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Ready to roll

By Staff | Jun 13, 2014

Thor Skjelver/PCT Shayden Luna steps into a hit during practice last Monday.

The sound of the metal bats striking the ball, the sand kicked up in the air and the yells of the umpire after a huge play. It’s America’s pastime on a beautiful North Dakota summer day.

The Rugby Babe Ruth Baseball team kicked off its season this past week. Rugby plays in the Turtle Mountain league against four other teams: Bottineau, Belcourt-Dunseith, North Star (Cando), and Rolette. For the season, they will need to play each team twice. In mid-July, the teams will compete in a tournament, and the winner advances to a play-in series to advance to state.

“We have a decent chance at being top team in the league,” said coach Mitch Grochow. “We’ll be pushed to it make it to the game for state.”

The team has 15 players, with seven 15-year-olds, four 14-year-olds, and four 13-year-olds. There are quite a few returning players from last year. There’s a lot of experience there, too. And this year, Towner is co-oping with Rugby, so there are a couple more kids with experience and potential for a great year.

The players are looking forward to playing and in general, enjoying the game.

“I get to hang out with my friends and play a sport I like,” Isiah Johnson said. “What’s not to like?”

And for some, this year presents a new responsibility to the older players, like Kyle Ebach, an outfielder for the team.

“I’m one of the oldest players,” Ebach said. “I like that you can actually teach kids how to play baseball. You have to set an example.”

The team plays its next game on June 16 against Belcourt/Dunseith.

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