MOHAVE VALLEY — Two baseball teams participating in the Empire Sporting Events League include players from Needles. One of the teams is called the Needles River Cats and is a 10-and-under team. The other is the Needles Bandits and it’s an 18-and-under team.

“The Rivercats consist of players from the Tristate area but mostly players from Needles,” Coach Tony Rubalcaba said.

Rubalcaba said that the team already played its first tournament against teams from Nevada and California. The team ages range from 7 to 10 years old, the schedule goes through December, they play at least two tournaments a month and games are held at the Mohave Valley Community Park in Mohave Valley.

“The most recent tournament, we played teams from Lancaster, Redlands and Henderson,” said Rubalcaba. “This is a way to get the kids out and get ready for the regular season.”

The 10-year-olds that were born in 2009 will age out in August, so anyone interested in joining should contact him at rubalcaba81@yahoo.com.

So far, the Rivercats have had a hard time getting some wins but Rubalcaba said that he is more concerned for the team learning the game of baseball and getting the fundamentals down.

“We lost to Redlands 20-4, Lancaster 15-0 and lost to Henderson,” said Rubalcaba. “The team is enjoying being outside and playing baseball some do say that it is hot but once they get going they don’t mind the heat.”

The River Cats Coaches are Tony Rubalcaba, Andrew Rubalcaba, Christin Goulet and Scott Phillips. The players are Reddik Rubalcaba, Hollis Rubalcaba, McCovey Rubalcaba, River Phillips, Malibu Phillips, Brayden Baca, Logan Goulet, Set Lillard, Roman Perry, Drake Castillo and Cayden Curcio.

At the 18-and-under level, the Needles Bandits play teams from Redlands,, Tustin and Hesperia in California, Bagdad in Arizona and several teams from the Las Vegas area.

The Needles Bandits play four games at River Valley High School starting Friday night and ending

Sunday.

“This upcoming weekend is our fifth weekend in a row of playing baseball,” Coach Adrian Chavez said. “The majority of the team is Needles kids and we do have a couple from Laughlin that play with us and one from Mohave High School.”

Chavez said that last weekend they went 3-1 overall and lost in extra innings to the team that ended up winning the tournament. “We have some seniors who got their last baseball year taken from them and they get to at least get to play a little bit more until their done Aug. 1st when they age out,” said Chavez.

On the Needles Bandits team, there are three incoming freshmen, six graduated seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and one junior.

“The teams love it and they said they want to make the most of it because their season got taken away,” said Chavez. “It’s going to be really good for all the returning players coming back next year because our plan is to play from now to January and February and roll right into the season.”

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