Region baseball tournament comes to West ValleyAug 31, 2017 03:11PM ● By Jana Klopsch
Teams comprised of eight- and nine-year-old kids converged on Hunter Cyprus Babe Ruth League this summer. Their determination to succeed is written in their faces. (Shayne Morrow/Hunter Cyprus)
West Valley City was the host of the Pacific Southwest Regional Baseball Tournament for eight- and nine-year-old players. The tournaments crowned region champions in their age groups.
“It was good baseball and incredible how well the teams played. We heard a lot of good things from our guest teams and they had a lot of fun here. They all told us what a class act job the league and city had done at hosting the tournament,” Hunter Cyprus league president Shayne Morrow said. “We had several players and parents from our league helping out, that was great.”
The qualifying teams earned spots in the region tournament by winning their respective district tournament.
California sent representatives from three districts: northern, central and southern. Nevada and Arizona each sent representatives and Utah was allowed a northern, southern and Hunter Cyprus representative because of its host status. Guam had a team in the nine-year-old division.
“The teams participated in a skills competition and we had a movie in the park for the kids. It was beneficial for us to get our league out there again. The community and players enjoyed it. It was a lot of work,” Morrow said.
Hunter Cyprus baseball has been organized since 1955 and had hosted this level of tournament before. Morrow said the league has hosted several state and district tournaments.
“I have been told by state officials that Hunter Cyprus was the first organized league in the state to join the Cal Ripken organization,” Morrow said.
The nine-year-old champion was Elk Grove, Calif. They defeated Heartwell, Calif. 15-3 in the championship game. The Hunter Cyprus team went 0-3 in the pool play. The other two Utah teams, Eagle Mountain and Mueller Park both went 1-2 and missed out on the championship round.
The eight-year-old champion was Fremont, Calif. They defeated Spanish Springs, Nev. 12-10 in the final game. Hunter Cyprus was winless in pool play with four losses. The Roosevelt and Riverton Utah teams both were 2-2 in pool play while Taylorsville went 0-4.
“Our teams did not do as well as we had hoped. They were competitive though. For the eight- and nine-year-olds this is the championship. They do not offer a World Series like they do for the older age groups,” Morrow said.
Guam presented the biggest logistics hurdle for tournament organizers. Attaining hotel rooms and arranging transportation for the players was a challenge for a team coming from so far away. The tournament host hotels, Town Place Suites and Crystal Inn, in West Valley sponsored housing for the players and coaches.
“The league ice maker broke the week before the tournament began. Maverik stepped in and supplied all of the ice we needed. Everything from drinks to snow cones. Whatever we needed, I figure it was more than a $1,000 worth of ice,” Morrow said.
The other tournament sponsors included Golden Corral in West Valley who served the coaches and umpires a kickoff breakfast.
Hunter Cyprus baseball league is growing. Morrow said the number of kids participating is increasing and support from parents has improved. They play their games at Hunter Park, 3500 South and 5800 West, and at Magna Park.
The local league champions this season were the Pewee Yankees, Minor Mariners and Major Blue Jays.
The league serves players ages 4-18. It offers t-ball for the younger players and competitive level for its all-stars. In the fall, they encourage players to continue playing at Taylorsville because Hunter football takes over the fields at Hunter Park. Cal Ripken Baseball is a division of Babe Ruth baseball.