Winslow High School baseball coach Art Griffith took his charges to the T-Bird Classic at Mohave High School expecting to face stiff competition, win few games and gain valuable experience for the regular season. All expectations were met during the three days of competition on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as the Bulldogs won one game, lost four and tied one against formidable six opponents.
Griffith evaluated the tournament by saying that the young Bulldogs were not hitting well yet, but did do some good things during the tournament games. He noted that Winslow was 17 of 18 in stolen base attempts. On the other end of that equation, junior catcher Dub Ward tossed out eight of the 15 opposition runners who attempted to steal. The team handled the bunt game well, but had a few too many strike-outs according to the coach. The pitching was complimented on an over all good performance but was criticized for giving up too many walks and not doing as well as they should in holding runners on base. The team turned four double plays. Griffith said that the Bulldogs had learned a lot about themselves and had played against some very good teams.
Winslow lost its first game against 4A Flagstaff Sinagua 4-3. Patrick Thomas pitched well enough to win, allowing only three singles. Four walks, a hit batsman and three Bulldog errors accounted for most of the scoring. Winslow managed four hits: singles by Ward, Mike Beeson, Daniel Vandervalk and Thomas.
The Bulldogs fell 5-1 to a good River Valley team in their second game. River Valley managed six hits off starter Ricky Greer and reliever Kevin Huckabee and scored all five of their runs in the first inning. Huckabee was very effective after the damage in the initial frame. Winslow had only three hits: doubles by Vandervalk and Shawn Mead and a single by Beeson.
Pineview, Utah handed the Bulldogs their third loss of the tournament and the season 7-1 in the team’s third outing. Greer and Mead pitched and were touched for nine hits. The Bulldogs managed four safeties: a double by Michael Shumway and singles by Vandervalk, Brian Marquez and David Manthei.
The Bulldogs committed three errors in one inning against 4A Page to give the Sand Devils all of four of their runs in the 4-3 Winslow loss. Freshman Steve Martinez pitched well and deserved a better fate as he held the Sand Devils to five singles. Winslow also had five hits: a triple and a single by Michael Martinez, a double by Steve Martinez and two singles by Andrew Freeman.
The Bulldogs picked up their first victory against 4A Flagstaff Coconino 5-4 in their next to the last contest. Sophomore Mike Beeson pitched well in limiting the Panthers to five hits. Winslow made the most of its four safeties. Michael Martinez, Seth Davis, Brian Marquez and Michael Lopez all singled for the victors.
The final contest against 5A Yuma Kofa resulted in a 2-2 tie. Freshman Alan Richards pitched an outstanding game for the Bulldogs, allowing only two singles and one earned run.Winslow had three hits: a double by Michael Shumway and singles by Mike Beeson and Dub Ward.
Winslow was slated to play at Chino Valley on Tuesday and will host Snowflake today (March 8) at 3:30 p.m. The Bulldogs will be at Fountain Hills on Saturday and host Blue Ridge on Tuesday