Little Leaguers start postseason today
For all Little League baseball players, the dream starts here. The dream of going as far as you can go. The dream of playing for a state and, for some lucky teams, a trip to Little League’s version of the World Series. Starting with today’s opening games of the 9- to 10-year-old District 1 tournament, four Three Rivers Little League teams take their first step toward that goal.Tournament play is different from Three Rivers’ regular season play, which ended last month. Postseason play consists of all-star teams, made up of the best players in each age division from each league, playing against each other.Players from the Three Rivers Little League reside in Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt. The remainder of District 1 consists of three separate Grand Junction Little Leagues – Grand Mesa, Monument and Orchard Mesa – along with squads representing Fruita-Redlands, Gunnison, Montrose, Palisade and the Southwestern Colorado Youth Baseball Little League.The eight-team, 9-10 tournament begins with a pool-play format. Tournament games are scheduled at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex in southwest Grand Junction.Three Rivers starts the tournament with games against Pool A opponents Cortez and Montrose at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon and Thursday. After a day off Friday, Three Rivers squares off with host Orchard Mesa Saturday at 5:30 p.m.Pool B consists of Grand Mesa, Fruita-Redlands, Monument and Palisade.Teams with the first- and second-best win-loss records in pool play move on to the tournament semifinals July 9, where they will be cross-bracketed, pitting the No. 1 team vs. the No. 2 team from both pools.Semifinal winners play for the tournament championship July 10. The winner advances the state tournament July 22 at the Grand Mesa Little League complex.Action also begins today in the Major Boys District 1 Tournament. Those games are in Cortez. Rosters of Major Boys teams, determined by district administrators, are made up of 12-year-olds.Three Rivers kicks off the double-elimination, eight-team tournament against Grand Mesa at 3 p.m. If Three Rivers loses, they play an elimination bracket contest at 3 p.m. Thursday, while a victory advances the locals to a 5:30 p.m. match against the Cortez-Monument winner. The championship game is scheduled for July 10. The winner represents the division at the state tournament in Thornton.The 11-year-old and Junior Boys (ages 13-14) districts start July 8, in Palisade and Cortez, respectively. Both tournaments are double-elimination affairs. Three Rivers draws Monument for openers at the 11-year-old event. That game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. A victory moves them to a winner’s bracket contest with Palisade, who earned a first-round bye in the seven-team tournament, July 9 at 1 p.m.If Three Rivers loses, they face the loser of a second-round match on July 10. The division championship game takes place July 13.Having drawn a first-round bye, Three Rivers has the luxury of scouting their opponent in the Junior Boys tournament. Depending on what happens, Three Rivers faces the winner between host Cortez and Grand Mesa, July 9 at 11:30 a.m.That championship game is scheduled for July 11 with the division titlist moving on to the state tournament in Fraser later this month.
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