By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer
The Little League All-star district tournaments are now over, leaving two teams from Roosevelt county and one team from Clovis ready for state competition in the 9-10, 10-11 and 11-12 age brackets.
The Roosevelt County All-stars won the 9-10 age bracket in a powerful return. Their first game was lost to Clovis American then again to Clovis Zia, sending them to the losers bracket. The turning point came the next game when they played Tucumcari, winning 22-5. After that they had to beat Clovis Zia twice to redeem themselves and take home the championship. They won the first game 11-1 and then beat them again Thursday 9-8 to take it all.
“This is a good bunch of kids, they are a bunch of fighters,” said coach Sammy Villanueva.
The team’s pitchers, Lane Carrasco and Daniel Hernandez were a top asset to the team, according to Villanueva. He said the team was all-in-all a great bunch of hitters. Alex Villanueva, the team’s top hitter, went 14 for 21 in the tournament. Nate Salas hit a grand slam in the second game against Zia.
They will be heading to Carlsbad for state competition on Friday. Their first game will be played against Noon Optimist from Roswell.
Roosevelt County also took home the win for the 11-12 age group, winning all three games.
“Pitching and hitting was what was really strong,” said coach Albert Acosta. “Everybody was consistent about getting on base.”
Lathan Lieb pitched a total of eight innings during the tournament, allowing only one hit with 17 strikeouts. The team’s grand slam came from J’Kobie Lee during the championship game. He batted in nine runs during the tournament.
Acosta said he’s expecting the team’s youngest player, second baseman Will Murdoch, to step up for the state tournament. He has gone 3-for-5 with two singles and a double, said Acosta.
The team is leaving to Alamagordo for state competition on Friday. Their first game will be against Los Alamos Saturday evening.
The 10-11 age bracket was taken by Clovis American. They will be going to Albuquerque.