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Even for Verde Valley baseball players ages 13 and under, there is never an offseason.


chaz taylor disregards the runner on second base and throws the pitch to the plate during Mean Machine’s 11-3 victory over the Hurricanes at the United States Specialty Sports Association Winter Nationals Super National Invitation Tournament on Dec. 28. West Sedona School seventh-grader Brad Howard would pitch a complete game to lead Mean Machine, the youth baseball team for all kids in Sedona and the Verde Valley ages 13 and under, to third place in the Peoria tournament.

The Mean Machine baseball team is proving that, taking Sedona children like first baseman Angel Betancourt, center fielder Brad Howard and third baseman Wyatt Ross to winter tournaments in Phoenix and facing them off in six-inning games against young baseball talent from around the state as well as the Southwest.

This was the case Dec. 27 through 30, as Mean Machine took third place in Peoria’s U.S. Specialty Sports Association Winter Nationals Super National Invitation Tournament — one game shy of earning a berth in the Elite World Series, Saturday, Aug. 2, through Sunday, Aug. 10, in Kissimmee, Fla. Each age bracket’s winner and runner-up there — 8-Under through 14-Under — will advance to the U.S. Specialty Sports Association National Youth Championship in Memphis, Tenn.

“This was an excellent tournament for the Mean Machine squad and many of the boys deserve mention for their efforts throughout the tournament,” Coach Creighton Kim said.

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Jan. 22, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.


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