Times Staff Writer
Every athletic team has low and high points throughout the course of a season. Fortunately for the Gunnison U15 baseball team, there have been more highs than lows. The squad finished this week with a 13-5 record.
“It’s been sort of a roller coaster of a season,” said head coach Taylor Miller. “However, we have improved a lot on pitching, baseball IQ and executing when we need to.”
Gunnison finished with a respectable record. Yet, the five losses the team suffered were, for the most part, blowout defeats.
This season four players — Griffin Pederson, Justice Williams, Gabi Marmolejo and Nico Marchitelli — have made great strides and have shown to be players that could make an impact for the Gunnison High School (GHS) baseball team next season.
“I have had four players stand out this season,” Miller said of the group. “Pederson for his pitching and leadership, Williams for his willingness to be coachable and love for the game, and Marmolejo and Marchitelli for their excellent levels of play.”
While four players have impressed Miller, he also noted that with the knowledge the U15 baseball team has gained from this season, they “will be prepared to contribute next year for the GHS program.”
Additionally the team’s “roller coaster” season could be in large part because players on the U15 squad also have played on the GHS summer baseball team.
“We’ve played a lot of games,” said Spencer Dickey, who split time between both teams. “Some days I wake up and ask myself, do I have a game today? Then I realize I have one at the recreation center and one at the high school.”
Over the course of the summer, players on the U15 team have played a total of 56 games.
On Tuesday, Gunnison took to the diamond in their final game of season against Buena Vista. From the very first inning, it was clear who the better team was. Gunnison defeated Buena Vista 10-2.
Buena Vista had two solid hits to start the game. Yet, both hits were right at Gunnison defenders and failed to put runners in scoring position.
After Gunnison’s Colton Stice reached base on a walk, he came around to score on a Matt Solanik single to right field. Solanik later scored off a Marchitelli double to right field, and Gunnison took an early 2-0 lead.
Gunnison didn’t stop there, however. Marmolejo brought home Marchitelli on a fielder’s choice, while Pederson came around to score on a Buena Vista passed ball.
Erza Hartzell scored the final run of the inning off a Dickey single, extending Gunnison’s lead to 5-0.
Buena Vista responded in the top of the second inning, as a double to center field drove home a run. That was the only hit recorded in the inning, in which Pederson struck out three batters.
In the top of the third, Buena Vista put two runners on base. However, Gunnison’s defense kept the score at 5-1.
The bats woke back up for Gunnison in the bottom of the third inning. Marmolejo tripled to right, scoring Pederson.
Buena Vista did score one run in the fourth inning off a double to right field, cutting the lead to 6-2.
Gunnison sealed the victory in the bottom of the fourth. A single and double resulted in four runs coming across to score.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or email@example.com.)