World Series worth the trip
GRAND JUNCTION – Looking for something different to do Memorial Day weekend? A day at the Junior College Baseball World Series fills the bill nicely.
Considering the price and the entertainment value, it’s worth the short trip to Suplizio Field in Grand Junction’s Lincoln Park to watch a game or two.Not only will you get to see the best two-year college baseball players in the country vie for a national title, it’s enjoyable to watch the passion of more than 9,000 fans who come to the ballpark every night.
Ten teams begin the quest for a national championship Saturday morning. Squads from Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico, Alabama, Oklahoma, Tennessee, West Virginia and Florida advanced to the eight-day, double-elimination event, which culminates with the championship game on June 4.While there are no Colorado teams to root for, two teams do have Colorado natives on their rosters: Hutchinson (Kan.) Junior College, the Central District champ, has five Coloradans on its roster. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, from the South Central District, lists two players with Colorado Springs as their hometown.
Single-game tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for students age 6-21. Children under 5 are free.Don’t worry about being shooed from the ball park after the game. Usually, fans can stay and watch that day’s entire slate of contests, providing they stay inside the stadium.
The exception to the rule is the Memorial Day Fireworks game. Those planning to attend Monday’s contest should arrive well ahead of the scheduled 7:30 p.m. start time. Annually, the fireworks game draws more than 10,000 fans.Parking is free, but, depending on the time of day, it can be tough to find a open spot. For late arrivals, the Lincoln Park golf course and the parking lot at Mesa State College’s Saunders Fieldhouse on 12th Street and Orchard Avenue will serve as overflow lots throughout the tournament.
Fans opting to use Mesa State’s lots can hop on free shuttle buses.The shuttle bus depot is across from the campus’ tennis courts, and service starts an hour prior to the day’s game.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.