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ON THE BASEBALL PATH

Anthony Bernal is going international with a trip to the Dominican Republic next month
by: John Brewingotn Anthony Bernal will be involved in international competition Aug. 4-9 in the Dominican Republic

Young Anthony Bernal will have played a lot of baseball before the summer ends and that's just the way he likes it.

Anthony, 15, played on the Scappoose High jayvee team this past season as a freshman, on the two summer Scappoose Junior State teams, and on the Little League Juniors team now playing in the state tournament.

He'll cap his summer with a trip to the Dominican Republic with the 15U USA Baseball Team, Aug. 4-9. The team will practice at the Major League Baseball training complex, attend a baseball clinic put on by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then play as many as six games in the Latin American Baseball Clinic. In addition to the Americans, teams from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Aruba, Mexico (two teams), Japan, and Virgin Islands will participate in the tournament.

Like many youngsters, Anthony started out playing T-Ball when he was five and has continued for the past 10 years. He's best as a catcher, but also pitches, and plays outfield. He may get a chance at all those positions during the tournament. He's also accomplished with the bat, hitting .538 on the jayvee team. He didn't play on the varsity squad because Scappoose doesn't play freshman, but he should move up as a sophomore this next school year.

'Baseball is my main focus (in sports),' Anthony said, 'Secondary is basketball.'

He said it's been a pretty good summer, noting that if the Little League Juniors team wins state, he'll have to miss regionals because of the national team trip.

'I want to play baseball for OSU (Oregon State). I've had some looks from the coaches and gone to some camps. There will be a lot of scouts down there to watch.'

Anthony made the national team through a series of try-outs put on by Big League Edge out of Auburn, Wash.

Most of the team is from the West Coast, including nine players from Washington, two from Oregon, and three from California.

Anthony is the son of Albert and Shelly Bernal. He's the baby of a blended family. The oldest is Arielle Peterson, 20, followed by Brendan Peterson and Trisha Bernal, both 17.

The trip has not come easy for the family. They've had to raise $6,400. It's taken a lot of can collections, spaghetti feeds, other fundraisers, and donations from family, friends, and local businesses.

Anthony, 5-foot, 10-inches and 165 pounds, will get some quality training and coaching out of the trip. Jim Parque, a retired major leaguer who played with Chicago, Tampa Bay and Seattle is the head coach for the program. Dennis Voss will coach Anthony's team.

'Its big league performance baseball, designed to help kids move on to the next level,' dad Albert says.

The tournament is played under Major League Baseball rules and includes several levels of teams-12U, 13U, 13-14U, 15U, 16U and 18U. The teams have doubleheaders Aug. 6 and Aug. 7, followed by semifinals and finals. All teams get some special tours and the session ends with a banquet on Aug. 9.

It should be an exciting trip, and a good experience for the up and coming ball player.

Those interested in making a donation for Anthony's trip should contact Albert at 503-793-9980.