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Kingman 15-16s fall short in Arizona State Championship

The Kingman Senior All Stars nearly won an Arizona State Championship, but came up short in a 9-3 loss to Tucson’s Sunnyside. (Courtesy photo)

The Kingman Senior All Stars nearly won an Arizona State Championship, but came up short in a 9-3 loss to Tucson’s Sunnyside. (Courtesy photo)

KINGMAN – The Kingman Senior All Stars faced quite an uphill battle during the 2018 Arizona State Tournament.

Not only did Kingman face two rain delays, but also had to play a doubleheader before ultimately losing 9-3 to Tucson’s Sunnyside in the championship game at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa.

“The kids battled hard, they stepped up, but it was just one of those games,” said Kingman manager Shane Peterson. “They jumped on a few pitches and we didn’t. We were coming off a doubleheader and they were coming in fresh. We chipped away, but it wasn’t enough.”

Kingman was all too familiar with Sunnyside in the championship game after the same squad defeated it earlier in the tournament during the winner’s bracket.

The second meeting didn’t get off to a great start as Sunnyside jumped out to a 5-1 advantage after the first inning.

Despite the early hole, Kingman battled back with runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but it wasn’t enough in falling by six runs.

“It was a great group of kids,” Peterson said. “They worked hard and we represented Kingman well. We thought we played with integrity and honor. We went down there and gave it our best, but we fell short. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, just things to strive for next year.”

Hopefully next year Kingman doesn’t face as many obstacles after the doubleheader depleted its pitching staff for the championship game.

However, the rain delays did provide lasting memories.

“They got to hang out with each other quite a bit more,” Peterson said. “We stayed active and went to the batting cages a couple of times. We actually practiced in the Applebee’s parking lot next door – the only place we could find some grass. The kids made do and worked hard with what they had.”

That work ethic especially showcased itself in a few players, but Peterson knows that it wasn’t just one person that helped lead Kingman to the championship game.

“Dylan Peterson did a pretty good job behind the plate,” Shane Peterson said. “Kaden Bean gave us a good, strong bat in the batting order. Garrett Diem did a great job in the middle infield. Justin Talk and Chris Caron did really well. In all, it was a great team. Each kid battled well.

“I want to thank the coaching staff – Walt Peterson, Patrick O’Boyle and Sean Stinson for donating their time for these boys,” Peterson added.