Local Little Leaguers chase big dreams
All four Three Rivers All-Star baseball teams have the same goals in mind as District 1 tournaments begin play this week. Each one of the local Little League squads has their sights on earning their way to their respective level’s championship game, then moving on to the state tournament. The road toward that quest starts this evening for Three Rivers’ Major Boys team.That group of local 12-year-old players squares off against Fruita-Redlands in the opening round of the nine-team, double-elimination tournament at 8 p.m. at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex in Grand Junction.District 1 consists of Western Slope Little League teams from Cortez, Gunnison, Montrose, Palisade and three Grand Junction Little Leagues – Grand Mesa, Orchard Mesa and Monument.A opening round defeat drops teams to the losers-out bracket, where a second loss eliminates them from the tournament. The two surviving teams play for the district championship July 12, unless the team from the winner’s bracket enters the championship game undefeated.If that team suffers its first tournament loss on July 12, a second game for the championship will be played July 13.Both the 11-year-old boys and Junior (ages 13 and 14) Boys District 1 tournaments feature the same format. The seven-team Junior Boys tournament starts July 9 at the Grand Mesa Little League complex in Grand Junction. Three Rivers has drawn Cortez as its first opponent. That game is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.Three Rivers is one of six teams in this year’s 11-year-old boys tournament in Cortez. The local team faces Grand Mesa for its opener at 5:30 p.m. July 11.Due to the number of teams entered, the format of the 9-10 boys tournament, to be played at Montrose’s Sunset Mesa Sports Complex, is different.The field of 13 teams is split into two pools. Both of Three Rivers’ teams are in Pool A. Other teams in Pool A are from Fruita-Redlands, Grand Mesa, Monument and Palisade Little League.Three Rivers No. 2 team faces Monument No. 2 on Field No. 1 at 3 p.m. July 8, followed by Three Rivers’ No. 1 against Grand Mesa No. 1 on Field No. 2 at 8 p.m.The two teams with the best win-loss record in pool play are cross-bracketed and advance to the one-game semifinals on July 12. Semifinal winners play for the championship July 13.The Three Rivers Little League consists of teams from Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt. According to Little League policy, local leagues have the option to choose the best players from each age group, then enter a tournament.Of each of the three divisions, the Major Boys has the most notoriety. The top team from that level – which advances from separate nationwide district, state and regional tournaments – represents the United States in the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa.Junior Boys World Series games are played in Taylor, Mich. Tournament play at the 9-10 boys level concludes at the state level.
9-10 boys tournamentVenue/Address: Sunset Mesa Sports Complex; Sunset Mesa Road, Montrose Dates: Thursday, July 7-Wednesday, July 13Number of teams: 13 (Three Rivers-2; Grand Mesa-2; Orchard Mesa-2; Monument-2; Fruita-Redlands-2; Cortez, Montrose, Palisade-1 each)11-year-old boys tournamentVenue/Address: Legion Field, 435 E. Empire St., CortezDates: Monday, July 11-Sunday, July 17Number of teams: 6 (Cortez-2; Three Rivers, Fruita-Redlands, Monument, Grand Mesa-1 each)Major Boys (12-year-old) tournamentVenue/Address: Orchard Mesa Little League complex, 2887 U.S. Highway 50, Grand JunctionDates: Tuesday, July 5-Wednesday, July 13Number of teams: 9 (Three Rivers, Cortez, Fruita-Redlands, Grand Mesa, Gunnison,Montrose, Monument, Orchard Mesa, Palisade)Junior Boys (13- to 14-year-old) tournamentVenue/Address: Grand Mesa Little League complex, 518 28 3/4 Road, Grand JunctionDates: Saturday, July 9-Friday, July 15Number of teams: 7 (Three Rivers, Cortez, Fruita-Redlands, Grand Mesa, Monument, Orchard Mesa, Palisade)
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Area prep basketball teams begin their 2019-20 campaigns with tournament action both home and away this weekend.