MONTROSE, Colo. A 2-1 win over then-number one Valor Christian, the Montrose Indians seized the top spot of the 4A baseball rankings. Since that game, they began their SWL schedule with wins over Montezuma-Cortez and Durango.
Their first league test came in the form of Central, who was off to a hot start, but were also 0-1 in league play after being drubbed by Fruita Monument in early March.
The Indians sent their ace to the mound, Tyrus Lopez, who would go on short rest after pitching Saturday. But both teams knew the magnitude of the matchup and wouldn't hold anything back. Central countered with their top guy, senior Michael Price.
In what shaped up to be a classic pitcher's duel between arguably the top two hurlers in western Colorado, both teams got on the board early, including a Lopez single off of Price in the first- the game's first run.
Price settled down after falling in a hole, keeping the Indians from crossing the plate in the next two innings. He was aided by a Warrior lineup that, perhaps aided by the gusting winds, continuously found the gaps in the outfield.
Led by Jeremy Champlin's stellar performance (4-4, 2 2B, 3B), they put 3, 2 and 1 runs up in the second, third and fourth innings respectively. It was the first time all season Tyrus Lopez wasn't able to dominate the opposing lineup.
On the other hand, Price went the full seven innings, allowing just seven hits to a powerful Montrose squad.
The Indians were able to maintain contact with the Warriors for most of the contest. Junior Kam DeVincentis crushed a double to the wall in center field in the bottom of the fourth to pull within three runs, but a Brandon Martinez RBI double and Champlin RBI triple in the top of the fifth put the game out of reach.
Central (8-2, 1-1) gets their first SWL win of the season with a 10-5 win over Montrose (7-1, 2-1). They'll be in Durango/Cortez over the weekend, while the Indians will try to rebound in one week at Fruita Monument (7-4, 4-0).