Durango pounds out hits to top Central

Kyle Brown of Central tries to get the handle on a toss during a botched double play attempt as Durango’s Phil Crom slides in safely in the forth inning.

Central High School’s baseball team’s game with Durango came down to the coulds and could nots.

Saturday at Canyon View Park, Durango could hit the ball wherever it wanted to, and Central could not seem to match it.

Durango ended up with 14 hits on its way to a 14-3 win in five innings over the Warriors (10-8, 3-6 Southwestern League).

“They’re hot right now,” Central coach Chuck Yost said. “We knew we had to come out and throw strikes, but we got behind hitters early.”

Central attempted to get the upper hand early, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Warriors’ designated hitter, Travis Key, hit a RBI triple, and scored on Spencer Hicks’ sacrifice fly.

Durango responded with six runs in the top of the second, five of which came with two outs.

“We didn’t match their intensity when they put up the six runs,” Yost said. “But that is why they are in the situation they’re in, and why we are in the situation we’re in.”

In the third, Durango loaded the bases with no outs, but Central reliever Lanny Baker
forced Durango leadoff hitter Tyler McKnight to ground into a double play.

Durango got another run across to push the lead to 7-2, but Central had a chance to get out of the inning relatively unscathed. But following the trend of the weekend for the Demons, John Ugai hit an RBI triple, which was followed by a two-run home run by Aaron Coats. Kenneth Gallegos finished the big inning with a solo home run.

The three consecutive extra-base hits gave Durango an 11-2 lead.

“They find a way to get timely hits with runners in scoring position,” Yost said. “Everything went their way today, but good teams make their own luck.”

Central added a run in the bottom of the third when Key hit an RBI double to score Baker. Key went 2 for 3 with two RBI.

“Key had a good day at the plate, which was a bright spot,” Yost said. “Overall, we just didn’t come ready to play.”

With the win, Durango completed a weekend sweep of Fruita Monument and Central, scoring a combined 29 runs and allowing only six. The Demons can lock up the
Southwestern League title Tuesday with a win over Montezuma-Cortez, the same day Grand Junction wraps up its regular season against Central.

Grand Junction 13, Montrose 4

The team fighting with Durango to take the top spot in the league is Grand Junction, which overcame heavy winds to defeat Montrose at Canyon View.

“We got some balls out that wouldn’t have normally been gone,” Grand Junction coach Kyle Rush said. “Our main goal was to come in today and secure a playoff spot, and we did that.”

Zeph Quigley had a big day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with two home runs and a double. Geoff Baldwin had a solo home run and an inside-the-park home run.

Quigley said he doesn’t consider himself a power hitter, but was happy to use the wind to his advantage.

“I’m not a home run hitter but today I got it into the wind and it went out of here,” Quigley said. “We are happy with the season we put together.”


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