Estep, Price lead Warriors
Michael Price hit his first home run of the season Saturday afternoon and Michael Estep threw six innings of one-run baseball to lead Central High School to a 7-1 nonleague victory over Denver North.
Only hours before the scheduled start time, the game was moved from Canyon View Park to Central. Canyon View Park was deemed unplayable after early-morning rain soaked the infield.
The Warriors, particularly the top of the batting order, benefitted from playing a rare home game on the Central campus. Hitting leadoff, Jeremy Champlin went 3 for 3 with a double and two RBI. After him, Alex Schaneman was 2 for 3 with a double, and he scored a run. Price, who went 2 for 3, added a solo home run that traveled over the fence, which is 405 feet in dead center.
Estep, a sophomore, scattered five hits in his first varsity start for the Warriors. He also struck out five batters and walked only two. The right-hander is the sixth Central pitcher to pick up a win during a start this season.
“He’s had two really good JV starts, and we thought this was the perfect time to give him a shot,” Central coach Chuck Yost said. “He came out and got ground balls and threw strikes and did exactly what we needed him to do.
“At the JV level, he changed speeds real well and had a real good breaking ball, even though he didn’t quite have it today. He did find it later, though.”
Denver North’s lone run came in the top of the first, and Central answered in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single from Price. Central (11-3) scored another run in the bottom of the fourth inning before stringing together five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Central’s next game is against Fruita Monument at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Suplizio Field. Both teams have only two losses in the Southwestern League, as does Montrose.
“We have to be fundamentally sound, and we can’t beat ourselves,” Yost said. “As cliche as it sounds, you have to take it game by game. You look ahead of Fruita Monument, and they’re going to beat you. They’ve won a lot of games by being ready for people. You look ahead of Durango, we’ve already lost to them. Cortez isn’t bad, and (Grand) Junction can hit. You can’t overlook anyone with how this league is this year.”
Montrose 16, Cañon City 6: Peter Shearer and Jake Bradburn each hit three-run home runs as Montrose blasted Cañon City in a six-inning win. Kyle Freeburg was 4 for 4 at the plate and also picked up the win on the mound, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
The Indians (11-2, 5-2 SWL) took the lead with five runs in the top of the third inning and never trailed after that.
“We came ready to play and kept the pressure on them offensively,” Montrose coach Landon Wareham said.
Grand Valley 13-5, Aspen 3-10: Scoring multiple runs in a few innings, Grand Valley (2-11, 2-5 Class 3A Western Slope League) won Game 1 of a doubleheader against Aspen before dropping the second game.
Grand Valley netted five goals in the second half as the Cardinals cruised to an 8-0 win over Aspen in a Class 3A Western Slope League game.
Ashlynn Speakman scored four goals, raising her season total to 26, the highest in Class 3A.
Both teams had a penalty kick attempt, with Kyra Chenoweth scoring for the Cardinals and goalie Erin Schuckers stuffing the Skiers’ attempt.
Steamboat Springs forfeited Saturday’s Mountain League match against Fruita Monument, citing a lack of available players.
The win awarded to the Wildcats (11-1, 5-0 ML) sets up a game against Aspen (7-2, 3-0 ML) to decide the league title.
The first time the two squads faced, Fruita Monument won 13-10.