In complete control
Krebill's ability to locate pitches lifts Warriors
It became apparent after the first inning Friday, when Seth Krebill struck out three consecutive batters, that catcher Luke Romine wasn’t going to have to move his glove around.
Low, outside corner. Again and again. Nothing changing.
And there was little Greeley Central hitters could do about it as Krebill carried Grand Junction Central to a 3-0 win over the Wildcats at Canyon View Park in the Bill Fanning Memorial Baseball Classic.
Krebill pitched six innings, striking out six and keeping his pitches on the outside half of the plate. Sure, he occasionally missed high in the zone. And sure, Greeley Central occasionally tagged those misses. But for the most part, Krebill kept the ball on the black of home plate.
Krebill’s fastball was incredibly accurate, buzzing by batters who rocked at the knees, unsure about whether to swing. His curve sometimes hung high, but often times it bit into the dirt, and Krebill complemented both pitches with a solid changeup.
Warriors coach Chuck Yost said Krebill is one of the top pitchers on the team, and Krebill’s control complements his strong arm.
“Yeah, he could make a living out there,” Yost said of Krebill’s pitch location. “If he can keep the ball out there, he probably won’t get hurt too bad. He pitched well for us today and came up big when we needed him to. That’s great, because our bats didn’t really come around.
“But he’s one of the guys we have confidence in. He goes out on the mound and throws well and throws strikes for us.”
Krebill, along with Michael Price, are replacing former Grand Junction Central ace Noah Sanchez. During the Bill Fanning Memorial Classic, the Warriors’ pitching has been one of the highlights, surrendering only four runs, a tournament-low among the four teams that have played two games.
Although Krebill didn’t need much run support, the Warriors did just enough offensively. Price and Alex Schaneman each collected two hits, and the Warriors had no extra-base hits. Price scored twice, once on a shallow fly ball to center field in which he showed deceptive speed for his size.
Defensively, Grand Junction Central bounced back from an uncharacteristically rough time in the field Thursday, where they had two errors in an 11-4 win over Horizon. Friday, Central committed no errors and made several strong defensive plays to keep runners out of scoring position.
Although his roster is stacked with sophomores and juniors, Yost said strong defensive play is part of Central’s culture, and something he hopes will carry over from last season.
“We looked sharp out there today,” Yost said. “Yesterday I wouldn’t say we made all the plays we needed to make, and we really struggled defensively at times. But today I thought we were sharp and disciplined. And that’s what it really comes down to. We just have to be focused on defense, because it’s something that will keep us in games when our bats aren’t producing.”
Senior Jeremy Champlin, who was also a relief pitcher for the Warriors last year, pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to seal the win. The Warriors’ victory clocked in at one hour, 15 minutes, something Yost said helped keep his players focused.
“We played a really clean game today where guys stepped up when we needed them to,” Yost said. “It was a good team win for us.”