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Worland 14U baseball starts summer with 8-3 win over Lovell

WORLAND - Starting their summer with an 8-3 win over Lovell on May 29, the Worland 14U boys baseball team get their season started just as they liked.

Isaiah Leyva got the win from the mound while Jorey Anderson came in for relief and Jerry Leyva Jr. closed out the game. "He closed it out with no problem and did it on very few pitches," said Worland 14U coach Jerry Leyva Sr.

In late March Worland went down to Las Vegas to compete in a tournament there, but since then they have had little time to practice. The weather was the biggest culprit when it came to spoiling Worland's practice time, leaving little time to prepare for their game against Lovell.

But as this group of players has logged their fair share of games, Leyva Sr. relied on this group's experience to shake off the rust.

"We couldn't do anything because of the weather, so I just got them together and told them to go play the way they know how. At this age they know what to do when they get out there," said Leyva Sr.

Led by Anderson's bat, Worland got things rolling in the second inning after trailing 1-0 after the top of the first. Taking the lead in the bottom of the second, Worland never gave up that lead.

Expecting some rust Leyva Sr. was impressed with his team's overall defensive effort. He saw each player hustling on every play and backing one another up.

"Our bats were a little rusty, we are not quite in baseball shape but overall, our defense, I was more than satisfied with. They've learned quickly at this age no one is standing around. We've got to be moving. The outfielders have to back up an infield play on a throw down to first or third. I saw that all game.

"I saw my center fielder backing up second base, my right fielder backing up first base. At the young ages, you can kind of get away with watching the play but at this age, you have to be involved in every play," said Leyva. "We're seeing that and all the work they've been putting into it."

Even though they scored eight runs for the game, Worland did leave quite a few runners stranded. Patience has been something Leyva Sr. and his staff have been stressing and while they saw it at times, there's still work to be done on that area.

Anderson and Isaiah Leyva were the two most consistent of the Worland batters against Lovell, and Leyva Sr. praised both on their outings.

"The bats were a little rusty, some of the boys were just off whether it was being a hair too soon or too late. Jorey [Anderson] was seeing the ball the best out of everyone. He had the hardest hits and made good contact with each hit.

"Isaiah is learning how to do what we are teaching them as far as sitting back and waiting, to drive to the opposite field. He struggled on the mound but that was more because of being inside for so long," said Leyva.

Worland heads to Powell this weekend to play in their first tournament of the summer season. Worland will have games and tournament scheduled throughout the month with the ultimate goal of getting ready for the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball Firecracker tournament on June 28-July 1 in Heber City, Utah.

"They're all excited that the weather finally broke and that we're finally able to get out on the field and play some baseball," said Leyva Sr. "The Firecracker will be our big tournament this season. That is a big tournament, a fun one and it's very competitive."

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