Snap-On Tools finishes fifth in state

Snap-On Tools, Sweet Home’s 11-12-year-old youth National League team, placed fifth in the state last weekend after losing its final two games by identical scores, 9-4.

Coach Dick Reynolds said his team missed the championship match-up by one game, when it lost to eventual champion Yamhill Carlton after leading for most of the game Saturday.

Sunday, Sweet Home came back to play for third place , but after leading going into the last inning, lost again, 9-4.

Reynolds said the very fact that his team made it deep into the playoffs was a tribute to his players’ dedication. “This particular group of kids were National level. They weren’t good enough for American,” he said. “We had no pitchers when we started. They went to work and they became very good. They worked hard.”

Reynolds attributed the improvements on the mound to help from former Sweet Home High School pitcher Randy Claasen, who would hold clinics on Saturdays so the players could learn to pitch.

“These guys really worked hard and became an awful good baseball team,” Reynolds said. “I’m very proud of them.”