Craig Youth Baseball teams fight to last inning to decide championship
While some games in the final week of the Craig Youth Baseball season were decisive wins for one side, others ultimately came down a single play to decide the championship honors.
Craig Parks and Recreation crowned the top two teams of the year this week, as the Hayden Tigers won out the 8- to 10-year-old division and the Bulldogs, sponsored by A Kidz Dentist, took the title for ages 11 to 13.
An 8-2 season for the Tigers was capped off by a 7-2 win Wednesday at Woodbury Sports Complex against the Colorado West Cowboys as the squad coached by Nate Campbell, Jerry Davis and Spencer Wayman let their Hayden hometown hear their cheers all the way down Highway 40.
“They had a lot of chemistry in games and practice. They really put the work in,” Campbell said.
While the Tigers had things wrapped up neatly, the older teams were battling it out to the very end.
The final game Tuesday between the Bulldogs and the Country Living Realty Panthers saw big bats and bigger bursts of energy from both sides, especially as the Panthers began to rally in the sixth and last inning.
Looking to catch up from a 12-8 deficit, the group sent three runners across the plate to get the Bulldogs sweating. However, just when it looked like A Kidz Dentist might fall behind, a solo double play at second base by Alejandro Tarango abruptly ended the game 12-11 and the season 7-3.
Head coach Matt Hippely said the Dogs had won one, lost one to the Panthers over the spring, though he was proud players were able to stick it out when it particularly counted.
“It was just the boys hustling. They were on the bats, on the plays in the infield. They were doing good,” he said. “They learned to be a team and back each other up. That’s what really matters.”
The Bureau of Land Management’s headquarters will move to Grand Junction.