Grand Junction ace pitches Tigers to win over Durango
Grand Junction High School baseball coach Kyle Rush wasn’t sure what he’d have in terms of pitching this season.
He had some possibilities, but could only guess how it would turn out.
So far, the pitching has turned out pretty good.
Chandon Rose, who has developed into the Tigers’ ace this season, limited Durango to two runs on two hits to lead Grand Junction to a 7-2 Southwestern League victory Friday at Canyon View Park.
“I just want to win,” Rose said. “I want our team to win and I want the best for our baseball team. I go out there and compete, every batter, every pitch. Coach is always telling me the most important thing is the next pitch. I go off that.”
With the victory, the Tigers (15-2, 7-1 SWL) stayed one game ahead of Fruita Monument in the standings. Grand Junction hosts Montezuma-Cortez at 10 this morning at Canyon View Park, then the Wildcats at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
“It will come down to us and Fruita, but we have to win (today),” Rush said. “If we win our last two, we should have a good chance of (hosting districts).”
Rush had to watch Rose’s performance from his truck after he was ejected from Grand Junction’s previous game against Pueblo South in Pueblo.
Rose (4-0) allowed two runs on two hits, four walks and struck out two.
“He’s a kid that’s really focused on controlling the game,” Rush said. “The biggest thing about Chandon is he’s a winner and he believes he’s a winner. He’s getting it done for us.”
The Demons (10-7, 5-3 SWL) pushed across two runs in the first inning, but Rose didn’t let it bother him.
“I knew I had to come out, get ground balls and let my defense play behind me,” Rose said. “They picked up on me a little bit, but I came out every inning, did my best and got the win.”
The Tigers tied it in the bottom of the third even though two runners were thrown out at third base. Andy Willett tripled home a run and scored on Michael McGovern’s double.
In the fifth, Charlie Willett led off with a single and Cory DeRush beat out a bunt for a hit. Andy Willett followed with an RBI double.
“We knew we had to get some runs going,” said Willett, who was 2 for 3 with two RBI. “We had some runners on. I was excited. Luckily I got a pitch outside and was able to go with it.”
DeRush scored on a groundout, then Casey Burns singled home Willett.
Grand Junction added two runs in the sixth. Tyler Gastineau tripled home a run and scored on an error.
McGovern was 1 for 4 with two RBI. Charlie Willett and DeRush were each 2 for 4.