Gary "Junior" Antone came up from the Twin Falls area to play slow-pitch softball for Little Wood Builders last weekend at Hailey's Lions Park. His teammates were glad he did.
Playing shortstop and batting in the #11 hole of a formidable Little Wood batting order, Antone led the builders to four wins without a loss and the championship of the first annual Wyett Livingston/ Stone Memorial Fundraiser.
Antone was brilliant on defense and belted a pair of two-run homers leading Little Wood Builders to a 10-5 championship game victory over Bud Light of Twin Falls Sunday. He was the tournament's male Most Valuable Player.
Female MVP was Little Wood's Sharon Payne Bolton.
The one-pitch meet attracted 11 teams for two days of action in memory of 3-month-old Wyett Jacquelyn Livingston, the daughter of Jamie Stone and Carry Livingston who died peacefully from sudden infant death syndrome May 18.
Jamie Stone, who went on to play at College of Southern Idaho, was one of Wood River High School's best softball players. Her family and the Hailey Coed Softball League community got together to organize the tournament.
Four teams filled with Twin Falls players helped bolster the tournament field, but it was Antone who made most of the difference in the title contest.
He helped the Little Wood Builders infield defense turn a pair of double plays. Antone almost singlehandedly killed a potential Bud Light rally in the home fourth inning—with the Twin Falls team holding a 4-2 lead and threatening with the meat of its batting lineup.
Chasing a pair of solidly hit Bud Light grounders up the middle, Antone dove and stopped the two balls and acrobatically flipped to second for the force plays. His defense killed a possible big inning.
When Little Wood came up in the visitor fifth, Antone belted a one-out, two-run opposite field homer putting his team ahead for the first time 5-4. Bud Light wasn't going away, though, tying the game 5-5.
Little Wood captain Sean Harrington (2 hits) opened the sixth with a solo homer. His southpaw swinging teammate T.J. Peterson followed with a two-run homer for an 8-5 lead. In the home sixth, Little Wood outfielder Morgan Uhrig made a sensational running catch in center field and fired into the infield for another double play.
The play took the wind out of Bud Light's sails—and Antone (2 hits, 4 RBI) finished off the challengers with a two-run, inside-the-park homer in the seventh. "Junior" led the 14-hit Little Wood Builders attack helped out by Peterson (3 hits, 2 runs), Uhrig (2 hits) and Greg Edwards (2 hits, 2 RBI).
Little Wood Builders, sponsored by Kandice Blodgett, scored 48 runs and allowed only 24 in its four victories. Third place went to Rocky Mountain Hardware of Hailey.
2010 Wyett Livingston/Stone Memorial 1-Pitch Tournament
June 19-20, 2010 at Lions Park, Hailey. A total 20 games played among 11 teams, 389 runs scored.
TEAM, SPONSOR REC. RUNS VS.
1—Little Wood Builders/Kandice Blodgett 4-0 48 24
2—Bud Light (Twin Falls) 3-2 53 58
3—Rocky Mountain Hardware 4-2 66 46
Wyett 2/Poggi 2-2 38 32
Mahoney's Bar & Grill 3-2 53 44
Maniacs (Twin Falls) 3-2 60 43
Anger Management (Twin Falls) 1-2 26 22
Diamonds 0-2 15 17
Wyett 1/Casino 0-2 12 26
Team Fairfield 0-2 1 36
Power Engineers 0-2 17 41
WINNER BRACKET GAMES
Mahoney's Bar & Grill 22, Power Engineers 8
Maniacs 10, Wyett 1/Casino 9
Rocky Mountain Hardware 6, Anger Management 1
Wyett 2/Poggi 10, Diamonds 9
Bud Light 8, Mahoney's Bar & Grill 6
Little Wood Builders 9, Maniacs 6
Rocky Mountain Hardware 16, Team Fairfield 0
Bud Light 11, Wyett 2/Poggi 7 (8 innings)
Little Wood Builders 10, Rocky Mountain Hardware 8
Little Wood Builders 19, Bud Light 5 (winner bracket final)
LOSER BRACKET GAMES
Anger Management 16, Wyett 1/Casino 3
Mahoney's Bar & Grill 7, Diamonds 6
Maniacs 19, Power Engineers 9
Mahoney's Bar & Grill 13, Anger Management 9
Maniacs 20, Team Fairfield 1
Rocky Mountain Hardware 13, Mahoney's Bar & Grill 5
Wyett 2/Poggi 15, Maniacs 5
Rocky Mountain Hardware 7, Wyett 2/Poggi 6
Bud Light 24, Rocky Mountain Hardware 16 (loser bracket final)
Little Wood Builders 10, Bud Light 5
MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
Gary "Junior" Antone, Little Wood Builders shortstop, and Sharon Payne Bolton, Little Wood Builders first baseman.