A step closer: Meeker I advances to championship game | CraigDailyPress.com

A step closer: Meeker I advances to championship game

Joshua Gordon

With two outs in the top of the fifth and last inning Tuesday at Woodbury Sports Complex, Meeker I's Chris Scherbarth stepped to the plate.

Meeker I was tied in a scoreless contest with Professional Painting, with the winner advancing to the Craig Parks and Recreation 8- to 10-year-old league baseball championship.

Chris, who was also his team's starting pitcher, was in a duel with Professional Painting's pitcher, Anthony Ventura. He said he knew he had to best his counterpart for his team to win.

"I went up to the plate hoping to hit a home run," Chris said. "It felt really good when I hit the ball and I just ran as fast as I could."

Chris rounded first and second base before narrowly beating Professional Painting's third baseman to the base.

Meeker I's first baseman, Jake Shelton, came up to bat next and followed suit with a double into mid-field, sending Chris home.

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"I was really happy when I scored the run," Chris said. "I knew when I hit third I was going to make it home."

Chris took the mound in the bottom of the fifth and struck out three batters while walking one to give his team the 1-0 victory. The pitcher allowed one hit in five innings.

"I felt really good pitching," he said. "But, the reason we won to get to the championship was team work."

Professional Painting still has a chance to win the championship, but must win Monday to get another shot at Meeker I on July 13. Professional Painting, a Craig team, would need to beat Meeker I twice to win the title.

"I'm glad we don't have to win three to get the title," Meeker I head coach Dave Scherbarth said. "It is tough to win one and it brings about pitching challenges because the players can only pitch a certain amount of innings."

Dave said the game against Professional Painting boiled down to defense and his team was able to get a few timely hits when it mattered.

"Both sides played really strong defense and we knew coming in it was going to be a tight game," he said. "(Professional Painting) is a well-coached team and I won't be surprised if we see them again in the championship game."

Meeker I struggled at the plate, Dave said, in large part due to Ventura's pitching.

The team reworked the batting order and the adjustment took players a few innings to get used to, he said.

"Their pitcher throws hard and he is accurate," he said. "We had solid pitching as well and had solid defense behind him."

Before the championship game, both father and son agreed on what the team has to work on to be successful.

"We are going to do a lot of batting between now and then," Dave said.

"We will have to do really well hitting and continue our teamwork," Chris said.

In the 11- to 12-year-old baseball tournament taking place in Hayden and Meeker, Hayden beat Meeker, 8-0, on Tuesday to advance to the championship game.

Rangely beat 3B Enterprises, 8-0, in the consolation bracket to play Meeker. The winner would then face Hayden in the title game.

Scorecard:

Craig Parks and Recreation 8- to 10-year-old league tournament scores from Tuesday:

Championship bracket

Game 1

• Meeker I — 1

• Professional Painting — 0

Consolation bracket

Game 1

• Rehab Services of Craig — 12

• Meeker II — 2

Game 2

• Rangely — 14

• Cook Chevrolet — 7

Craig Parks and Recreation 11- to 12-year-old league tournament scores from Tuesday:

Championship bracket

Game 1

• Hayden — 8

• Meeker — 0

Consolation bracket

Game 1

• Rangely — 8

• 3B Enterprises — 0

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