The Gastineau Channel Little League Juneau East All-Stars continued to struggle with the heat at the Far West Regional Majors Division Little League Tournament in San Bernardino, Calif., but this time Juneau East took Billings, Mont., to extra innings before dropping a 6-3 decision in the seventh inning on Wednesday.
Temperatures have been as high as 104 degrees during the tournament, and Juneau East wilted in its first two games, producing only three hits total as the GCLL All-Stars lost 11-0 to Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday and 12-0 to Bainbridge Island, Wash., on Monday.
"It's way different down here," Juneau East shortstop Nano Jacobsen told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "The heat, the grass (field), and all that. We're not used to it. The climate's way different."
Clae Baker, who has split time between pitcher and catcher, has had an especially difficult time with the heat when he's in full catching gear.
"You just feel heavier and you get really tired in it," he told the Press-Enterprise. "It gets so hot, you can barely move."
On Wednesday, Juneau East actually took a 3-1 lead after the third inning. But Billings tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth and won the game in the seventh. No other details were available about Juneau East's scoring.
The players have tried to battle the heat by cooling off at a nearby hotel swimming pool between games. They've also had water-spritzing fans in the dugout and washcloths on ice. On their day off Tuesday, the team spent the afternoon at a water park in Redlands.
Juneau East is off today and wraps up round-robin pool-play against Salem, Ore., on Friday afternoon. With three losses, Juneau East will not advance into the next round of the tournament.
"But there's no reason we can't be competitive," Juneau East manager Rod Baker told the Press-Enterprise.