RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Sunset Little League out of Rio Rancho punched their ticket to go to regionals in Waco, Texas, and represent New Mexico by winning the state championship in the Majors Division Thursday night in Santa Fe. The group of 11 and 12-year-old ballplayers put up 19 runs, which included a grand slam against two from Carlsbad to win.
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Sunset went undefeated and will head to regionals, which begin next month, with a perfect record. “It’s really just a credit to the boys’ work ethic. We have a really good group of boys that have been playing together a little over a year now that are the core of the team. We have a few kids that we brought in as some extra add ons that have just added to it and helped us move along,” said Head Coach Steven Rios.
“It’s like, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like this happy and excitement for the whole team,” said his son and player, Malachi.
With the Delta variant of COVID flaring up in various parts of the nation, the tournament will be one that is filled with restrictions. Sunset is ready to comply. “They have hotels sanctioned out for the players and coaches. We’ll get tested every two days, something like that – pretty much like MLB, all the other teams are doing it. All the other sports.”
Sunset Little League will face Tulsa National out of Oklahoma in their first game on August 5 at 10:00 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Plus. A Gofundme has been set up to help the team make the trip a reality.