Bouncing back

Holman puts previous poor performance behind him to pitch Central past Montrose

Central’s Jason Holman delivers a pitch Friday in the Warriors’ 11-5 victory over Montrose at Canyon View Park. Holman pitched six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

Central’s Tanner Huskey slides in to score a run on a passed ball Friday in the first inning of the Warriors’ 11-5 victory over Montrose at Canyon View Park.

His last outing was awful, one of those nothing-goes-right days that starting pitchers sometimes have.

Jason Holman got a mere one out, that was it, before being pulled after allowing seven hits and six runs in a 10-0 loss to Fort Collins last weekend.

But the nightmare didn’t linger for the Central High School senior.

Instead, Montrose saw the pitcher that has become the Warriors’ ace this season.

Holman retired the first 10 batters he faced Friday, then weathered a few hits and runs but did his part to deliver an 11-5 win for Central in its Southwestern League baseball opener at Canyon View Park.

“That’s the thing about baseball, you have to have a short memory,” Holman said of his bounce-back performance. “You have to come out with the mentality that you’re going to throw strikes.”

Holman threw the first six innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked two batters and struck out four, and he did what he knows he must to be successful. He trusted the Warriors’ defense to make plays.

“We just had the mentality of team. We came out playing team baseball,” Holman said. “I’m not a big strikeout pitcher by any means. I have to rely on the defense, and that’s what I did.”

Warriors coach Chuck Yost said Holman “left some pitches up” against Fort Collins, and every pitcher has days like that.

More importantly, Yost said, Holman didn’t dwell on it.

“You have to deal with that adversity, and he came back strong,” Yost said. “He did a great job (against Montrose) of getting ahead of hitters, hitting spots. He did a great job of battling. He competes.”

Montrose coach Ty Shaw saw the same thing from Holman, adding, “I think the key for him was he started off with strikes probably 80 percent of the time.”

Shaw thought the ultimate difference in the game was Central did the little things to win. Meanwhile, his team showed some fight, cutting the deficit to 8-5 after five innings after falling behind 5-0 and 8-2, but “we made some mistakes, mental mistakes, physical mistakes.”

The Indians’ mistakes put them in a hole from the outset.

The Warriors’ Trey Garcia doubled in the first inning, and Central got two walks to load the bases. The Warriors then scored two runs without a hit, getting them home on a balk and a passed ball.

Central (5-4, 1-0 SWL) added three runs in the third inning, with Garcia getting things started again with a double, but this one was the product of the Montrose shortstop misplaying a high popup into shallow left field. The ball dropped to the ground untouched, and Garcia’s hustle put him on second base.

After a flyout to center field, the Warriors got a walk from Holman, a single to left-center by Seth Barker to drive in a run, a balk to make it 4-0 and a two-out single to right-center by Logan Schaneman.

Central added a run in the fourth with the aid of an error and two runs in the fifth on run-scoring singles by Ryan Weller and pinch hitter Robby Arnspiger.

Then, after Montrose (6-2, 0-1) got within 8-5 with three runs in the top of the fifth, the Warriors roared back with three runs on four hits, three of them triples by Tanner Huskey, Barker and Schaneman.

“Probably the biggest thing was in the fourth, fifth and sixth, every time they scored, we answered,” Yost said. “They never got momentum on us.”

The other thing Central did was play team ball, as Yost said, “It was great team baseball. ... Pitching was good. Defense was good. We had timely hitting. Ran the bases well. We did the things we needed to do.”


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