Lamar Merchants 18 & Under Team Hosting Weekend Tournament

Bottom L to R: Brendan Burns, Derek Schroeder, Kodiak Ratzlaff, Casey Fassiotto, Kelby Fassiotto, Payden Breneman, Jamin Tate, Jordan Jara
Top: L to R: Chaz Hebberd, Tanner Barth, Tylor Jara, Bryan Gonzalez, Brandon Reed, Isiah Martinez, Zach Ramsay, Coach – Bart Cruikshank
Not Pictured: Saul Pizzaro

Lamar is hosting a three day, four-team Babe Ruth State Tournament, beginning Friday, July 6 at Merchant’s Park.

The 18 & Under age division is under the Colorado Babe Ruth State sanction.  The first game for the double elimination tournament will begin at 7pm, Friday, according to Lamar team coach, Bart Cruikshank.

“I remembered back in the late 80’s or early 90’s we used to have a merchant’s team,” he said.  “When I came back from living in Grand Junction, I never lost my love of baseball and wanted to see something for the players who were just out of high school,” he added.  Cruikshank said the efforts of local merchants, the Lamar Chamber of Commerce and Chana Reed and others paid off with their donations.

He said he had lined up a series of independent tournaments through the summer, but since joining the Babe Ruth franchise, has to consider some tournament alternatives.  “If we win this weekend, we have a regional tournament in Montrose ahead of us, but it’s stretched out over eight days if we accept the bid,” Coach Cruikshank stated.  He had other non Babe Ruth tournaments planned through the summer, including Enid, OK and a Mid America State World Series in Dodge City.  “There are a couple of other ones in Denver and in Dodge, and we’re considering our schedule for those,” Cruikshank explained.  He jstated that it’s great to see the merchant teams resurrected in the community.

A 5pm picnic is set for Friday at Merchant’s Park with opening ceremonies set for 6pm and the first game at 7pm with Limon going against the host team, Lamar Merchants.  Cruikshank said, “If we win, we’ll play Saturday at 7pm and at 4pm if we lose.  The championship match up is on Sunday at 2:30pm.”  Other teams in the tournament include Burlington, Kiowa and Limon.

By Russ Baldwin

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