Monument Major Boys cruise in Little League state openerNew Cal 2 column format
One of the best memories Zach Rush and Derek Shavers said they’ll take from the Monument Little League Major Boys’ 19-0 win over the Steamboat All-Stars was the view of their home runs.
About 15 trucks were backed up to the outfield fences, their tailgates propped open for a view of the under-12 Little League state tournament game Friday. When Rush and Shavers hit home runs that cleared center field, they noticed men and women standing, fingers scratching the sky reaching for the ball.
But the home runs went over their heads and reportedly hit the sidewalk in front of 25 1/2 Road.
And the home run barrage continues for Monument Little League, which plays the Colorado Springs Little League All-Stars at 10 a.m. today.
“And that was well below our average,” Monument coach Sean Kreidler said. “We hit 39 home runs in the district tournament.”
The Colorado Springs-Monument winner will play in the state championship final Monday.
The state champion will then play in a regional tournament Aug. 3–9 in Waco, Texas, with a shot to play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
Shavers, a right-hander who had not pitched for about a month as he recovered from an injury to the growth plate in his throwing shoulder, tossed three scoreless innings, allowing two hits.
Steamboat center fielder Zach Cooke stood two steps in front of the warning track seemingly the entire game. For good reason, considering Rush’s two-run home run in the second inning that put Monument ahead 3-0.
The same inning, Shavers also ripped a three-run shot to center field to put Monument ahead 11-0.
And after his swing, Shavers heard a familiar voice, his father’s.
“Over all the people yelling, I heard my dad (Brian) shout, ‘Atta boy,’ ” Shavers said.
“I heard it, too,” said Rush, who was at second base. “It was cool.”
It seems the fans, who packed three sections of bleachers, stood along the outfield, sat on chairs in the beds of their trucks or sat on towels as they peered through the fence at the action 200 feet from home plate, have caught Monument Little League fever.
“I think we’re starting to get community support, which is cool,” Kreidler said. “This team has been playing together since they were 9. I think the fans are excited about that.”