Texas Little League teams too much for GJ in Southwest Regional Tournament
In the end, those Texas teams once again proved to be the stumbling block for Grand Junction Little League baseball teams.
Monument’s baseball team lost to both teams from the Lone Star State in pool play in the Southwest Regional tournament, and was eliminated Monday after a 6-1 loss to Texas East, from Lufkin.
Monument finished 1-2 in pool play. Both Texas teams advance to the semifinals, along with Lake Charles, La., and Petroglyph Little League from New Mexico. The regional champion qualifies to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“We felt real confident today,” Monument manager Sean Kreidler said. “It was kind of a shocker to me. I thought we’d be able to hit that kid. We were out-hitting them 3-1 but the score was reversed; they were up 3-1.
“They’re year-round baseball players and that makes a difference. Their base running was a little crisper, they were a little more aggressive.”
Jax Nourse struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings, allowing only one hit.
Three Monument pitchers combined to allow four hits, but walked six.
“They’ve seen pitchers like Jax all year long,” Kreidler said. “Jax had them off-kilter a little bit but they weren’t mesmerized by him.
“Jax is a creature in Colorado, teams are scared to death of him. They were not intimidated by him. He pitched well and pitched hard, but they stayed with it and stuck their bats out and got some hits.”
Texas East scored one run in the second, but Monument answered in the bottom of the third when Shawn Garcia led off with a triple and scored on Nourse’s groundout to second.
It was 3-1 heading into the sixth, when Texas East came up with three runs.
Canon Kreidler doubled with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Texas East pitcher Ethan Jacobs got Zack Owens to fly out to left and then struck out Zach Rush to end Monument’s season.
Jacobs allowed four hits and struck out nine, walking only one, to win his first game of the regional. He threw 86 pitches, 65 for strikes.
“We knew they didn’t have anybody after him,” Kreidler said. “We’d take pitches and he threw strikes. That was kind of how it went for us, we never really got timely hits. It’s like they say, good pitching beats good hitting and that was the case this week. But I’m proud of them, we gave it our best.”
The Orchard Mesa girls went 0-2 in the Southwest Regional in Santa Fe, N.M.
In its first game, Orchard Mesa, a team comprised of girls from Grand Junction and Delta, led through four innings, but a few mental errors cost them in a 24-9 loss to Texas East, from Bridge City, Texas.
In an elimination game Sunday against Vidalia, La., Orchard Mesa led 1-0 until the top of the fourth when the Louisiana state champion put up six runs on the way to an 11-1 victory.
The Grand Valley Crush 18-under fastpitch team won its pool in the USSSA Fastpitch World Series in Chino, Calif., then went 1-2 in bracket play of the 38-team tournament.
The Crush went 2-0-1 in pool play, then defeated the Cal Ladyhawks 1-0 in the opening round of bracket play.
A 7-5 loss to Pure Fastpitch from Huntington Beach, Calif., dropped the Crush into the consolation bracket, where it lost to eventual consolation champion California Thunder 14-0.
The Crush is comprised of players from five high schools throughout the Grand Valley.