Meeker advances to district tourney

MEEKER — The Cowboys needed to win one game going in to last Friday’s doubleheader with Paonia to advance to this week’s district tournament.
And they had the right guy on the mound to get the job done.
“We had to win one of ‘em,” said Meeker Coach Joel Matrisciano.
Meeker’s undefeated pitcher Tyler Matrisciano took to the hill for the opener, and ended up pitching a complete game in a 13-12 extra-inning win, advancing the Cowboys to districts. With the victory, Matrisciano improved his record to 4-0.
“It was our game plan to stick with him through thick or thin,” said his father, Coach Joel Matrisciano. “If he’s having a good game, we stick with him. If he’s having a bad game, we stick with him. We kind of live and die by him.”
Tyler Matrisciano’s catcher, Austin Seely, came up with the big hit for the Cowboys, delivering a bases-clearing double in the bottom of the eighth, giving Meeker, which was down two going into the inning, the win.
“It one hopped to the fence,” Joel Matrisciano said of Seely’s game-winning hit. “He was probably 3-4 with three or four RBI before that even, so he was having a good game.”
Next up for Meeker (8-10) is Dolores, the No. 1 seed in the south district. The Cowboys are the No. 2 seed in the north district, behind Paonia, which won the second game of last Friday’s doubleheader in Meeker.
Paonia finished first in the conference, with a 5-3 record, followed by Meeker at 4-4, and then Rangely with a 3-5 mark, in a tight three-way race.
“All three teams are really competitive,” Joel Matrisciano said. “Everybody kind of beat up everybody.”
Meeker posted a 2-2 record against league foes Paonia and Rangely. All three teams advance to districts. The top two teams from district advance to the regional tournament. Meeker will play Dolores at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Canyon View Park in Grand Junction.
“I know that they have a real good record, 14-2, or something like that,” Joel Matrisciano said of the Cowboys’ opponent. “But they probably haven’t played the same competition we have.”
Plus, Tyler Matrisciano will be back on the mound for Meeker.
“In my opinion, he’s probably the best pitcher in the state,” Joel Matrisciano said. “So, we’re not too afraid of who we will face in districts, because Tyler will pitch.”