Maestas carries Palisade to title game in Boys District 1
Issac Maestas loves football, but baseball is becoming a close second.
In only his first year of playing baseball, Maestas is something of a natural. Friday evening, he led Palisade to a 21-7 win over Montrose to reach the championship game of the 10-11 Boys District 1 tournament.
“Everybody was telling me it was fun, so I tried it,” Maestas said. “Just like football. Football’s my passion, I love to play it. I’d never played (football) on a team, just like this (until this year).”
Maestas nearly threw a complete game — he got a little tired in the fifth inning and Kayden Seriani came on to face the final two batters.
Maestas hit a home run in the second inning, singled home a run in the fourth and had a two-run single in the fifth.
Palisade, which lost its first game of the tournament 9-8 to Three Rivers, plays Monument at 5:30 tonight at Palisade Area Little League.
“It makes it more interesting,” Palisade manager Mike Seriani said of winning three straight elimination games. “They don’t want to go home yet; they want to keep playing baseball.”
The Palisade All-Stars were trailing 6-5 in the fourth inning when they put the game out of reach.
Palisade sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs to take a 15-6 lead against four Montrose pitchers.
With that big lead, Maestas slammed the door on Montrose in the fourth, striking out the first two batters he faced and getting a ground ball for the third out.
Maestas’ strategy was simple:
“Throw strikes,” he said.
Palisade scored six more runs in the fifth inning in a light rain, with Kayden Seriani and Max Noland hitting back-to-back RBI singles to center and Matt Seriani jumping on a high pitch for an RBI double to left-center.
Several players on Monument’s team play competitive baseball with several Palisade players.
“We all played on the same team, so that’ll be a lot of fun,” Mike Seriani said. “They’re a good team, they’re well-coached, but these guys are good, too.”
Playing so much baseball has allowed Maestas to catch up to his more experienced teammates.
“It makes you better,” Maestas said. “Sometimes you learn more, especially if you’re just starting.”
Major Girls: Late-inning rallies are nothing new in Little League, but the Fruita girls completed the rally of all rallies to win the District 1 championship and qualify for the state tournament.
Fruita came back from a 13-0 deficit in the fifth inning to upend Grand Mesa 14-13.
A 13-run fifth inning tied the game, and Fruita kept the momentum, scoring one run in the bottom of the sixth to win.
9-10 A Boys: Monument reached tonight’s championship game with a 12-2 win over Fruita. Monument faces Grand Mesa at 7 tonight in Montrose.
9-10 B Boys: Monument Gray came all the way back through the losers’ bracket, beating Grand Mesa 12-8.
In a rematch of the opening round, Monument Gray plays Monument Blue at 7 tonight for the championship.
Junior Boys: Colorado River Valley blanked Three Rivers 11-0 to reach the championship game.
District 1 is undefeated in the double-elimination tournament, with the title game at 7 tonight at Orchard Mesa.
Major Boys: The second day of the tournament in Cortez was rained out.