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  • Azteca 18U
    Azteca 18U

    Pueblo Azteca's Seth Mora slides into second base on a steal during the semifinals of the Andenucio Tournament against 4-Corners Sunday at Hobbs Field [CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]

  • Azteca 18U
    Azteca 18U

    Pueblo Azteca 18U third baseman Adam Muniz throws the ball to first for an out during the seminfinal game of the Andenucio Tournament against 4-Corners last Sunday on Hobbs Field [CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]

Artie Escobado Memorial baseball tournament begins today featuring two Pueblo teams

BY AUSTIN WHITE | The Pueblo Chieftain | JUN 21, 2019

The Pueblo Azteca 18U baseball club gets to stay home for one more weekend starting today in the 13th annual Artie Escobado Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex.

Normally, Pueblo fans see the younger Loaf ’N Jug teams playing in the tournament, but a sponsorship change and the hope of making the Escobado a bigger tournament each year changed that.

“It’s a nice little tournament and we’ll get some Pueblo teams and some out of state teams,” tournament director Mike Escobado said. “We try to get weekends of back-to-back tournament ball for Pueblo and that’s a nice thing to do.”

Escobado helped his father and two brothers start the Azteca Apartments company in 1979 and were approached about sponsoring the Pueblo summer ball team this year.

Escobado, who he and his family grew up playing at Runyon, were delighted to receive the offer and took over sponsorship starting this summer.

“We sponsor the Azteca softball club already and Dave (Dudley, Runyon director) thought of us and we said sure,” Escobado said. “We love Runyon field, man. To me, it’s the third best baseball field in Colorado.

“We want to help out all we can and give back to the baseball community, give back to the Pueblo community as much as we can.”

Having the team Azteca sponsors in a tournament named after Escobado’s late brother Artie means the whole Escobado family will get a nice full-circle moment once that first pitch is thrown today at 9 a.m. on Andenucio Field.

“We do this tournament in memory of (Artie) and it’s just something the whole family gets behind,” Escobado said. “It’s a family thing and I’m glad it follows the ’Nuch tournament and it’s a big moment for us.”

The 18U team won’t be alone either as the Pueblo Azteca 17U team will also be competing in the tournament and are coached by Tommy Boudreau.

The older crew is placed in the American Division while the 17U squad is on the other side in the National Division.

Eight other teams make up the field, most of which are from around the state.

Fort Carson, St. Mary’s, Cherry Creek and the Cage Rats from Colorado Springs join the Azteca 18U team in the American Division while Cheyenne Mountain, Parker Lightning 17U, Fossil Ridge and the White Caps (Okla.) will be in the National Division with Azteca 17U.

The tournament works similarly to the Tony Andenucio Memorial with the top two teams from each division from pool play qualifying for the semifinals on Sunday.

Each team gets two games both today and Saturday in pool play with a 2 hour and 15 minute time limit for each. The mercy-rule is eight runs after five innings.

The semifinals will be played on Hobbs Field on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., followed up at 3:30 p.m. with the championship game.

Chieftain sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at awhite@chieftain.com or on Twitter @ajwrules44.

Artie Escobado Tournament

Teams: Fossil Ridge, Cage Rats, Lightning 17s (Parker), Mtn. Baseball (Cheyenne Mountain), Cherry Creek, OK Whitecaps, Fort Carson, Pueblo Azteca 17s, Pueblo Azteca 18s, St. Mary’s.

Today’s games (June 21)

Andenucio Field

9 a.m., Mtn. Baseball vs. Azteca 17U

11:30 a.m., Mtn. Baseball vs. Fossil Ridge

2 p.m., OK White Caps vs. Azteca 17U

4:30 p.m., OK White Caps vs. Lightning 17s

7 p.m., Lightning 17s vs. Fossil Ridge

Hobbs Field

9:30 a.m., Cage Rats vs. Cherry Creek

Noon, Fountain-Fort Carson vs. Cherry Creek

2:30 p.m., Cage Rats vs. St. Mary’s

5 p.m., Azteca 18U vs. St. Mary’s

7:30 p.m., Azteca 18U vs. Fountain-Fort Fort Carson

Saturday’s games (June 22)

Andenucio Field

9 a.m., Cage Rats vs. Fountain-Fort Carson

11:30 a.m., Fountain-Fort Carson vs. St. Mary’s

2 p.m., St. Mary’s vs. Cherry Creek

4:30 p.m., Fossil Ridge vs. Azteca 17U

7 p.m., OK White Caps vs. Fossil Ridge

Hobbs Field

9:30 a.m., Lightning 17s vs. Azteca 17U

Noon, Mtn. Baseball vs. Lightning 17s

2:30 p.m., Mtn. Baseball vs. OK White Caps

5 p.m., Azteca 18U vs. Cage Rats

7:30 p.m., Azteca 18U vs. Cherry Creek

Sunday’s games (June 23)

Andenucio Field

9:30 a.m., TBD

Noon, TBD

2:30 p.m., TBD

Hobbs Field

10:30 a.m., TBD, semifinals

1 p.m., TBD, semifinals

3:30 p.m., TBD, championship

- compiled by Austin White

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