Between now and next Thursday, the North Side Blue Devils will determine their AAA Spokane American Legion title fate.
During that time the Blue Devils face their nearest pursuers, the Cannons and Bandits, a total of seven times.
It is part of an arduous 11-day, 11-game schedule facing that team that will nearly complete its league season.
Going into tonight’s game against the Royals, the Blue Devils had compiled a 9-3 record, and were to have played three games against the Bandits.
Included was a game on Wednesday night and they also play on Tuesday . The Blue Devils are also scheduled to play the Cannons in a Saturday doubleheader and play the team again on July 17.
The three Spokane league contenders compiled winning records during last weekend’s 4th of July Senior baseball tournament.
Montanans, however, prevailed over Idahoans in games to determine the top four places.
The Great Falls Stallions beat the Coeur d’Alene Lumbermen in the game for first and third. Billings Royals beat the Post Falls Cardinals 12-3 in the game for third and fourth.
All three Spokane teams compiled 3-2 records. The Blue Devils even won 8-6 over the eventual finalist Lumbermen.
But the trio finished one win each away from the title game.
The Blue Devils and Valley Cannons tied with Billings behind the Lumbermen in their division.
The Cannons were denied a title berth when they lost 9-8 to Coeur d’Alene in their final game of the round-robin tournament. The team had won its initial three games of the tourney, including 8-4 over the Blue Devils.
The Browne Mountain Bandits missed a title spot when they lost 7-6 to Great Falls in their second game of the tournament.
During the weekend tournament, Blue Devil Eric Hayden had eight hits, including two three-hit games. Sean Hughes had six hits in the team’s first three games and pitched a 5-1 victory.
Two other Spokane entrants, the Royals and North Stars, went 2-3 and 1-4 respectively in the tournament. North Stars player Seth Winterer had a team high nine hits.
One week to go
Legion AA team Bob Hess Photography/Wheeler Brothers (Mead) swept into first place with five straight victories last week.
Included was a doubleheader sweep of B&C; Telephone/Dix (Lakeside), which was one of three teams vying for the North Division lead of the summer baseball league.
Hess/Wheeler scored in the bottom of the ninth inning of a regularly scheduled seven-inning game to win the opener 11-10. It followed up with a 5-3 win.
On Monday, the Mead team won twice over Deer Park Eagles, 7-2 and 6-5, rallying for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two.
Dan Stucky had a pair of three-hit games and nine total during the five victories. Josh Sampson added seven hits.
Pitcher Dan Thigpen won three times, once in relief, to improve his league record to 4-0.
Legion AA play has one busy week remaining before the top three finishers in each division play off for state.
Hess/Wheeler plays three times, once at home Tuesday and twice in Colville Thursday against closest pursuer Panorama Twins.