By Neil Macdonald
Blaines boys of summer
Blaines Pony League team walked away with the northwest regional championship at a tournament in Lynden last week.
In the final game July 7 Blaine was lead by some outstanding pitching from game starter and winner, Joey Paciorek. Ryan Henley pitched the final two innings, holding Bellingham scoreless and picking up the save.
Nate Dodgson got three RBIs while hitting two doubles to the centerfield fence. Will Allison hit a towering home run all the way across the street! The game ended on an outstanding play with a throw from first baseman Garrett Barrlow to catcher Joey Paciorek for the final out. This ended a joyous wet game with a score of 7 to 5 for the tournament championship.
One of the weekend highlights wasnt baseball at all, said coach Wayne Diaz, but tailgate parties and barbecues for the Blaine fans and players. Its not just about baseball its about community spirit, he said.
team soccer tourney comes to
Blaines Pipeline Field
The Blaine girls soccer team came back from a one point deficit to defeat opponents Mark Morris 2 1 in a shootout, and surprised Southridge 2 1 in the Blaine Invitational Saturday. It wasnt enough to overcome their Friday loss, 0 1, to Arlington and advance to the finals on Sunday.
The annual 16-team tournament, a fundraiser for the team, saw Blaine place second in their four team division. With his girls in a division of 4A schools, coach Dan Steelquist was hardly disappointed. He scouted Mark Morris on Friday, and seeing three dominant players, adjusted his teams style of play. The girls just played a great team defense game, he said. The goal that tied things up came from Lindsay Taylor, and the Borderites finished when it counted, in the shootout. Victory over Southridge came on goals from Taylor and Andrea Harmening. We opened it up and played a different style, Steelquist said.
While he may not have any hardware from the tournament to flaunt, Steelquist was pleased with his teams showing and looks forward to the 2002 season. Weve lost some key seniors, he admitted, but with a young team that narrowly missed the state tournament in 2001, he thinks there may be great things to come.
Taggart misses cut
Blaine resident James Taggard, 55, who plays out of Semiahmoo, shot 78-84 162 in the first two rounds on June 27-28 to miss the cut in the 23rd U.S. Senior Open at 7,005-yard, par 71 Caves Valley Golf Club course in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Taggard was 8 over after 17 holes in the first round on June 27 when lightning suspended play for Taggard and 30 other golfers still on the course. He shot 84 on June 28 for a two-day, 36-hole total of 162 (20 over).
Even in missing the cut, Taggard was in select company. Arnold Palmer, 82-85 167, and Gary Player, 79-75 154, didnt make it either.
Taggard, a Portland native, competed in the 1999 USGA Mid-Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis. His wife, Kit, caddied for him. He qualified for the U.S. Senior Open when he carded a 2-under-70 at Tacoma Country and Golf Club on June 17.
86 finishes with flourish
Coach Gary Clausens Blaine Post 86 baseball team defeated Meridian 7-3 on June 25 and Oak Harbor 5-2 on June 27 in a rain-shortened game at the Pipe to extend their winning streak to four straight and finish the season with a respectable 8-8 record.
Chris Kleman won the Meridian encounter in relief and supplied a pair of doubles and three RBIs to help win the Oak Harbor game. Laird Dickie let up two unearned runs over five innings in getting the win over OH.
Other Post 86 contests of consequence included:
June 11 Ferndale 9, Blaine 1 at Ferndale. Kleman went 2-for-3 with a double. Sean McLaughlin got 1 RBI. June 13 Blaine 10, Sehome 7 at Blaine. Dickie was 3-for-4 with a double. Kleman, WP, went 2-for-4, had 2 RBIs. June 14 Bellingham Jrs. 10, Blaine 7 at Bham. Kyle Dhanani went 3-for-4; McLaughlin, 2-for-4. June 15 1st game: Granite Falls 8, Blaine 7 at Blaine. Kyle Green was 2-for-4; Kleman, 2-for-4 with a triple and a RBI. 2nd game: Blaine 15, Mt. Baker 7. Sam Henley got a double and 2 RBIs.
June 18 Oak Harbor 2, Blaine 1 (9 innings) at Oak Harbor. Blaine out-hit OH 5-4. Winning run was unearned. June 19 Blaine 14, Squalicum 12 at Squalicum. Down 12-4 in top of 7th, Blaine scored 10 runs on 3 hits, 7 walks and 2 hit batters. McLaughlin was WP. June 20 Blaine 6, Nooksack 0 at the Pipe. Kleman scattered 5 hits for the win. Dickie hit 2-for-4 with a RBI.