Three of East Mountain Little League’s five All-Star teams had strong showings in the initial New Mexico District 5 double-elimination tournaments in Albuquerque. Two EMLL teams haven’t started their tournaments yet.
The Seniors Division team won its district tournament and now advances to the state tournament in July. The Intermediate 50/70 team took second in its tournament, and the Minors Division team won its first two matchups to remain in the winner’s bracket and play at least two more games.
EMLL’s Seniors Division team (15-16 year olds) cruised through its two-team tournament June 21-22 at Roadrunner Little League’s facility by thrashing Thunderbird Little League in a pair of mercy-rule shortened victories, 20-0 and 15-0.
The Seniors Division team, consisting of players from East Mountain, Moriarty, and Hope Christian high schools, is EMLL’s first Seniors squad since 2010.
“It’s basically the same team that won state two years ago [in the Intermediate 50/70 Division],” said head coach Brian Bagon. “This group has stayed together all these years and they’ve gotten better and better.”
“This is probably our last chance to all play together because we’re all playing high school now,” said Chance Rector, a rising junior at Moriarty High, adding, “We have a chance at running for state again and it’s gonna be fun.”
The Intermediate 50/70 team (13 year olds) finished second in its three-team, four-game tournament, June 21-25 at Lobo Little League. The Intermediate squad—a combination of nine players from EMLL and three from Estancia Valley Little league—won two games against host Lobo but lost twice to tournament champion Mile High Little League.
In the Minors Division (8-10 year olds) tournament at Mile High Little League’s facility, EMLL won its June 24 opener 7-4 over Roadrunner and got past Zia Little League 5-4 the next day.
The team played Thunderbird June 27. EMLL’s other two All-Star entries, softball and baseball Majors Division (11-12 year olds) teams, begin their district tournaments June 28 and July 1, respectively.