Batter up!

The regional championships have been completed. The final rankings are out. Now it’s time for the 10 teams in the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series to get down to business here in Grand Junction.

The action begins at 9 a.m. when the Tigers of Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee take on the Blue Dragons of Hutchinson Community College in Kansas.

Will one of those teams take home the title this year? Or will it be a favorite such as San Jacinto College-North of Texas or frequent tournament participant Iowa Western Community College?

It will take a week of tough baseball competition to determine that, with the championship set for either the evening of Friday, June 4 or Saturday, June 5.

In the meantime, welcome to all the players, coaches and staff who are here to compete, and to all their friends and family members attending to cheer them on.

Welcome, as well, to the many members of the media from all over the country, who are in Grand Junction to cover their hometown teams or to provide general coverage of the entire tournament. Word is there will be more national media attending this year’s JUCO tournament than ever before.

And welcome, especially, to the wonderful fans from the Grand Valley and around the region who show up at this baseball extravaganza each year, demonstrate their support for the teams and individual players, welcome team members into their homes and businesses, and continue to help make the JUCO World Series one of the premier sporting events in Colorado.

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