New select baseball team available to Newcastle boys

September 20, 2009

By Tim Pfarr

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 20, 2009

A new select baseball team is being formed in Western Washington for boys younger than 12. The team is known as Warriors 12U, and tryouts will be held at 9 a.m. Sept. 26 in Redmond’s Marymoor Park, field No. 4.

The team held a tryout Sept. 12 at Rijo Athletics in Woodinville, and the team offered positions to two of the 10 boys who tried out. Of the two boys who received offers, one agreed to play with the Warriors and the other has not decided.

The team also consists of four boys who helped found the team, bringing the total number of committed players to five. The team will take a total of 13 or 14 players.

Warriors co-founder Michael Stein, of Newcastle, said he expects the Sept. 26 tryout to draw more players, as the team has taken to advertising on the Internet and with various baseball blogs.

“It’s been fun,” Stein said. “Like starting up anything, it’s a lot of work initially.”

Michael Stein’s son, Jake, is the only Newcastle player committed to the team at this time.

The team will be a member of the baseball league PONY, as well as the United States Specialty Sports Association.

Stein said the team, like other select teams, is designed to provide a more competitive atmosphere for those who desire it. He said the team will act as a bridge for boys who wish to play at the high school or college level, as the competitive environment will allow them to improve their skills and prepare for higher-level play.

Stein said the team will play about 50 games per year, including tournaments. He said PONY is also different from Little League in that the rules are more like those of Major League Baseball, as players are permitted to lead-off and steal bases, as well as run for first if the catcher drops the ball on the third strike. Also, once a player is substituted out, he may not return for the remainder of the game.

The Warriors will begin practicing in mid-October. The team will practice four to six hours per week from October to February, but it will practice six to eight hours per week from January to March.

The team will play its first official game in March in a tournament in Arizona.

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