Treasure State's best young baseball players on display at 14U USA Championships

Treasure State's best young baseball players on display at 14U USA Championships.

MISSOULA, Mont. - One local baseball team is looking to take on the national spotlight this weekend. The Montana Elite Baseball team will once again be playing in the 14U USA Baseball National Team Championships.

This year's squad is ready to show the nation what the Treasure State is made of.

"We came together just for this weekend to go down and represent Montana," said Jarek Bodlovic (Missoula). "We had tryouts about a month ago from all different types of cities and they chose 16 kids to come down and represent."

"We're telling them yeah, you are facing the best in the west, but don't be intimidated by it," said third-year coach Travis Krause. "They're still 13, they're still 14, they're still going to make mistakes. So all we got to do is go play relaxed and play hard."

Some are in it for the love of the game.

"Love playing baseball," said Charlie Kirgan (Missoula). "Baseball is my favorite sport. I just enjoy all the new fundamentals and all the new things that I'm learning and I look forward to playing in the tournament in Arizona."

While others are ready to represent Big Sky Country.

"It's a really cool thing, because you don't really get to wear Montana across your chest all the time," said Blake Franklin (Kalispell). "You might get to go on a travel team and maybe say Montana, but it doesn't mean what this means. Having to go into another state and play a big tournament like that, it's a really cool thing."

The team landed in Phoenix this morning and tomorrow they will undergo player testing at a professional facility.

Tournament play will begin July 1 and last through July 6.