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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, July 9, 2015 SECTION 2 SPORTS By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Ryan Gray was on his way back to Calgary, Alberta this past Monday to try to collect a little Canadian cash at the Stampede. Dealing with the issues crossing the border sure beat where he was a year ago. That's when Gray was sidelined after undergoing abdominal surgery, hav- ing to deal with paying medical bills his Pro Rodeo Cowboy's Association insurance did not, and arguing with his insurance company. "I had a decent, decent week," Gray said of a span that started with a win at Pecos, Texas, June 30. "We got some points (money) on the board so that was good." All together, Gray has won about $16,000 the past couple of weeks. That moved him into the top-10 in money, from 11th to sixth with current winnings of $46,696. That's a far cry from his 59th place in 2014 and $13,000 in winnings. That was the first time since 2003 Gray had failed to qualify for the National Finals in Las Vegas. Gray's season got an early jump-start on 2015 when he won in Kissim- mee, Fla., last October collecting $5,780. The new season starts Oct. 1 each year in Pro Rodeo. It has carried on ever since. Ryan Gray "I won Pecos with a 92 (point ride), placed at Reno, I went to Ponoka (Alberta) and didn't do any- thing there," Gray said. He followed with a third place at Greeley, Colo., split third and fourth at Prescott, Ariz., and won at Window Rock, Ariz., July 4, the conclusion of a very busy day for Gray who turns 32, July 11. "We did the short round at Greeley the afternoon of the Fourth, got on a jet and flew down to Window Rock that night and rode there," Gray said. The next few weeks will be equally as full as follow- ing Calgary, Gray will compete at the Snake River Stam- pede in Nampa, Idaho and in Salinas, Calif. along with Salt Lake City and Cheyenne, Wyo., among others. He then returns closer to home, now in rural Lin- coln County, where he will rodeo much of the rest of the season that ends Sept. 30. That will keep him closer to wife Lacy and son, Ransom, who just turned 18 months-old. A year ago, Gray was in a battle outside of the rodeo arena. He was fighting with his insurance pro- vider who thought his 2014 surgeries were not really necessary. It wasn't a medical necessity, underwriters ruled. "I agreed to disagree with them," Gray said. Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@c ss. com. continued from page 1 "That's been our lcryptonite, those The Blue Devils went errors out in the field that were rou- 4-0, reaching the quarter- tine plays, or pitchers doing well the finals Saturday against their league nemesis, the first two oHts then walking a guy and Bandits, losing 7-2. giving up a base knock." Spokane, hosting the Mead Pod at Mead High Spokane Blue Devils' head coach Steve Hare School, opened the Wood Bat Classic with a 2-1 win of games in there where on an error and Dylan over Northwest Premier we had some errors that Greenwald doubled him July 2 and followed With really were hurting us," home for the walk-off a 3-2 victory over the Spo- Haresaid. But they were win. Medical Lake's Cory kane Crew. In day two able to overcome that and Wagner drove in the Blue they rallied, scoring five get wins. Devils' first run in the runs in the fifth inning The Blue Devils gotsecond inning with a to defeat the Lee Johnson their winning run in the single. Battlecats 6-3 and held off opener in the fifth in-Spokane struggled LaGrande, Ore. 5-4 before ning from Medical Lake's against Lee Johnson, fall- falling to the Bandits Sat- Brayden Hale who sin-ing behind 3-1 before urday at Hart Field. gled, stole second and scoring five runs in the The team has lived scored on a single bybottom of the sixth to stay off the mindset from the Kodee Riendeau. in the title hunt. "These beginning of the year that A more exciting finish type of teams will find if they play solid defense capped the Blue Devils' a way to win, bring you they would be competi- win over the Crew as in down with them," Hare tive. the bottom of the seventh, said. "We even had a couple Matt Keenan reached The better effort continued from page 1 win. Offensively, John lead with three more in was 4 for 4 for with a pair the sixth, the big hit be- Petek and Cheevers had of doubles and five RBIs; ing Sadie Wirz's two-run the only hits off three Cheevers was 3 for 3 with double. Xtreme pitchers, two RBIs while Mayer was Lilje began the Ban- Grace Lilje took the 2 for 4 with two RBIs. dits rally in the top of loss on the mound, with Lilje got the complete the seventh with a lead- Lexi Gonzalez coming game win, giving up no off double, advancing on in relief in the fourth earned runs and just four to third on a wild pitch inning, hits while walking two and scoring on Taylor Saturday, the Bandits and striking out three. Pavao's groundout to stayed close to the 18U The Stealth's run came second. Cheevers tel- Menace, trailing 3-2 be- on a fielding error in the lowed by reaching base fore the team from West third, on a throwing error, only Richland scored four runs In the title gameSun- to have Avalanche pitch- in the fifth for the win. day, West Plains staked er Hannah Hirning shut West Plains rebounded a 6-3 lead against the the door with ground- in the afternoon game Avalanche with four outs by Kinzel and John against the Stealth, break- runs in the top of the to secure the Sparkler ing open a 3-0 game with a fourth, two on HannahDivision title. four-run fourth keyed by Madsen's double. But Lilje was 3 for 4 and John's three-run double, the team from MontanaCheevers 2 for 4 to lead The Bandits scored tied the game with three the Bandits offensively. three in the fifth and four runs in the bottom of the John took the loss, giving in the seventh in the 14-1 frame, and took a 9-6up six runs on six hits, came later Friday against routine plays, or pitch- mance from Wagner on LaGrande, Ore., Hare ers doing well the first the mound who pitched said. "They were a solid two outs then walking a a one-hitter in the 7--0 team." guy and giving up a base win. That set up a match- knock," Hare said. "You The No. 1 team earns up with the Bandits, the know walks find a way an automatic berth to the Spokane league-leaders, to score." first round of the playoffs The teams battled in a The Blue Devils, 6-3 and the remaining four one-run game through in league play, faced the teams battle it out for five innings with the Blue Bandits (8-1) twice inthe two additional slots to Devils trailing 3-2 before final week of the regular regionals. things unraveled and the season. The Blue Devils head Bandits scored twice in How this final week to Boise for a tourna- both the sixth and seven of league play shakes out ment that features some for their insurance runs. will put the Blue Devils of the top teams in the The Bandits were in either second or third [ntermountainWest, Hare eliminated in the first place. Sweeping the Ban- said. After the five-game round of Sunday's cham- dits will get them the No. tourney that takes place pionship round 8-0 by the 2 slot. Anything short July 10-12, they return Spokane Expos. and they are third, home to open the AAA In the loss to the Ban- "No matter what playoffs, Monday, July13 dits it was "costly errors, we'll be in the playoffs at A1 Jackson with teams ones that would be on following the Boise trip," and times TBD . the field, or even pitch- Hare said. PauIDelaneycanbereached ing, walking guys," Hare Earlier in the week in at pdelaney@cheneffreepress. said. the crucial sweep of the com. "That's been our 49ers, the Blue Devils kryptonite, those errors got what Hare called, Roofing & Siding out in the field that were "A lights out" perfor- with Lilje coming on in 16U B national qualifier, relief in the fourth. July 17-19 in Spokane. Overall, the Banditsare John McCallum can be 7-9 in tournament play. reached at jmacheneyfree- Next for West Rains is the press, com. Summer Discounts Over 23,000 Customers Call me today to discuss your options. Some people think Allstate only protects your car. 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