Community steps up make tournament possible

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WALLA WALLA — If there was any doubt as to the turnout to be expected at the 2013 American Legion Class AA state tournament, which began Saturday and runs through Thursday, Friday night’s bar-be-cue likely settled those.

Close to 500 fans, players and family members here to watch the tournament, which Walla Walla is hosting for the first time, crammed into Borleske Stadium to attend the kickoff feast.

“All the teams earned their way here, so there’s very strong fan support,” tournament chairman Brian Kitamura said. “All the games are streamed over Pointstreak live (http://bit.ly/14b1tZR), and ... it’s especially important because there’s no national or regional tournament, this is it. And teams have been working hard all year to get here.”

Include Walla Walla as one of those teams who strove for a spot at the table. Despite being guaranteed a tourney berth as the host, the Bruins (34-6) decimated their foes at the district tournament, also held in Walla Walla, and continued that domination with a 14-2 win over Colville Saturday.

The state tournament is being played at three locations, Murr Sports Park, Walla Walla Community College’s field, and Borleske. The double elimination tourney concludes with the championship game Thursday at Borleske.

Although the Bruins, the Class A Griz, and the independent Bears all host their own 16-team tourneys, the state tournament brings higher fan attendance and extra logistical challenges. In all, Kitamura said close to 400 volunteers are needed to put the tournament on — doing things like running the scoreboards, manning the gates, and maintaining the fields — and local businesses stepped up with in-kind donations and sponsorships.

“It really has (stepped up),” Kitamura said. “The community has been great.”

Comments

odriftwood 8 months, 3 weeks ago

It's sad the Union Bulletin didn't put this story in on Thursday so local people could have participated in opening ceremonies at Borleske Stadium. The tournament is not just about baseball, but celebrating and honoring the veteran's that have served our country.

The teams that participate have a pledge: I Will Keep The Rules. I Will Keep Faith with my Teammates. I Will Keep my Temper. I Will Keep myself Fit. I Will Keep a Stout Heart in Defeat. I Will Keep my Pride under in Victory. I Will Keep a Sound Soul, a Clean Mind, & a Healthy Body

It is sad that with all the negative coverage in the media today that the UB could not take a little more time to give the young men participating in the tournament from all over the state of Washington, our local American Legion program and it's many volunteers a little more coverage. Congrats to the Walla Walla Bruins and all the teams that participated in the tournament!! It is not too late to come out to the ball park and support your local team and community as games continue till Thursday.

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