All-Stars Win One, Lose One In First Round Play

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The Payson Little League All-Stars stayed alive in the Area One tournament July 5 with a 13-3 victory over Mt. Elden.

With the win, Payson advanced to a tournament semi-final at 5 p.m. yesterday, Thursday, against Page. (Results not available at press time).

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Coach Ty Goodman gives his players some fielding practice during sessions leading up to the Area One Little League Tournament being played in Flagstaff.

If Payson emerges victorious, the All-Stars will play Continental at 5 p.m. July 7 for the right to advance to the Area One and Two championships as a No. 2 seed.

Winslow won the Area One championship.

In the 10-run-rule win over Mt. Elden, Jordan Henderson picked up the win going the distance on the hill.

The Payson Major Division (11-12 years) Little League All-Star team opened the postseason Area One tournament play in Flagstaff with a 1-1 record.

In the first round at Mark Grace Field, Payson easily disposed of Flagstaff 12-5 behind the hitting and pitching of Westin Gibson.

However, in the second game, errors spelled the demise of the team in a 2-1 extra inning loss to Winslow.

In whipping Flagstaff June 30, Gibson hurled a gem, giving up just four hits over the course of six full innings.

When not on the hill, Gibson paced the offense, slugging a pair of over-the-fence home runs.

"He had a great game," said coach Ty Goodman.

In the loss to Winslow, Jake Sleeper got the starting nod from Goodman and responded with a yeoman-like effort.

"He pitched probably the best game I've ever seen him throw," Goodman said. "They couldn't hit him at all."

Winslow scored both runs on walks and errors.

Regulation play ended with the two teams tied 1-1. Winslow eventually scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

"To win, we have to hit the ball and we didn't do that," Goodman said.

Seeing his players not perform well at the plate was something of a surprise to Goodman.

In practices leading up to the tournament, the manager said the lineup was filled with good hitters and predicted the offense would pace the team in the postseason.

Last year's team, which featured some of the same players now on the star squad, came within one game of earning a berth in the state tournament.

The team reached the district championship in Springerville only to lose 12-0 to Blue Ridge.

The Payson All-Star team is comprised of players selected in a coaches' voting held at the conclusion of the regular season.

Goodman coached the Pirates to the regular season championship with a 17-3 record.

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