Indians not satisfied

Perfect record nice, but Montrose coach knows team can be better

Fruita Monument’s Chris Cordova rounds third base Wednesday on his way to score on a double by Cody Basinger in the fourth inning of the Wildcats’ 8-5 loss to Montrose at Canyon View Park.

An outsider can look at the Montrose High School baseball team’s 11-0 record and think it must be satisfying.

But now is not the time to be content for the Indians.

Montrose’s 8-5 win Wednesday over Fruita Monument at Canyon View Park sealed the best start in coach Landon Wareham’s tenure and the Indians’ best start since at least 2008.

But Wareham said he always is looking for more from his team, which sits atop the Southwestern League standings at 4-0.

“We’re always focused on trying to play better baseball, and quite frankly we were pretty average today,” Wareham said. “We need to be sharper in all three phases of the game, and we’re capable of being sharper.”

Montrose scored six runs in the top of the second inning and carried that to victory, aided by five solid innings from winning pitcher Tyrus Lopez.

“The good thing is we pitched well enough for us to win,” Wareham said. “That’s a talented team that we have a ton of respect for, and we’re lucky that we pitched well enough to win. Offensively I think we changed our approach a little bit. We’re a line-drive and hard-ground-ball team. We flew out a ton and struck out more than I think we have all season.

“That’s a credit to their pitching. It’s a little bit of two things. With facing good pitching, you’re not going to be able to be as consistent. Secondly, it’s focus level. There’s more there, and we’re interested in getting to that next level.”

Fruita had three extra-base hits in an eight-hit effort, including five hits in the fourth inning. Fruita coach Ray McLennan said it was one of the best comeback performances he has seen from the Wildcats.

“We just couldn’t seem to minimize the damage (during the second inning). It was too much,” McLennan said. “We competed well, and I’m proud of our kids for battling back.”

McLennan said the Wildcats (7-7, 2-3) are starting to come together after dropping their first two league games against Grand Junction and Central. The loss to Montrose hurts, but it doesn’t sink Fruita, he said.

“I think we’re swinging the bats well. We’re aggressive and playing as a team. The bad thing for us is that we had to play two league games before we could really jell as a team,” McLennan said.

“When you build to this time of the season, when you have to play league games during the second game of the season ... I’m not going to make an excuse, but we just weren’t at the point we’re at now.”


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