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Loaf's 17-under wins state

Loaf 'N Jug's 17-under team claimed the state championship last weekend with a 15-2 win over Grandview. (COURTESY PHOTO)Loaf 'N Jug's 17-under team claimed the state championship last weekend with a 15-2 win over Grandview. (COURTESY PHOTO)

 


BY JEFF BERSCH | The Pueblo Chieftain | JUL 26, 2018

Loaf 'N Jug's 17-under summer baseball team found its groove at the perfect time, the end result a state championship.

The team claimed the 17-under state tournament title last weekend with a 15-2 victory over Grandview. It capped a season that saw the team go 28-13, including a 12-1 run down the stretch.

That one loss came a night before the state championship game when Grandview beat LNJ 9-8.

"When we got to the semifinals, we were hoping we'd both win so we'd get another shot at them," said Tommy Boudreau, the team's manager. "Once we got back on the field with them, there was no looking back."

It was the third tournament title of the year for the LNJ 17-under team. It also won a tournament at St. Mary's in Colorado Springs and won the Artie Escobado Memorial Baseball Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex.

In the title game of the tournament in Pueblo, LNJ's 17-under team beat its 16-under team.

It was part of a stellar season for all three Loaf 'N Jug squads. The LNJ 18-under team finished 32-8, won the Cherry Creek Classic and a tournament in Boulder.

It also finished as runner-up at the Tony Andenucio Memorial Baseball Tournament in June, becoming the first Pueblo team to reach the championship game since 2001.

The 16-under Loaf 'N Jug squad finished 39-6-2 and won three tournaments during the season.

"This was huge, very big for the 17s," Boudreau said. "It was a big feather in the cap for all the Loaf 'N Jug teams this season."

Boudreau took care of most of the off-the-field things with the 17-under team, such as scheduling, travel and planning. He turned the on-the-field coaching over to Jordyn Compehos, who had played at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

A native of Las Vegas, Compehos said he worked well with Boudreau in making the big decisions. Boudreau credited Compehos with helping lead and develop the team. Tyler Waters and Aidan Lavrini also were part of the team's coaching staff.

"We bounced ideas off each other very well and worked on meshing old-school and new-school baseball," Compehos said. "As a first-year coach, I needed his input also. It was great."

Compehos credited the players for improving throughout the season, especially on the mound and on defense. That, he said, helped allow for the strong finish.

Loaf 'N Jug's 17-under team spent a good portion of the season playing up in 18-under tournaments, including one early in Albuquerque.

"That didn't go as well as we'd have liked," Compehos said. "That's the only way to get better, though. That's the only way to get exposure. You could tell the difference in the speed of the game and the pitching. But they handled it well. They handled adversity really well. It was a great season."

jbersch@chieftain.com