Summer baseball in Hermiston has been an ever-changing element in the past couple years, and this year isnt an exception.
Theres a new team on the block in Hermiston, and while there are a few familiar faces, this team features a true all-area roster of graduating seniors and college freshmen.
The Tri-County Outlaws, which will play under an AAU and Senior Babe Ruth dual distinction, is a U-19 (19-and-under) squad that will cram in about 40 games in a two-month span this June and July.
The team came to fruition after the idea of a Senior (or AAA) American Legion team that combined Hermiston, Pendleton and the surrounding areas fizzled leaving no place for the older crowd to play.
Hermiston residents Juan Lopez and Don Holden worked to put together this team, and with the cooperation of local junior college and high school coaches, they were able to assemble a roster of about 25 guys with a complete pitching staff.
Local ballplayers on the roster include former Hermiston standouts Jeremy Holden, Tim Rude and Tommy Bevington; Stanfields Trey Blevins, Derek Monkus and Josh Linker; along Heppners Cam Day and Riversides 6-foot-9 hurler Sean Shimer.
Hermistons Tate Gabriel and Tyler Schwirse have also joined the team, along with Pendleton outfielder Reese Merriman.
While the area flavor provides some talent to the roster, players from Columbia Basin College, Linn-Benton, Big Bend and Blue Mountain community colleges will provide plenty of punch for the club, managed by Hermiston graduate Derrek Lete.
The team will play in a tournament just about every weekend between the beginning of June to the end of July with stops in Spokane, Ephrata, Walla Walla and Coeur dAlene.
The Outlaws have a field-use agreement with the Hermiston School District to play its home games at Armand Larive Middle School, but could also use Weber or Shockman Field depending on availability.
The Outlaws will kick off its inaugural season on the road Sunday against the Columbia Gorge Hustlers in The Dalles.