Nolan Bynum and Cole Carmichael just completed their third season with the Grand Junction 11U Mavs baseball team. The last several years have proven to be more than worth the time and effort required to play on a traveling tournament baseball team.
The Mavs recently returned from Broomfield where they competed in the USSSA State Baseball Tournament and were crowned state champions.
The three-day tournament featured 36 competitive teams from the state of Colorado.
Grand Junction began play with the Windsor Wizards and scored a 9-1 win. The Mavs lost their second game of the tournament to Fort Collins’ Shockers, 16-6, and set the seeding for further tournament play.
All the Mavs needed to do was win five straight games on a Sunday afternoon to win the championship. And that they did!
First up was the Summit Extreme, with Grand Junction winning easily, 17-3.
Game two was against the team that had beaten them a day earlier, Fort Collins’ Shockers. This time the outcome was more in favor of the local boys as they posted an easy 12-3 victory.
The Mavs’ third game was against Pueblo’s Cardinals. This was a nailbiter, with Grand Junction needing a come-from-behind effort to earn a 6-5 decision in the sixth inning. The Mavs trailed 4-1 at the start of the inning.
A recap of the events was nothing short of unbelievable. The Mavs were down to their last batter, Tim Abercrombie, who had a 0-2 count with no one on base. Abercrombie reached base to start a furious two-out rally that included six straight hits which accounted for five runs and a 6-5 lead. Grand Junction held on to earn the win.
Game four was played against Alameda’s Vipers, with the Mavs scoring a 9-5 decision.
The championship game was with the Sandlot Bees of Parker and was played under the lights. The Mavs won the title in a close game, 5-3.
Games started at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning and the final game ended around 9 p.m. The winners received championship rings.
Players chosen to play for the Mavs go through tryouts in Grand Junction at the end of summer. There are several coaches there who grade the kids and then pick the players they think will be a great fit for the team.
This is Nolan and Cole’s third year with this team, with Nolan’s father, Blake, finishing his third year coaching the Mavs. This is a competitive tournament team that travels to several tournaments throughout the year.
Players begin their season in January with one or two indoor practices a week. Once their season starts, the team may practice once a week.