Atonement: Reicks, Gastineau make up for mistakes with winning hits for GJ
Charlie Reicks and Tim Gastineau believe in redemption.
After making errors that cost the Grand Junction High School baseball team the lead, the only thing they could do was hope for a chance to make things right.
The Grand Junction High School seniors got that chance, driving in the game-tying and winning runs Tuesday night to lift the Tigers to a 4-3 Southwestern League victory over rival Central at Suplizio Field.
With one out and two on, Reicks came through with a double to left field to score Sean Rubalcaba and tie the game 3-3.
“I knew I had to get a hit,” Reicks said. “I knew I could. There were no other options. I had to make up for what I did.”
Two batters later, Gastineau reached first on a Central error that allowed the winning run to score.
“I was waiting for my chance to come up after I made that error in (the top of) the seventh inning,” Gastineau said. “It was 1-1 and had a feeling the curveball was coming and it was. I tried to put it in play and get the run in.”
The Tigers (8-1, 2-0 SWL) nearly blew a well-pitched game by Tyler Stanford by making four errors in the top of the seventh.
Central’s Scott Clowe reached on Reicks’ error, then Dane Barsland made it to first on an error by Stanford.
One out later, Tanner Denlon drove home Clowe and Barsland scored after Reicks overthrew catcher Aaron Berk trying to pick off Barsland, who was caught halfway down the third-base line.
“I don’t know, we weren’t making plays,” Reicks said. “It’s my fault, I didn’t make two plays there. Stanford pitched a heck of a game.”
Despite the trio of errors, Grand Junction could’ve gotten out of the inning with the score tied 2-2, but Gastineau mishandled a ground ball, allowing another Central run to score. “It was killer,” Gastineau said. “That’s when they went up. I didn’t put my head down. I wanted the next play so I could redeem myself. I got it at the plate and finished it.”
Grand Junction’s four errors nearly spoiled an outstanding performance by Stanford.
The senior left-hander limited Central (1-5, 0-1 SWL) to no earned runs on five hits and struck out 11.
“(Reicks and Gastineau) had to redeem themselves,” Grand Junction coach Kyle Rush said. “They owed it to Stanford to win the game for him. The guy pitches great and we make four errors in the seventh.”
Although Grand Junction had to rally to win in its last at-bat, Central coach Chuck Yost felt the Warriors could’ve taken better advantage of a couple opportunities earlier in the game.
“We were what, 0 for 6, with runners in scoring position?” Yost said. “That’s the whole difference. We battled back and had a chance at the end.”
The Warriors had a chance because of Alex Kitzman.
The junior right-hander held Grand Junction to two earned runs on five hits and struck out two.
“Kitzman did a great job and Stanford was awesome for us,” Rush said. “When we throw four errors at him in the seventh, he’s going to struggle a bit. Well, he didn’t struggle; we just acted like we’ve never been there before and we had those four errors. He’s the reason we’re winning close games right now.”