Pirates can’t topple No. 11 Huskies

Monte Vista’s Kaiden Wenta (12) attempts to beat the tag at home plate as Monte Vista Head Coach Tony Kechter looks on. (VC/Jiron)

MONTE VISTA — Things didn’t go quite as planned for the Pirates on Wednesday evening. Monte Vista spent all their pitchers in game one and fell on hard times in game two.

The Pirates (1-6) were competitive with Florence (4-2) in game one but fell late 7-6.  With their bullpen exhausted Monte Vista couldn’t close out innings and lost 16-1 in game two.

In game one Monte Vista had no interest in relenting to the higher ranked Florence Huskies. The Pirates even struck first, courtesy of a one run double from Brycen Hotz that scored Tristen Holder at the bottom of the first inning. 

Two walks in three at bats loaded the bases for Florence.  Jacob Rutherford would empty the bases with a three run double to give the lead to the Huskies. Rutherford would get home later that inning on a knock from teammate Austin Lorenz to make it 4-1 midway through the second frame.

Monte Vista would answer right back. At the bottom of the inning, two straight walks would put Tucker Jones and Daniel Vargas on base. After a strikeout,  a bunt attempt from Kaiden Wenta became a runaway train. The throw out at first sailed over the first basemen’s head buying Wenta enough time to get to third while Jones and Vargas would both get home. Jarren Chavez would score Wenta on a single before advancing himself around the diamond on steals and wild pitches getting home to give the Pirates the lead once again 5-4. 

Both defenses would prevail until the top of the fifth inning. Florence’s Austin Templeton would get on base after being hit by a pitch followed by a single from Jude Chavez-McVay. Owen Busetti would clear the bases tripling on a grounder to deep center field to leapfrog the Pirates 6-5 with two to play.

Monte Vista would break even later that same inning. Colton Mellot would register a base hit for the Pirates. A double to center field from Ethan Hotz would score Mellot and tie the game at six a piece. But Hotz would be stranded there to close the fifth inning. To open the sixth inning Monte Vista decided to muzzle the Huskies with some pretty tricky pitching from submarine sidearm pitcher Casin Holder. Florence couldn’t solve Holder immediately and he and the defense would rack up out three outs right away. Unfortunately Monte Vista’s could not capitalize on the time Holder bought them and the seventh inning would begin with a tie.

Florence’s Templeton would get walked and would find his way in for the go-ahead run thanks to an error. Monte Vista would go back to work with one run to make up. Two straight strikeouts would  put the crunch on Monte Vista’s Brycen Hotz. Despite the situation, Hotz would double on a deep center field dinger. Unfortunately strikeout number three stranded Brycen and sank the Pirates.

With their top pitchers expended in game one and with no more tricks up their sleeve, game two was going to take some careful maneuvering from Monte Vista.  And things started on a positive note. The Pirates kept Florence quiet and again drew first blood in inning No. 1. Colton Mellot would get home on a double from Brycen Hotz where Hotz got going so fast he ran out of his own shoes. That would be Monte Vista’s only score in game two.

The Huskies would rack up two runs at the top of the second and three more at the top of the third. 5-1 isn’t particularly insurmountable. The top of the fourth was where the Pirates hit rough waters. Florence strung together an eight run rally. By the time the fifth inning arrived Monte Vista was no longer playing to win, rather to extend the game beyond the ‘Run Rule’, it was not to be. Florence would cash in with three more runs at the top of the third to reach the 15 run limit, Monte Vista would not answer and the game would end in the fifth inning 16-1.

Monte Vista will get a chance to right the ship this weekend when they travel to Olathe for a Pirate v. Pirate matchup. Both squads share a 1-6 record and the meeting figures to be well matched.  Monte Vista meets Olathe on Saturday with an 11 a.m. start time.

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