D-Backs Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Tournament

Shiprock Angels fall short in championship game

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Shiprock Angel batter Tomiko “Taco” Pioche connects with the ball and sends it back into the fence for a double Saturday night against the AZ Savages in Scottsdale, Arizona.


The players on the Shiprock Angels 15U group know how to win.

Since the start of the summer, the Angels have found a lot of success on the baseball diamond. At last weekend’s Inter-Tribal Youth Baseball Tournament, which is hosted by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Angels made the championship game of the Double A bracket.

“Our whole point was of this week was to make it to the championship game,” Shiprock Angels coach Pedro Tom said. “We accomplished that and the other point we wanted to do was win the tournament. Unfortunately that didn’t happen but everybody that we brought to the tournament has been working hard and playing hard.”

The Angels were upended 9-0 to a very good AZ Savages team in the finals at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale. That shutout was the Angels’ second loss of the summer season.

“I think it was a lot of nerves,” Tom said of their performance in the Double A finals. “I’ve seen these boys play many times in competitive games. When they play relaxed and when they play without any pressure they play a lot better than that.”

Tom said it took his team a few innings to get settled in as they surrendered a 6-0 lead to the AZ Savages after four innings.

Offensively, the Angels had a tough time seeing the ball as the AZ Savages gave up only two hits – a double by outfielder Ray Benally in the second frame and a single to first baseman Rasheed Holyan in the next inning.

For the next two innings, the Angels found their footing at the plate with three hits while earning a pair of walks.

“Once they relaxed and once they settled down that is when they started to hit the ball a little bit better,” Tom said.

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Categories: Baseball

About Author

Quentin Jodie

Quentin Jodie is the Sports Editor for the Navajo Times. He started working for the Navajo Times in February 2010 and was promoted to the Sports Editor position at the end of summer in 2012. Previously, he wrote for the Gallup Independent. Reach him at qjodie@navajotimes.com