The city of Cortez is fast becoming a hotspot for youth baseball. Less than a month after hosting the Little League State Tournament for 10- and 11-year-olds, the city played host to the first annual Four Corner’s Baseball Championship, held Aug. 3-4 at the Parque de Vida baseball fields.
Hosted by the newly founded Montezuma Titans baseball team, the championship featured 10-year-olds’ all-star teams from Colorado and New Mexico. In addition to treating fans to two days of great baseball, the championship featured multiple skills competitions that left competitors and spectators smiling.
Demonstrating impressive poise and team chemistry for a first-year team, the Montezuma Titans performed well throughout the tournament. Regardless of the score or situation, Titans players consistently hustled and played hard. Titans’ team members included Dylan Barb, Tyler Barry, JJ Brunner, Devon Frost, Makayla Long, Ty Blackmer, Cooper McClain, Tristan York, Niko Mestes, Cason Allmon, Will Lester and Mordecai Risenhoover.
While the Titans eventually fell to the Farmington Pirates in the tournament’s championship game, Manager Chris Barry, as well as coaches Donavan Barb, Joe Brunner and Evan Frost, were pleased with the team’s effort.
“We made big improvements over the course of the season,” said Barb. “We went a little over .500 through the year, playing about 19 games. Being able to finish second [in the Championship] was huge.”
In addition to the team’s success on the diamond, Titans players performed well in the skills competitions. Highlighting the performances was Titan player Makayla Long who belted 5 home runs to win the home run derby.
Providing one of the tournament’s non-baseball highlights, Montezuma-County Sherriff Dennis Spruell threw out the tournament’s ceremonial first pitch before inspiring players with a brief speech.
“I told [players] that they should be gracious winners and gracious losers,” said Spruell. “I told them that regardless of what they do, they should try to have fun.”
Speaking about the importance of youth sporting events such as the Four Corner’s Baseball Championship, Spruell stated, “Sports build character and camaraderie. They socialize our children and keep them away from things that they need to be kept away from such as drugs and alcohol. They also build a sense of pride.”
Although the current Montezuma Titans baseball season is now over, open tryouts for players of all ages will be held in January in preparation of the upcoming season. All youth seeking an enjoyable and rewarding experience are encouraged to try out.