Krabbe gets a little spending money from grandma and gives ‘Dogs Western Slope League title with gra
Ever since he was a Little Leaguer, Cody Krabbe’s grandmother promised him $50 if he hit a home run.
Several years later, Grandma might have to pay up.
The Palisade High School senior hit a go-ahead grand slam Tuesday evening, lifting the Bulldogs to a 14-12 victory over Delta at Suplizio Field to win their second consecutive Western Slope League championship.
“Ever since Minors, she’d always tell me before a game, $50 if I hit a home run, and I never have,” Krabbe said. “At first I didn’t think it was going out, I was trying to run. I didn’t even see it go out. I turned back and everyone was screaming. I didn’t even know what to think.”
Palisade (13-6, 11-1 WSL) persevered in a wild, error-plagued game, something it didn’t do during a five-game losing skid in late March. The Bulldogs overcame three errors and a couple of base running mistakes.
“We didn’t play our best game, but we never gave up,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said. “If this was at the beginning of the year, we lose this game. Our kids have grown up so much. Their confidence level, their will to continue in the fight has grown. I’m extremely proud of them.”
Delta (13-5, 10-2 WSL) had its share of mistakes, committing five errors.
“Our focus at certain points wasn’t there,” Delta coach Marty Rover said. “We make good pitches, but we can’t make the play we need to make. Our defense has been our strong point throughout the year, but for whatever reason the past couple games, it’s been our downfall.”
The Bulldogs took advantage of a couple of early errors to build a 4-2 lead through two innings, but gave it back in the fourth when Delta scored six runs.
Devin Ruble started the rally, beating out an infield hit. He advanced to second when Caleb Hall dropped the ball trying to tag him after a ground ball. Mykal DeHerrera placed a bunt perfectly down the third-base line to load the bases and Garren Atchley doubled home two runs before Palisade pitcher Pete Lelich got the first out on a pop fly.
Nathan Trujillo followed with a two-run triple and Noland Britain added an RBI triple for a 7-4 Delta lead.
Moore brought in Krabbe, who hadn’t pitched in a game in two weeks. After a wild pitch scored Britain, Krabbe got out of the inning.
The right-hander (5-3) limited the Panthers to two earned runs on six hits, four walks and struck out four in three innings of relief for the victory.
“I haven’t thrown for awhile,” Krabbe said. “My arm’s feeling good, but I didn’t hit my spots like I normally should. It’s been awhile since I’ve thrown to a batter.”
Palisade chipped away, scoring two in the fourth and two in the fifth on hits by Tyler Day, Caleb Hall and Krabbe, but Delta added two in the top of the sixth for a 10-8 lead.
The Bulldogs answered with their own six-run inning in the bottom half off DeHerrera.
Day led off with a single and advanced to second on an error, and Hall reached on an error. Jam’r Rhodes singled home a run before Cole Cummins hit a towering fly ball that fell into short center field, scoring another run to tie the game 10-10.
Delta got the second out, but couldn’t get out of the inning before Krabbe’s grand slam.
“My thought was they haven’t hit a ball very hard against him,” Rover said of the pitching change. “A couple dinks and dunks, a misplay in the infield.
“(DeHerrera is) our go-to guy in late inning situations. He should’ve been out of the inning a couple times. I don’t think the pitch he made to the Krabbe kid was that bad, he just put a good swing on it.”