For a team made up of players from Class 1A schools, competing in a league dominated by teams from 3A and 4A schools is like traveling through a meat grinder.
The Chewelah-based Northeast Forty-Niners endured that experience in Senior American Legion Baseball play this summer.
By 1A standards, the Forty-Niners is a talented team. However, playing a summer schedule against opponents selected from Greater Spokane League teams presented quite a challenge.
The Niners completed their regular season last week with three losses. They were defeated by the Spokane Northstars, 12-2, on Tuesday. They lost to the Spokane Bandits, 16-2, on Wednesday.
Then, on Thursday, they were beaten by the Spokane Cannons, 13-3.
Brent Fiola had a good outing on the mound for Northeast 49ers. He allowed three earned runs over 4 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, while walking one and striking out one.
Lucas Owens (Lakeside) had a 2-for-5 performance at the plate.
He singled in the sixth inning and tripled in the seventh inning. His three-run triple brought home Dominick Coleman, Jonah Krausz, and Trevor Amann (Deer Park). Krausz singled to get on base.
Another run in the bottom of the eighth helped the Niners close its deficit to 10-4 when a sacrifice fly by Elan Krausz scored Nic Manson.
The Northeast Forth-Niners mustered only four hits on Wednesday night, and lost, 16-2, to the Spokane Bandits.
A single by Jonah Krausz and a double off the bat of Owens brought home the two Niner runs in the fifth inning.
Eight hits produced only four runs on Thursday evening for the Forty-Niners as they endured a 13-3 loss to the Spokane Cannons.
Jonah Krausz scored on Owens’ double in the first inning, giving the Niners an early 1-0 lead. It did not last long, however. The Niners got only two more runs. Owens and Krausz both singled and scored later in the game. Their runs left the Cannons on top for the win, 13-3.
Jonah Krause led the team at the plate through the season with a .351 batting average. He swatted 26 hits.
This year’s Forty-Niner team struggled through its AAA Legion Baseball season. There is speculation that the Niners could possibly drop down into the AA league next summer.
By Geno Ludwig/Staff Correspondent