misfortune of facing the most intimidating hurler the team has seen this season.

With the Page hurler unleashing 83- to 85-mph fastballs, Payson hitters couldn't manufacture a single base hit and never pushed a runner in scoring position.

"He was fast, very fast--we couldn't get around on him," said team manager Wayne Riggins.

Garrett Riggins was awarded the starting pitching call for the Payson stars and went the distance.

One of the highlights of his performance was a nifty first-inning pick-off move that caught a Page base-runner napping at first. The pick off, which came after a booming home run, got Payson out of trouble in the inning.

Later, Page came roaring back with an offensive blitzkrieg Payson couldn't slow.

In the loss to Flagstaff, Mike Barr opened on the hill before giving way to reliever Brad Wilson in the sixth.

Pacing the locals offensively in the loss were Ron Maksymowski, Ashton Shewey and Garrett Riggins.

Despite the two-and-out performance, Wayne Riggins remains optimistic the players will do well in future celestial shoot-outs.

"This was a very young team," he said; "nine 13-year-olds, and only three who are 14."

Most of the athletes have a full season of Little League eligibility remaining and could play on Payson/Pine's Senior Division All-Star team next summer.

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