Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Shorthanded Blue Devils are runners-up at Belgrade

Cheney's Flippo has hot bat until he suffers injury


Mike Brandt, Belgrade News

Cheney's Kyle Barsness on base in Belgrade.

The Spokane Blue Devils accomplished quite a lot this past weekend and they did so with limited resources.

The Senior AAA team finished second to Pac Tech from Longview/Kelso, Wash. in the Boys of Summer Invitational at Edward S. Medina Field in Belgrade, Mont. Pac Tech beat the Blue Devils twice, once on Thursday 7-2 in the second game of pool play and again Sunday, 11-1 in the title game.

Spokane opened play with a 7-1 win over Lethbridge, Alberta. They beat the hosts, Belgrade 10-3 Saturday and handled local foe, the Northeast 49ers 14-10 in a semifinal game that sent them to the title tilt.

The Blue Devils entered play with limited numbers, head coach Steve Hare said. And it got worse, to the point where they fielded just nine players in the championship game.

"I thought originally I was going to have all 15 (players) there at one point," Hare said. "I found out the night before from a couple of kids they had prior commitments; I ended up only bringing 12 kids over and only 10 able to play."

Cheney players on the Blue Devils, who finished 4-2 in the four-day tournament, played big parts in the weekend.

Tristan Flippo had the hottest bat going 2 for 3 versus Lethbridge with an RBI. He was 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI against Pac Tech and 3 for 4 with an RBI against Belgrade.

Everything was going well for the team's catcher until a pitcher's short hop to the plate bounced up and nailed Flippo in the throat.

"We had to take a trip to urgent care to get him checked out," Hare said. "We lost him for the rest of the tournament."

Barsness went 6 of 14 in the six games, including socking a double and triple while collecting a pair of RBIs versus Rapid City. He also had 3 RBIs against the 49ers and scored a run.

Tanner Smith had five hits in 16 at bats with his best offensive effort being a 2 for 3 day versus Belgrade with 2 RBIs.

The Blue Devils now prepare for a rugged schedule of games in the Woodbat Classic starting tonight at Al Jackson Field at Shadle Park High School. They open against Missoula, Mont. at 6 p.m. and then face 2013 American Legion World Series participant, Napoleon, Ohio at 8:30 p.m.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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