Play ball!

Errors costly for Central in season-opening loss

Horizon’s Hayden Schaefer gets ready to tag out Central’s Brandon Martinez at third base Thursday during the Warriors’ 4-2 loss at Suplizio Field.



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Horizon’s Hayden Schaefer gets ready to tag out Central’s Brandon Martinez at third base Thursday during the Warriors’ 4-2 loss at Suplizio Field.

At 302 feet, the left-field foul pole at Suplizio Field is an easy target for home runs. Central High School catcher Kyle Serrano’s solo shot Thursday well over the fence was one of the few offensive highlights in a 4-2 season-opening loss at the Bill Fanning Classic to Horizon, in which the Warriors struggled defensively.

“We hit the ball pretty well all game long,” Central coach Chuck Yost said. “We just didn’t have any timely hits early in the game. You know, Noah (Sanchez) pitched really well, and Seth (Krebil) came in in relief, and we just couldn’t make a few plays. Our pitching did a good job keeping us in the game today.”

The Warriors return only two starting pitchers with varsity experience, Michael Price and Sanchez, and one varsity reliever, Jeremy Champlin.

Yost said Sanchez is the ace entering the season.

“I was going five innings without giving up a run, and then the game kind of turned on us,” Sanchez said. “It’s just little plays here and there. It’s stuff we’ll clean up before the league schedule starts. It was good to get the first-game jitters out, and we’ll be fine the rest of the way.”

Sanchez shut out Horizon through the first five innings, surrendering five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. The Warriors held a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, after Seth Krebil entered in relief, two errors led to three unearned runs for the Hawks. Serrano’s solo home run in the bottom half brought the Warriors within one. An error and a wild pitch set up a Horizon sacrifice fly for the game’s final run in the top of the seventh.

The Warriors had two runners in scoring position when the game ended.

Central had to scrape its first run together, and Yost and Serrano both said it was indicative of the style of play Central will rely on offensively.

“We have a lot of young kids and don’t have one big player that’s going to hit three bombs in a game,” Serrano said. “Our whole lineup has to be able to hit and be able to battle for runs.”

The Warriors’ Alex Schaneman walked, then advanced to third on a balk and a passed ball on consecutive pitches. Schaneman scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Weller. 

“We have kids that really understand the game,” Yost said. “Top to bottom, I think they know that we all have to pitch in and do our jobs. Obviously Kyle’s home run was nice, but we need more than that to win the game. It’s youth and inexperience, and we’re just going to grow and learn.”

Rampart 14, Fruita Monument 10: Rampart scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to break a 10-10 tie in the season opener for Fruita Monument at Canyon View Park during the Bill Fanning Classic.

The Rams’ leadoff hitter that inning got hung up between first and second base, but when Fruita Monument tried to tag him out, the runner used his elbow to knock the ball out of the fielder’s glove, Wildcats coach Ray McLennan said.

“The wheels kind of came off after that,” McLennan said.

Fruita Monument’s 10 hits came from five batters, each with two hits: Cody Basinger, Ty Burtard, Logan McLennan, Gabe Treider and Kelin Henke.

The Wildcats took an 8-6 lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Girls soccer

Cruz Maestas scored all three goals for Palisade, including the game-winner two minutes into the second overtime as the Bulldogs won their season opener 3-2 over Glenwood Springs in 4A Western Slope League action.

Palisade coach Raina Sorensen couldn’t recall whether she has been with the Bulldogs for seven years or eight, but she said the win was Palisade’s first over Glenwood Springs during that time.

Maestas staked the Bulldogs to a 2-0 lead with goals in the seventh and 20th minutes, getting an assist from Nicole Harkreader on the first one and Natalie Combs on the second one. Glenwood Springs came back with goals in the 26th and 63rd minutes.

Sorensen said Harkreader fed a through ball to Maestas at midfield, and she did the rest on a breakaway for the winning goal. Maestas dribbled just inside the six-yard box and placed a shot on the ground past the goalie.

Palisade goalkeeper Katie Dunn made 11 saves.

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