Baldwin has big game in last outing at Suplizio Field

Central’s Kyle Brown appeals to the ump but to no avail as Chris Greff is save at second.

In Geoff Baldwin’s tenure at Grand Junction High School, he has helped the Tigers win a lot of baseball games.

In his final game at Suplizio Field, the Tigers senior first baseman went 2 for 2 with three RBI in Grand Junction’s 9-6 win over Central on Tuesday night.

“It’s been a crazy ride here, and I love this place,” Baldwin said. “This is probably one of the better ballparks I will play in, unless I get to the big leagues.”

Both of Baldwin’s hits were doubles, including a first inning drive that scored Tim Gastineau and gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Baldwin would hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field in the third inning. After being intentionally walked in the fifth inning, Baldwin hit an RBI double that scored Charlie Willett in the sixth.

“I was looking to make solid contact,” Baldwin said. “I was lucky to see pitches, and was able to do something with them today.”

Baldwin’s sacrifice fly in the third inning was followed by an Aaron Berk towering three-run home run to right field that gave Grand Junction a 5-0 lead.

Central responded in the bottom of the third, led by Lanny Baker’s two-run single that scored Holden Reed and Kyle Brown.

Grand Junction scored three runs in the fifth, but the Warriors bounced back with three runs of their own.

“Our big innings were good, but the disappointing thing was they answered every time,”

Grand Junction coach Kyle Rush said. “We never put them away.”

The Tigers took a 9-6 lead in the sixth off Baldwin’s double. Baldwin replaced Tigers starting pitcher Connor Dixon in the fifth, and finished the game with three scoreless innings.

“Geoff did a great job coming in for us, and Connor did what we wanted him to,” Rush said.

Although the two Grand Junction pitchers got the job done, Central had a solid night at the plate notching 10 hits. Warriors coach Chuck Yost said his team seemed to be enjoying itself, despite having been eliminated from the playoffs.

“I was glad they had some fun,” Yost said. “I was real proud of the way they battled.”

Central senior Travis Key had a solid night, going 2 for 3 with an RBI. Key was one of six Warriors seniors who played their final game Tuesday.

“Our seniors came out and worked hard every day,” Yost said. “They laid it on the line for us every game.”

The Tigers finished second in the Southwestern League because of Durango’s 19-13 win over Montezuma Cortez on Tuesday. Grand Junction will find out where its next game will be today when the state tournament bracket is released.

“We feel pretty good about what we have done,” Rush said. “We still have to play better ball this weekend, or we won’t make it past the district.”

Fruita 14, Montrose 8

Rex Clemons completed his high school career by scattering nine hits and striking out seven to lead Fruita.

The Wildcats (12-6, 7-3 Southwestern League) opened up a tie game with five runs in the second inning and two in the third.

TJ Pollock had a triple and a home run to lead the 22-hit Wildcat attack.


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