MV Pirates come up short in 2A baseball regional final
Photos by Brian Williams Monte Vista Pirates Azariah Hurtado (1) slides across home plate ahead of the tag and is called safe by the umpire completing an inside-the-park walk-off homerun. The hit drove in two other baserunners and propelled the Pirates to a 5-4 win and into the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional final on Saturday at MVHS. Monte Vista Pirates Azariah Hurtado (1) is mobbed by teammates after scoring the game-winning run on Saturday against Bishop Machebeuf at MVHS in the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional semifinal. Monte Vista Pirates starting pitcher Kobe Jiron (12) throws a pitch to a Burlington batter in the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional final on Saturday at MVHS. Monte Vista Pirates relief pitcher Andrew Chavez (9) pitches during the later innings of the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional final on Saturday against Burlington at MVHS. Monte Vista’s Kaden Madrid (3) runs to first base after hitting the ball in the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional final against Burlington on Saturday at MVHS.
DN Tigers advance to 2A state quarterfinals with two wins
MONTE VISTA — Ninth-seeded Burlington High School defeated eighth-seeded and host Monte Vista, 10-6, in the CHSAA 2A State Baseball Regional on Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Cougars (13-9) will play top-seeded Limon (21-4) on May 26.
The Pirates (17-8) advanced to the regional final with a dramatic come-from-behind, inside-the-park, walk-off home run, 5-4 win, in the bottom of the seventh inning against Bishop Machebeuf on Saturday.
Monte Vista trailed 4-2 heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning. With two outs, Jeremiah Baumgardner drew a walk that led to a pitching change for the Buffaloes. Starting pitcher Leo Boberschmidt exited the game having struck out 12, walking one, and allowing two runs on seven hits.
Kaden Mellott drew a walk from reliever Alfonso Castillo to put runners on first and second with two outs, bringing Azariah Hurtado up to bat.
A wild pitch from Castillo allowed the Pirates’ runners to advance to third and second.
Hurtado managed to foul off a pitch and stay alive in the at-bat. On a full count, he laced the baseball past the centerfielder. Baumgarner and Melott scored easily. While the centerfielder chases down the ball that rolled to the wall, the speedy Hurtado chugged into third and is given the green light to go home.
Hurtado slid headfirst as he closed in on the plate and slid his outstretched hand across the base just ahead of the tag to score the game-winner and complete the inside-the-park HR. It was the only time MV led in the game.
His teammates mobbed Hurtado at home plate and the Pirates fans erupted with screams of joy as the Buffaloes quietly walk off the field in shock.
The Buffaloes scored one run in the second, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. MV scored twice in the bottom of the fifth inning to close the gap to 3-2.
Burlington needed no late-inning heroics to advance to the regional final. The Cougars cruised in with an 11-1 win on Saturday at MVHS over Front Range Christian in five innings. The Cougars scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to mercy-rule the Falcons.
In the regional final, Burlington jumped out to an early lead scoring two runs in the first, five in the fifth, and two in the third to open a 7-2 advantage.
MV rallied with two runs in the bottom of the first but managed only one run over the next four innings and trailed 10-3 entering the bottom half of the sixth inning.
The Pirates scored three times in the sixth, but the rally and the hopes of another comeback win ended an inning later.
In the first inning, Kobe Jiron hit a single, stole third, and scored. Baumgardner drew a walk and scored to tie the game at 2 on a hit by Hurtado that turned into a tag-out at first that came after two runs had been scored.
Baumgardner opened the sixth with a single and advanced to third after consecutive one-out walks to Hurtado and Andrew Chavez that loaded the bases.
Kaden Madrid belted an RBI single to score Baumgardner and keep the bases loaded. Riley Bounds drove the ball to the right-centerfield to score Hurtado and Chavez. The inning ended with a strikeout and flyout.
In other 2A regional action, 11th-seeded Del Norte advanced to the state quarterfinals with a 7-3 win over 22nd-seeded Rangely and an 11-2 win over 27th-seeded Yuma in the final at Fowler High School on Saturday. The Tigers will play third-seeded Denver Christian on May 26.