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 Colorado Recruits' Aaron Kidd slides home as the 4-Corners catcher dropns the ball after a tag in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]Colorado Recruits' Aaron Kidd slides home as the 4-Corners catcher dropns the ball after a tag in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]


4-Corners gets walkoff walk in 8 innings to repeat as Tony Andenucio Memorial baseball champions

BY JEFF LETOFSKY | The Pueblo Chieftain | JULY 19, 2021

The defending champions defended their turf.

4-Corners, the 2019 champion, claimed back-to-back titles at the 41st annual Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament on Sunday.

The team out of southwestern Colorado and northeastern New Mexico took down Colorado Recruits 17U 3-2 in eight innings at Hobbs Field in the title game at the Runyon Sports Complex.

In what tied for the fourth longest championship game in 'Nuch history, 4-Corners won the game in the bottom of the eighth inning

Alec Chang drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk to give 4-Corners the victory. It was the first at-bat for Chang, who entered the game in the seventh inning at second base when Gage Mestas moved to pitcher.

Mestas picked up the win with two innings of relief, striking out six.

An infield single by Akili Carriss opened the inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a passed ball.

The Recruits opted to walk the next two batters with one out to load the bases. Chang then drew the walkoff walk.

4-Corners, making only its second title game appearance after winning the crown in 2019, slipped past Diamond Club 5-3 in its semifinal game while Colorado Recruits whipped Parker Lightning 9-1 behind a no-hitter from Arkansas commit Christian Foutch.

4-Corners finished 6-1 in the tournament, Colorado Recruits 5-2.

4-Corners' Matthew Dinaez fires a pitch in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]4-Corners' Matthew Dinaez fires a pitch in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]How the game unfolded
After surrendering a run on Ryan Roche's RBI single in the first, the Recruits took a 2-1 lead on a strange play in the top of the third inning.

With runners at first and second and two outs, Quinn Maher hit a slow roller to shortstop. The ball scooted into short left field and Aaron Kidd raced around third and scored when the ball popped out of the mitt of 4-Corners catcher Josh Eberhart. Eberhart retrieved the ball and threw it into center field, allowing Tyler Wilcox to score.

4-Corners knotted the game at 2-2 in the fourth when Eberhart lined a RBI single to right field. The inning wasn't extended, however, as right fielder Jack Briest gunned down Kolby Burton at third base.

Neither team scored the rest of the way until the dramatic eighth. The pitching staffs combined for 24 strikeouts. 4-Corners starter Matthew Dinaez fanned 10 and Colorado Recruits starter struck out eight.

A special award
The Carrie Andenucio Award was special in many ways.

Named after Carrie Andenucio, who passed away at 95, the award signifies the contributions of Carrie to the tournament and Runyon Field.

Carrie was in charge of creating a community around the baseball field through hospitality. For 39 years, she would make sure everyone had something to eat, drink and a place to sit for conversation.

The hot dog night and daily lunches were not easy to keep going but Carrie continued those traditions with elegance and ease. At night, she could be seen sitting behind home plate with her family and friends.

The award, presented to former Pueblo Chieftain Newspaper Sports Editor Judy Hildner, is a tribute to all the women who continually support baseball and the Runyon Sports Complex.

Chieftain senior sports reporter Jeff Letofsky can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on Twitter @jeffletofsky

4-Corners' Akill Carriss gets thrown out trying to steal second in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]4-Corners' Akill Carriss gets thrown out trying to steal second in the 41st Tony Andenucio Memorial Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex July 18, 2021 [Chieftain Photo/Luke Zahlman]

 

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