Warriors top Indians in 10 innings
Frank DiThomas had barely rounded first base Friday evening when he saw the game-winning run disappear into the crowd of his teammates surrounding home plate.
DiThomas drove in the winning run with a base hit to left-center in the bottom of the 10th inning, allowing Central to upset second-ranked Montrose 11-10 at Central High School.
Before barreling into his teammates, DiThomas looked into the crowd to his mom, Jackie, with one thought: Happy birthday.
“Words can’t even express how I feel right now,” DiThomas said. “I love my mom and none of this would be possible without her. It’s great to do something special like that.”
Montrose (10-2, 4-2 Southwestern League) is ranked second by the Denver Post in Class 4A, behind Cheyenne Mountain.
DiThomas was part of a Central rally that had loaded the bases twice in extra innings. He extended the game with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring Kyle Rowe.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Michael Price slapped a two-out, bases-loaded double over the left fielder’s head to tie the game at 8-8.
“(DiThomas) had a couple huge at-bats to keep us in the game despite having a rough spot in the field,” coach Chuck Yost said.
DiThomas made a couple of errors in right field to allow runs to score.
“He handled it and battled it with a great two-strike approach and just came up with a great hit,” Yost said.
“It’s a confident feeling when you keep battling back every inning. We scored some runs early, strung some hits together and didn’t try to do more than get guys on base.
“We knew eventually it would pay off. Montrose is a great team and this is a big win for us. Any time you can get a league win it feels great, but beating a team like Montrose gives you a lot of confidence.”
DiThomas wasn’t the only one having trouble in the field. Between Montrose and Central, seven plays turned into errors or hits because of the sun.
It was the first evening game the Warriors played at Central, and Yost said the sun blinded the entire right side of the field.
“This is the first varsity game we’ve had at this time,” Yost said. “The first game we had here was earlier in the day so we didn’t have to battle the sun.”
Central (11-5, 4-3 SWL) knocked Montrose out of the top spot in the SWL, one-half game behind Durango.
The Warriors are tied for third with Fruita Monument, with those teams playing Tuesday.