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Firecracker tourney set to ignite Friday
Sequim Baseball’s Weston Royall, right, snags a fly ball in center field against Wilder at last year’s Firecracker Tournament.
Karsten Wake of Sequim Baseball takes a cut at a pitch as his squad takes on host Wilder at last year’s Dick Brown Memorial Firecracker Tournament.
Sequim Gazette file photos by Michael Dashiell
Not all of the fireworks on the Olympic Peninsula this weekend will be in backyards or on the television.
The 13th annual Dick Brown Memorial Firecracker Classic brings eight senior- and junior-level youth baseball squads to Port Angeles’ Civic Field Friday-Monday, July 1-4.
Among them are the host, Wilder Baseball Club, a squad made up predominantly of Port Angeles players with several area stars, and Sequim Baseball, a 21-player-strong squad comprised mostly of Sequim High School stars.
Rob Merritt, head coach for Wilder, said the tournament is particularly key because in three weeks Civic Field is home to the Pacific Northwest Regional Tournament, one he’s trying to get his players ready for.
“(Firecracker) gets us used to playing on our field,” Merritt said, noting his squad has had nine cancellations for games at Civic for one reason or another.
“It (the tourney) does help us raise money; that’s another plus,” he said.
Wilder features 15 area stars, including Sequim High first team all-league infielder Isaac Yamamoto, who hit a two-run home run in a tournament in Oregon on June 26.
“We’re starting to hit well and our pitching’s actually pretty good,” Merritt said. “(But) we’re still trying to figure out our lineup.”
Dan Perry, head coach of Sequim Baseball, has 21 players on his roster, including 18 from Sequim, two from Chimacum and another from Oregon. The Sequim squad is 7-5 in summer league ball as of June 27.
Sequim Baseball has twice finished second at the Firecracker, having played in all 12 previous tournaments.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Perry said of the Firecracker. “We show pretty good at that tournament.”
Perry said he has a number of athletes on the squad playing well this season, including Weston Royall, Kyler Johnston, Ray Montelius, Karsten Wake and Jake Hudson.
“I’m happy the way we’re playing,” Perry said. “We’re pretty strong at the plate, real strong defense wise and we have 12 kids that can pitch. I’ve never had a pitching staff like that.”
Sequim Baseball and Wilder Baseball Club are in the “Blue” division, along with the Victoria Mariners and Kitsap American Juniors. Sequim and Wilder match up on Sunday evening.
Red division teams include the Coquitlam Reds, Victoria Eagles, Kitsap American Seniors and Blaze Baseball from Tacoma.