Birthday boy Kreidler paces Monument
Instead of receiving gifts on his birthday Wednesday, Canon Kreidler chose to give.
He scattered four hits and struck out 10 batters, and he belted a three-run home run to lead Monument to the District 1 Little League Baseball Intermediate (50/70) Division championship Tuesday at Little Salt Wash Park in Fruita. Monument beat Delta 12-2 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.
It marked the third meeting between the teams in the tourney. Delta won the first-round encounter 4-3 on Saturday, but Monument battled back in the double-elimination tourney and pounded Delta 17-1 on Tuesday to force Wednesday’s second game for the title.
“We hit them pretty well yesterday and believed we’d be able to do it again,” said Sean Kreidler, Monument’s head coach and Canon’s father.
Canon Kreidler survived a slow start as Delta used back-to-back hits with two outs to score a run in the first inning, and what appeared to be a third hit on a close play at first base became the third out for Delta when the home plate umpire reversed the infield ump’s call.
From there, Kreidler settled down and struck out six straight batters in the second and third innings, doing it on nine pitches in the third.
“He’s just coming into pitching,” Sean Kreidler said. “He’s really throwing his fastball well, and his change-up he’s really throwing well.”
Canon Kreidler swung an impressive bat throughout the tourney, hitting four home runs in four games, including two Tuesday. Wednesday’s shot over the left-field fence came on a pitch that appeared gift-wrapped for the birthday boy, who turned 14, but his birthday is late enough to qualify for Intermediates, a new division added this year for ages 11-13.
“He gave me a fastball around the belt, which is one of my favorite pitches,” said Kreidler, who also singled in a run in the first inning as Monument scored four runs in the first and eight in the second. “I saw it, and I took advantage.”
Delta pitcher Cristian Hall got in a groove of his own in the third and fourth innings, striking out four batters before leaving when he reached the pitch limit. Delta’s other highlight came on Cameron Schaal’s solo home run to left-center in the fourth.
“It just came down to pitching, and they were a little deeper than we were,” Delta coach Pete Whiteside said, adding Hall pitched well despite the score, a reflection of how well Monument hits.
“Their first five hitters are great hitters, and their last four hit (today), too,” Whiteside said. “I think we can play with that team, but the best team won.”
Monument does not advance to a state tourney. Rather, it will host a regional later this month.