Playoff Central

Krebill's well-pitched game clinches playoff spot for Warriors

Central players celebrate in the dugout Friday after defeating Montrose 8-2 at Canyon View Park to clinch a spot in the Class 5A playoffs. Seth Krebill pitched a complete-game five-hitter and the Warriors’ offense came through with clutch hits when needed in the win.

Central’s Brandon Martinez slides safely into second base ahead of the throw to Montrose’s Kam DeVincentis for a stolen base Friday in the fifth inning of the Warriors’ 8-2 win. Martinez was 2 for 3 in the victory.

Seth Krebill has had a rough stretch of appearances on the mound.

First, a tough-luck no-decision in Central High School’s 12-10 loss to Durango on April 5. Then, a loss to Durango and a shellacking by Grand Junction in a relief appearance.

Friday, Krebill was back to pounding the low, outside corner to lead Central to an 8-2 Southwestern League victory over Montrose at Canyon View Park. With the win, Central (14-5, 6-4 SWL) won the three-way tiebreaker with Fruita Monument and Grand Junction, which all finished 6-4 in league play, to receive the league’s one automatic bid to the Class 5A playoffs.

Not only did Krebill stifle the SWL champion Indians (13-3, 7-3), limiting them to five hits, he worked the entire zone and pitched to contact. He had only three strikeouts, tied for a season low, but mixed well-placed fastballs with a curve and a dancing change-up.

“Well, you know, I had some things to work on and some things to think about,” Krebill said. “I needed to know where I was going this season. My coaches kept telling me that I was throwing good, we just haven’t had the run support. Today, I trusted in them 100 percent, and we got the win. That’s what we needed.

“I love that low, outside corner and if I can get it, I know I’m going to throw there all day. But Luke (Romine), he’s a great catcher and was calling a great game for me. Had me moving all over the zone and everything was really working for me today.”

Central coach Chuck Yost said he was glad Krebill found his rhythm after working through those tough outings.

“He’s had a couple tough-luck starts where we haven’t played the best defense or we haven’t gotten the hits we need to get for him,” Yost said. “I think he came out today with a little chip on his shoulder, and you know, he kept the ball down. That’s important. He threw strikes in the lower half of the zone and let the defense make plays behind him.”

Krebill had a two-hitter through six innings before Montrose started tagging him in the seventh.

The Indians scored one run in the seventh before a 4-6-3 double play got the Warriors out of a jam.

Central took a 3-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run double from Cole Rupe, then Brandon Martinez’s single scored Rupe. A two-run single by Tanner Huskey in the third inning and an RBI single from Alex Schaneman in the fifth gave the Warriors some cushion, and Trey Garcia’s two-run double capped the scoring for Central. Garcia was thrown out trying the stretch the double into a triple.

Rupe was 2 for 3 with two RBI and scored twice. Brandon Martinez was 2 for 3 with a double, two runs and a stolen base.

Yost joked that the win took some stress off his players.

“Practice will sure be a lot easier,” Yost said. “It was going to be a long weekend for everyone watching the wild card points and things like that. We can all sleep a lot easier now.”

Central handed Montrose two of its three league losses this season. Krebill said confidence and a “no worries” attitude keyed the victory.

“We know we can beat them,” Krebill said. “We were confident in practice this week. I mean, after the Junction game, we were a little shaken up, but we knew we had to get this one and now we’re in the playoffs.”


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