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Night before the 'Nuch Tournament


Two Pueblo baseball organizations collide
BY JEFF LETOFSKY | The Pueblo Chieftain | JUN 12, 2018

Two Pueblo baseball organizations collide tonight when the Spradley Collegians play to honor the 39th annual Tony Andenucio Memorial Baseball Tournament.

The Collegians, off to a 7-3 start to open the summer, meet the Denver Bombers at 6 p.m. at Hobbs Field in a Mile High Collegiate Baseball League nine-inning affair. It will mark a kickoff to the four-day, 12-team, 36-game, Tony Andenucio Memorial Baseball Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex. The 'Nuch starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

It will be Dollar Beer Night tonight at Hobbs with many of the Collegians' sponsors stepping up to support the cause.

"We wanted to play in front of as many people as we can and start the 'Nuch off right," Collegians' coach Tony Pechek said. "Our game coincides with the kickoff to the 'Nuch."

The 12 teams in the Andenucio Tournament along with dignitaries from throughout Pueblo are invited to a free dinner at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the complex featuring hot dogs, chips, drinks and desert.

Pechek wanted to make sure to plug his sponsors -- Spradley Motors, Avar Electric, Parkwest Dental, Pechek Dental and Thornton Wheel Chair -- for making tonight's special event possible.

"We couldn't do this without our sponsors and Dave Dudley and Runyon Field," Pechek said.

Meanwhile, Pechek remains excited and optimistic about this year's Collegians ball club.

"We had an absolute fun Saturday and Sunday last weekend, winning three of four, including a split with one of the top teams in the league, Fort Collins," Pechek said. "In one of the games, all nine positions were Pueblo kids. That makes it fun to coach knowing our local kids are playing at this level."

After tonight's game, the Collegians return to the road for a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday in Littleton against Batter's Box.

Pechek continued to heap praise on a number of local players who are contributing, including Ian Garcia, who had a monster weekend at the plate that included two home runs. The former Pueblo West High School standout was originally supposed to be a filler, but has come on strong early in the season.

"Ian Garcia went off this past weekend," Pechek said. "He hit two home runs on Sunday. And Lucas Kaber and Lucas Quimby continue to be solid up the middle at second base and shortstop and we're getting good pitching depth from Rocco Arguto.

"Plus, Troy Puga has really developed. He is starting to get locked in at the plate."

letofsky@chieftain.com


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