CRV Little League wins big in district tournaments |

CRV Little League wins big in district tournaments

The 8- to 10-year-old Colorado River Valley Little League team won the District 1 Championship last weekend and will play in the state tournament in Thornton on July 22. The team is made up of players from New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Meeker and Rangely.
Brian Markovich |

This past weekend the Colorado River Valley Little League (CRV) did something it’s never done in its 11-year history: won two district championship titles in one year. The tournament started last Monday with teams from the Western Slope competing in nine different divisions. CRV sent four teams to Grand Junction to compete. During the week-long tournament the 10- to 12-year-old softball team placed third, and the 9- to 11-year-old baseball team placed second.

The 8- to 10-year-old baseball team, led by head coach Matt Magnuson, started off the seven team tournament on Monday with a 12-2 win over Grand Mesa Little League. The team won its second game on Tuesday night 18-8 against Three Rivers Little League. The players next took on Delta Little League on Thursday, and continued their winning streak with a 14-0 victory to send them to the championship game. CRV faced Monument Little League for the title on Saturday, where both teams had their bats come alive during the game. CRV came out on top with a 20-13 win in its closest game of the tournament.

“The boys came into the tournament with a team-first attitude,” Magnuson said. “I have never coached a group of kids that picked each other up as much as these boys did. If a kid would strike out or make an error the team would rally around them. I’m lucky to be a part of something this special.”

The 8-10 team is made up of players from New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Meeker and Rangely. By winning the District 1 Championship, they will play in the state tournament in Thornton starting July 22. This is the first time CRV has sent an 8- to 10-year-old team to the state tournament. The last time a baseball team went to the state tournament was in 2009 when the Junior boys (13- to 14-year-olds) represented District 1, and then 2013 and 2014 junior girls softball teams also competed at the state level.

The final CRV team to play in the district tournament was the 50/70 (11- to 13-year-old) baseball team led by head coach Damon Wells. CRV started the tournament Monday with a 27-1 victory against Orchard Mesa Little League. On Tuesday, CRV came from behind in the fifth inning to put together a 16-6 victory against Fruita Little League. Next, the team faced Three Rivers Little League on Thursday and won 13-6 to advance to the championship game. On Saturday, CRV defeated Delta Little League 15-2 in just five innings to claim the first 50/70 victory in the league’s history.

“We have an exceptional group of boys and families that have shown tremendous dedication and togetherness,” said Wells. “Everyone on our team roots for everyone else on our team.”

With the win, the 50/70 team also advances to the Little League Regional Tournament starting July 21. This is the first time a team from CRV will compete at the regional level. The team, made up of kids from Rifle, Silt and New Castle will face a team from Oklahoma on July 21, Mississippi on July 22 and Louisiana on July 23. Based on how the tournament proceeds they could also play teams from Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

“This is a unique opportunity for our boys to play baseball against teams they wouldn’t normally see,” said assistant coach Kris Hisel. “I’m looking forward to another month of baseball with these boys and the potential they hold.”

CRV would like to thank Columbine Ford for sponsoring the 50/70 team and Clough Energy for sponsoring the 9-11 team. There will be additional costs associated with sending teams past the district tournaments. CRV is a nonprofit organization and will need help with these costs. If anyone would like to donate please contact President Ryan Harlow at 970-404-0359.

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