Spokane Heat, a hand-picked allstar baseball team of 14-year-olds, is making its second bid to qualify for national competition.
The Heat will host a six-team AAU Junior Olympics World Series qualifier Friday through Sunday at Central Valley High School in the Spokane Valley. The winner can advance to the JO event in Orlando, Fla., Aug. 4-11.
Teams entered are from Wenatchee, Lewiston, Pasco, Kennewick and the Spokane Valley Baseball Pony League all-stars.
All six teams will play three games, and the four with the best records advance to single-elimination championship competition.
The Heat plays at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Gonzaga University coach Steve Hertz will throw out the first ball delivered to him by four incoming sky divers.
The championship game will be at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.
Garry Junior High student Taylor West has compiled a 4-1 record, and Mead Junior High’s Bryan Schutz is batting .324. Also on the team are Kyle Ellenz from Mead, who has been injured, and St. Aloysius’ Cole Hockett, a .300 hitter.
Spokane Heat has a 14-4 record, recently finishing second in a Continental Amateur Baseball Association tournament in Bellevue, Wash. All told, the team plans to play between 50 and 60 games and in six tournaments, three of them World Series qualifiers in various associations.
The team is hitting .340 overall and averaging just under 10 runs per game.
Players come from throughout Spokane and Moses Lake.
Legion players a hit
One baseball season is over and another has begun for area high school baseball players.
One week into the 25-game season M&L; Construction (Mead) won twice, and Maxwell House (NC) and Chapter 11/Longhorn (Shadle) won once each.
Among the early hitting stars are Chapter’s Joe Dunsmoor with three hits and two RBIs in his opener and Maxwell House’s Steve Sebesta and Nic Pugliese with four hits each in two games.