Monte Vista to face Denver Christian in first round of state tourney

Monte Vista High School’s Domyon Naranjo catches a fly ball against Dawson School Saturday at Adrian M. Gutierrez Memorial Field. The seventh-ranked Pirates will play second-ranked Denver Christian in the Class 2A State Tournament Friday in Pueblo (Courier photo by Ken Hamrick).

ALAMOSA – The seventh-ranked Monte Vista High School baseball team will take on second-ranked Denver Christian in the first round of the Class 2A State Tournament Friday at the Runyon Sports Complex’s Hobbs Field. First pitch is at 9:30 a.m.

About Monte Vista

The Pirates enter the state tournament with a record of 19 wins and three losses, and they won the Class 2A Southern Peaks League with an 11-0 record.

Leading the Monte Vista offense is Kaden Mellott who is batting .420 with six doubles, two triples and 29 runs batted in.

Five other Pirates are batting better than .300. Domyon Naranjo is batting .364 with three doubles and nine RBIs, Jakoby Ross is batting .346 with two doubles and 13 RBIs, Judah Howe is batting .345 with three doubles, three triples and 16 RBIs, Azariah Hurtado is batting .343 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 30 RBIs, and Chayse Bouet is batting .333 with six doubles, two triples and 14 RBIs.

Kobe Jiron leads the team in stolen bases with 23, followed by Hurtado with 20.

Kaden Mellott is also Monte Vista’s top pitcher with an 8-1 record with a 1.85 earned run average, 93 strikeouts and only 14 walks. Jiron is 5-2 with a 2.31 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 28 walks.

Catcher Kaden Madrid has the best fielding average at .971.

About Denver Christian

The Thunder have 20 wins and four losses and they won the Mile High League with a 9-0 record.

Denver Christian’s offense is led by Asher Hawes who has a .551 average with nine doubles, eight triples, eight home runs and 43 RBIs. Patrick Elson is batting .475 with five doubles and 17 RBIs, Caleb Stork is batting .444 with two doubles and 16 RBIs, Brayden Epperhart is batting .438 with five doubles, one home run and 25 RBIs, and Mason Reilly is batting .430 with 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 37 RBIs.

Elson leads in stole bases with 18, followed by Nate Bovasso with 16.

The Thunder pitching staff includes Epperhart who is 6-1 with a 2.13 ERA, 70 strikeouts and 19 walks, Reilly, who is 6-1 with a 1.19 ERA, 87 strikeouts and 25 waljks, and Stork who is 6-0 with a 1.91 Era, 42 strikeouts and 14 walks.

Common opponents

The teams have six common opponents. Both teams lost to Limon with the Pirates losing 9-1 and the Thunder losing 8-6. Both defeated Crowley County with Monte Vista winning 3-0 and Denver Christian winning 11-0. Both teams defeated Custer County with the Pirates sweeping a doubleheader by scores of 15-0 and 20-0 and the Thunder winning 28-0. Both teams played Meeker with the Pirates losing 6-5 and the Thunder winning 6-0. The teams defeated Buena Vista with the Pirates winning 6-3 and the Thunder 1-0. Both teams also defeated Dawson School with Monte Vista winning 2-1 and Denver Christian 9-2.

State tournament

The tournament is now a double-elimination affair beginning this season.

Monte Vista will play either third-ranked Las Animas or 11th-seeded Dayspring Christian Academy in its second game. If the Pirates win, they will play at 2:30 p.m. on Friday. Should they lose they will play Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

In other first round games, top-ranked Limon will play eighth-ranked Buena Vista, and 12th-seeded Lyons will play 13th-seeded Swink.