Morby’s clutch hit lifts Grand Mesa 9-11 boys to win
The biggest hit of the game for the Grand Mesa Little League 9-11-year-old baseball team Thursday came from one of the smallest players on the field.
Ascher Morby’s bases-loaded triple in the top of the third inning gave his team the lead for good, and Grand Mesa held on for a 13-10 victory against Colorado River Valley in the District 1 Tournament title game at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex.
“We put that kid in for that situation,” Grand Mesa coach Jeremy Guerrieri said. “He’s 65 pounds soaking wet and he’s absolutely lights out in those situations. He’s a great ballplayer.”
Morby, who said he’s 4 feet, 6 inches tall, finished 3 for 3 with three runs scored. Though he wasn’t in the starting lineup, his night was highlighted by that three-run, opposite-field triple down the right-field line.
“I just knew that we needed to win this game,” Morby said. “I just swung and prayed I would hit it.”
Kaden Guerrieri and Tristan Talbott each had a double and single and starting pitcher River Wright hit a two-run, opposite-field home run to right-center field for Grand Mesa, which advanced to the 9-11 state tournament in Denver that begins on July 13.
Wright lasted 3 2/3 innings right before reaching the pitch-count limit of 85. He allowed five runs — three earned — with six strikeouts and four walks.
Colorado River Valley, which includes players primarily from Rifle, Silt or New Castle, trailed 13-6 headed into the bottom of the sixth and final inning but pulled within 13-10 when an infield error allowed CRV’s fourth run of the inning to score.
Reliever Eisen Coleman forced a popup to center field with the bases loaded for the final out.
Steven Pond hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to cap the scoring and Nate Smith pitched six solid innings for Orchard Mesa, which defeated Fruita 11-2 on at the Orchard Mesa Little League complex Wednesday night to win the Senior baseball district title. Orchard Mesa advanced to play in the state tournament, scheduled for July 13-16 in Cortez.