Warriors struggle in loss to Durango

Central first baseman Michael Price takes the pickoff throw from pitcher Seth Krebill and prepares to tag Durango’s Casey Dunlap as he slides back toward the bag during the fourth inning Friday at Suplizio Field.

Central High School first baseman Michael Price got the tag on Durango’s Casey Dunlap before the Demons’ base runner could get back to the bag in the fourth inning Friday night at Suplizio Field. Central pitcher Seth Krebill made the pickoff throw.

It was one of those games where nothing much went right for Central High School’s baseball team.

When that happens the result is never good.

Durango used a nine-run sixth inning and got a complete-game two-hitter from Blake Dunlap on Friday to beat the Warriors 14-1 in six innings in a Southwestern League game at Suplizio Field.

It was a strange game for Central (12-4, 4-3 SWL), which started out ugly and finished uglier. But the middle was good, at least on the mound and in the field.

Offensively, the Warriors struggled. The Demons, conversely, finished with 16 hits.

“They just hit the ball, they’re a good-hitting team,” Central head coach Chuck Yost said. “It’s hard to defend base hits. They came out and started hitting the snot out of the ball.”

After giving up three runs in the first inning, Central starter Seth Krebill dominated the next three innings. He set down eight straight, and faced the minimum in the fourth inning when he picked off a runner after a lead-off single.

Durango (10-6, 5-4 SWL) got a two-run double by Jeremy Szura in the fifth to up the lead to 5-1. Then came the nightmare sixth, when Warriors used three pitchers and gave up the nine runs. Durango sent 14 hitters to the plate.

Krebill gave up a hit, a walk and an infield single to load the bases, and that was it for the Central junior.

Jeremy Champlin has been one of Central’s key pitchers this season, but when he left the game after fouling a ball off his knee in the fourth, the Warriors’ relief-pitching options were limited. 

Trey Garcia came in and gave up a check-swing liner to Chris Jaworsky that scored two runs. Isiah Mayberry and Hayden Sill each had two RBI in the inning.

Alberto Saldamando relieved Garcia to get the final two outs.

Yost said Champlin’s injury was big, but it wasn’t necessarily a factor in his relief-pitching plan.

“It might have (made a difference),” Yost said. “But we didn’t say ‘Oh no, we don’t have any more pitching’ when Jeremy went down.”

Blake kept the Warriors off balance for much of the game but the Warriors had their chances when they loaded the bases in the second and third innings.

Central just couldn’t come up with the key hit and Durango’s defense made the big play whenever it needed it.

In the second, Garcia and Andrew Martinez had singles to help load the bases for Central but the only run came scored, on a bases-loaded walk to Cole Rupe.

It was an ugly start but beautiful ending in the field for the Demons. Michael Price and Rupe reached on errors, then Martinez loaded the bases when he hustled to first on a third strike that got away from the catcher. Once again, a key hit eluded the Warriors.

“That was huge, in the third inning, they gave us six outs, and we don’t get a run across,” Yost said. “You’ve got to take advantage of the other team’s mistakes.”

Dunlap’s struggles then vanished in the final three innings, which included setting down the Warriors in order in the fourth and fifth innings.

Calling Champlin “a tough kid,” Yost said he’s not sure if the junior will be available for today’s game against Montezuma-Cortez. With only three games left in the regular season, Yost said he’s not looking ahead to the Grand Junction and Montrose games when it comes to selecting starting pitchers.

“We’ll see what happens and we have a plan for tomorrow and that’s all we’re worried about right now,” he said.

Grand Junction 18, Montezuma-Cortez 11: Tyler Heinsma had a home run and a triple to drive in five runs for Grand Junction in its win over the Panthers at Canyon View Park.

The Tigers scored eight runs in the third and put the game away with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings.

Kaleb Johnson had three RBI and Dillon Fante had three RBI and scored three runs for the Tigers.

Basalt 6, Rifle: 1: Basalt took advantage of four Rifle errors and scored five runs in the second inning to beat the Bears in nonleague action.


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