East Mountain Little League wrapped up its regular season June 8, with two divisional championship matchups that capped a week-long tournament at the Vista Grande Community Complex in Sandia Park.
In the Minors Division championship (9-11 year olds), the top-seeded Dodgers rolled to an 18-6 victory over the Padres. The Dodgers went undefeated in the tournament and finished with the best record in the division.
“Both playoff games were our two best of the year,” Dodgers head coach Jay Pierce said, referring to the championship contest and the Dodgers’ victory over the Cubs earlier in the tournament. “Our pitchers threw strikes, and at the Minors’ level, that’s huge.”
Pierce said he had four or five players on his team who couldn’t catch or hit very well at the beginning of the year, and their improvement by the end of the season had a big impact in the tournament.
“I knew what I was going to get from my best four or five players,” Pierce said. “But those next four or five players is what made the difference.”
In the Rookies Division championship (6-8 year olds), the Padres beat the Rockies 15-9.
This season East Mountain Little League rostered 300 players on 25 teams. The league will enter five teams in the upcoming New Mexico District 5 Little League All-Stars tournament, beginning June 21 in Albuquerque.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.