Rush’s timely hitting lifts Monument past Tri-Lakes
Zach Rush wasn’t afraid to be the hero.
Sunday during the 9-10 Little League State Tournament at the Monument Little League field, Rush’s timely hitting helped Monument overcome a three-run deficit to defeat Tri-Lakes Little League 13-8.
Rush went 4 for 5 with four RBI during Sunday’s game, but his biggest contribution came in the top of the fifth inning.
In the fifth, Tri-Lakes held a 6-4 lead by scoring at least one run in every inning. Tri-Lakes retired the first two Monument batters, but Monument rallied when Brandon Lovato, Canon Kreidler and Alec Goodrich all reached base.
Rush cleared the bases with a three-run double that sailed down the right-field line to give Monument an 8-6 lead.
“I wanted to hit it pretty hard so we could at least get a run in,” Rush said.
Rush’s success at the plate came at a different spot in the batting lineup. Monument manager Sean Kreidler said Rush was moved into the leadoff position to see how he’d respond.
“He had a big game,” Kreidler said. “He hit the ball hard all day, and (in the fifth) we had some good speed on the bases, so I knew we could score some runs.”
Monument added five more runs in the sixth inning to hold a 13-6 lead.
“We are a good hitting team and we knew we could score runs,” Kreidler said. “The boys stuck with it and got it done.
Monument starting pitcher Sam Flynn put his team up 2-0 in the first inning with an RBI double. In the top of the fourth, an Alec Goodrich single scored Tyler Boggs, who reached base with a triple.
Rush helped Monument close out the game by pitching the final 11⁄3 innings.
“We knew this game was really important,” Rush said. “We all play together and are all pretty good baseball players.”
Monument moves into Tuesday’s championship game at 5:30. Monument plays the winner of today’s game between South Boulder and Tri-Lakes.
South Boulder eliminated Summit in the first game of the day 11-6.
Orchard Mesa Little League opened its state tournament at the Arapahoe Little League field with a 13-10 win over Shaw Heights.
Orchard Mesa pitcher Melissa Gellermann struck out six of the final seven batters to clinch the win. Gellermann finished with 14 strikeouts in the game.
Offensively, Orchard Mesa’s biggest output came in the fifth inning when it scored seven runs to take a 13-9 lead. Aubree Cooper led the offensive charge with a three-run triple.
Orchard Mesa moves into the championship game at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Orchard Mesa plays the winner of today’s game between Academy and Shaw Heights.
At Hidden Lake Little League, Dante Duran threw a complete-game shutout to help Monument advance past Academy 6-0.
Kaden Heinsma paced Monument for the second straight game. Heinsma followed up his home run in Saturday’s win over North Boulder with a 4-for-4 performance that included three doubles.
Monument moves into the championship game and faces the winner of Academy and North Boulder on Tuesday.
Orchard Mesa dropped its first game of the state tournament at the Summit Little League field with a 6-1 loss to Academy.
Orchard Mesa plays North Boulder at 10:30 a.m. today in an elimination game. The winner advances to face Academy on Tuesday.
District 1 lost to High Plains 11-1 at the Hidden Lake Little League field. District 1 plays Westminster at 6 p.m. today, with the winner getting another opportunity Tuesday against High Plains.
Platte Canyon Little League won the Colorado State Championship with its 10-0 win over Grand Mesa. Platte Canyon advances to the Southwestern Regional in Seguin, Texas.