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PUYALLUP — A combined 16U baseball all-star team from Port Angeles and Sequim captured second place at the prestigious Maverick Late Summer USSSA Tournament last weekend.
The Olympic All-Stars lost their first two games of the tourney but came roaring back to advance to the championship game of the United States Specialty Sports Association event.
Teams from all over Western Washington and the Puget Sound area participated in the tourney.
The North Olympic Peninsula team lost the first game by two runs, and lost the second game on Saturday before rallying back to get to the title game.
The Olympic All-Stars pulled together and played like a team that's been playing together for years to win their way into the championship game Sunday before losing in a 10-9 squeaker to claim second place.
It was a great game, with the score going back and forth, according to manager Richard Stone.
“We were so proud of these boys, going from archrivals [Port Angeles and Sequim] to teammates and claiming second place against teams that have been playing all year together,” Stone said.
“This whole experience was a real eye-opener.”
“Our goal was to help prepare these boys for Wilder [Baseball],” coach Jason Paynter said.
“If they want to play for Wilder, than they are going to have to play together at some point, and this was an excellent way to do so.”
Coach Dean Rhodefer said, “I've been trying to get these boys to play together for years. There is real talent here.”
The Olympic All-Stars usually is a Port Angeles-based team, linked to the North Olympic Babe Ruth program.
Sequim has its own 16U Junior Babe Ruth all-star team as well.
Both teams were very successful in the regular season, and were archrivals to each other.
Sequim beat Olympic in districts the past two years while Olympic defeated Sequim in state the past two seasons, claiming second at state two years in a row.
This is the first time that Sequim and Port Angeles have formed a combined team in years.
The Olympic All-Stars have a ton of talent, and the coaches thought it would be a great idea to merge the Port Angeles and Sequim teams and make an even better team to go play a USSSA tournament in the Seattle metro area, according to Stone.