No Final Four For Ll Stars

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Payson Little League manager Eddie Duran summed up his team's postseason plight by saying "there will be no final-four this year."

The 10-11-year-olds aspiration for a berth in the semifinal and final rounds ended July 19 at Shea Middle School in Phoenix where the Rim Country stars fell 10-0 to Nogales.

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The Payson 11- and 12-year-old Little League All-Stars dropped two games in the state tournament and will not be advancing to the final four.

The local Little Leaguers opened the post season July 16 with a 3-1 loss to Mesa.

The team rebounded two days later to whip South Tucson 12-2.

With a 1-1 state tournament record, Payson remained in contention for a seed into the final four until the loss to Nogales ended hopes.

The team wrapped up state tournament play July 23 against Arrowhead (results not available at press time).

"Hopefully we can pull out a win and end up 2-2," Duran said.

In whipping South Tucson, Blake Cannon opened on the hill and hurled the entire seven innings picking up the win.

Duran cited Nick McMullen, Daily Carnes and Cannon for their timely hitting that provided much of the offense.

He also praised Austin Young and Jesus Perez for third inning bunts that got the Payson crew off and running to an early lead.

"We played some small ball," Duran said.

In losing to Nogales, Payson remained in contention until the fifth inning when the Southern Arizona team went on a rampage thanks in part to Payson miscues.

"The score was only 3-0 and then we kind of fell apart," Duran said.

The team advanced to the state tournament, only the fourth Rim Country Little League team to ever do so, by winning area and district championships in Show Low.

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