RBC Legion team winner at Rangely tournament

Coaches and players for the Rio Blanco County American Legion summer baseball team posed Saturday after winning a three-day tournament they hosted in Rangely.

Coaches and players for the Rio Blanco County American Legion summer baseball team posed Saturday after winning a three-day tournament they hosted in Rangely.
RANGELY I Five games. Five wins. High fives.
The Rio Blanco County Legion baseball team had reason to celebrate Saturday, winning in dramatic fashion in the championship game of its three-day tournament played in Rangely.
“It was quite a nail-biter,” said RBC coach Paul Fortunato of the finale.
That is, until the Rio Blanco County team scored three times in a row on three straight squeeze plays in the sixth inning.
“It kind of unraveled for them after that,” Fortunato said of the 8-3 victory over a team from Price, Utah.
Kindal Cushman of Rangely, playing in his last game because of an age rule, was the winning pitcher in the championship game, with Kody Denny closing things out by striking out the side, with the bases loaded, in the last inning.
“When you go into districts, it’s 17 and under,” Fortunato said. “So that was Kindal’s last game with us. That’s why he pitched.”
Rio Blanco County’s Legion team will advance to the district tournament next weekend in Eagle.
Cushman, who will play baseball at Colorado Northwestern Community College next season, was named to last weekend’s all-tournament team for Rio Blanco County, along with brothers Kody and Kacey Denny of Rangely and B.J. Hanberg of Vernal. Hanberg is one of several players on the team who is not from Rangely. The combined Rio Blanco County team is made up mostly of players from Rangely, but includes players from Coal Ridge, Grand Valley and Meeker high schools, in addition to Vernal.
The top two teams that advance out of the Big West District Tournament July 22-25 in Eagle will move on to a state tournament the following week in Craig, July 30 and 31, with the winner advancing to a matchup in Denver, which combines the top teams from the Western and Eastern slopes.
“We might be pretty tough going into districts,” Fortunato said. “The way we’re playing right now, I think we have a pretty good shot at winning it. I don’t see us not qualifying for state in Craig.”
The Rio Blanco County team, 14-4 on the season and 7-2 in league, is tied with Eagle for first place. The RBC team will play a doubleheader today in Rifle.