The Plateau Avengers are: front row

Local Pony squad advances to West tourney

The Plateau Avengers, Enumclaw's 14U Pony League baseball team, has landed in West Covina, Calif. where it will battle in the four-day West Zone tournament.

The Plateau Avengers, Enumclaw’s 14U Pony League baseball team, has landed in West Covina, Calif. where it will battle in the four-day West Zone tournament.

The Enumclaw squad previously emerged as the No. 1 team from the state of Washington and earned the right to travel to California and square off against state champs from California, Hawaii, Utah and Arizona. The winner of the West Covina tourney will represent the West Zone in the Pony League World Series, slated for Aug. 5-10 in Washington, Pa.

The Avengers begin their tournament experience today, Thursday, facing Arizona. All tourney games are at Walmerado Park in West Covina, a city nestled about 19 miles east of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley.

The local 14U team had traveled to Olympia to compete in the July 14-17 Pony League Northwest Region tournament. After six games in four days, the Plateau Avengers earned the title of state champions. They competed against teams from other cities and regions of the state like Seattle, Bothell and South Sound, which had put together all-star teams to compete in the tournament.

The Enumclaw-based Avengers was the only team in the Olympia tourney that had played as a unit all season, using the Pete’s Pool diamond as their home field. Other state representatives were all-star teams, sometimes hand-picked from a pool of as many as 100 players.

The Avengers won three of four games on the Olympia tournament’s opening day, then defeated a North Seattle team 3-0 to advance to the title game Playing for the state Pony championship, the Avengers registered an 11-5 victory over a South Sound team that had won the tournament the two previous years.

The local team was put together last fall and started working out in November in gyms and indoor facilities until the weather improved enough to move outside. They organized a work party with three other teams to fix up the Pete’s Pool facility by replacing the backstop, repairing the manual scoreboard, putting a flag pole in center field where an American flag flies during every game and fixing up both the infield and outfield.

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