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Morongo Hit Men battle back to take Beaumont Coyotes tournament

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Hitmen24_Pala_23.164web Beretta slides safely into home with the winning run in the Morongo Hit Men’s 4-3 victory (nine innings) over the Pala Braves to take the championship of the 37th Annual Beaumont Coyotes 4th of July Tournament (July4-6) in Beaumont. Blocking the plate is Pala catcher Jason Abregon. Photo By BOB OTTO

By BOB OTTO / www.ottoinfocus.com
botto3@verizon.net
July 6, 2014

BEAUMONT, Calif. – The loser’s bracket often delivers the knockout blow to a fastpitch team. But not so for the Hit Men of the Morongo Indian Reservation. They seem to thrive on battling back against the odds.

And they certainly did on Sunday in the playoffs of the 37th Annual Beaumont Coyotes 4th of July tournament at Valdivia Field in Beaumont.

After losing early Sunday morning to the tournament’s two-time defending champion Pala Braves, 2-1, in the winner’s bracket final, the Hit Men (6-1) bounced back with three consecutive wins to take the title.

After beating the host Beaumont Coyotes, 6-3, in the loser’s bracket final, the Hit Men beat Pala (3-2) twice, 8-4 and 4-3 in nine innings to finalize their championship run on a day in which they were on the ball field for about seven hours.

BEST TOURNEY PLAYER

“We have a lot of confidence in each other,” said Hit Men shortstop Sal Rated, who was selected the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. (In the final three games on Sunday, he went 8 for 12 for a .667 BA with two RBI, six doubles, and one homer run.) “We never give up. That’s our motto.”

HitmenMVPlayer.201web Most Valuable Player, Sal Rated of the Morongo Hit Men. He drove in the tying run in the seventh to send the game into extra innings.Rated is pictured with Beaumont Coyotes manager, founder and tournament director, David Valdivia, Sr. Photo By BOB OTTO

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