Morrill stars as Fruita Monument baseball beats Boulder

Fruita Monument baseball

(Cannon Casey/CHSAANow.com)

BOULDER — Fruita Monument's Trey Morrill had himself a day.

Morrill went six innings and gave up one run in a 6-4 win over Boulder.

"Just go right after them," Morrill said. "I trust my outfield and infield, I trust everyone on my team. So, I'm just trying to go out and make them hit it. If I strike them out, it's just a plus."

Through three innings, Morrill had six strikeouts. He finished with 11, mostly using his devastating slider as his out pitch.

"Trey was good, I mean, he dominated those guys," Coach Ray McLennon said.

At the plate, Morrill went deep over the left field wall for a three-run homerun in the second inning to put the Wildcats up 5-1.

"It's a different approach," Morrill said. "I think base-hit and if it goes out then it goes out. I'm so proud of the guys right now, we're playing really well."

Fruita Monument plated two in the top of the first, taking advantage of some wild pitching. Ryan Briggs lined a ball off the wall in the right-center gap for an RBI double.

Boulder jumped right back to cut the lead to 2-1 on a two-out single by Jackson Dinkel.

"We saved Trey for them and we knew they were good. We watched them take batting practice and they were blasting balls over," McLennon said. "I told the guys, 'It's just BP, Trey is going to give us a chance to win this thing. They're not going to square him up all the time. There will be some hard-hit balls, but we need to make sure that we're ready to play and that we're not intimidated by them.' I thought the guys did a good job with that."

But, the Wildcats hit starter Sanjay Solomon hard when he left the ball over the plate. Coach Carmen Rivas took Solomon out after just two innings.

Mason Hitz came on in relief for Solomon and gave five strong. 

Hitz gave up one run in the top of the seventh, and the run would prove important for Fruita Monument.

"Rule number one: we gotta add on when we get a chance," McLennon said. "So that insurance run was big for us. Against a great team like this, you have to gain distance any way you can."

Boulder was unable to crack Morrill until the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, an errant throw extended the game for Boulder.

Up came Dana Sullivan and knocked in two runs with a triple.

Aiden Chandler lined a single to center field to drive in Sullivan and suddenly there was hope.

"We lost to Pueblo West, we were up 8-2 with two outs, in almost the same situation," McLennon said. "We just couldn't get that last out. This was important to us."

Dinkel flew out in foul territory and Fruita Monument could breathe. 

Coming into Wednesday's game, Boulder had a team ERA of 0.33. The Panther pitching staff allowed just six hits — good for an opponent batting average of .085.

The main horse for Boulder is junior Jackson Dinkel. In 10.2 innings pitched, Dinkel has not allowed a run, or even a hit on the mound.

Against Rangeview, Dinkel took a perfect game into the sixth inning before he was taken out by Rivas.

Dinkel was replaced by the other junior on the roster, Sanjay Solomon.

Boulder has 13 seniors on the roster. The other two spots are filled by juniors.

Fruita Monument played six games in seven days.

"I was worried about our pitching, but the pitching on our back end has been really good. Our starters have gone deep, so that's been good for us," McLennon said. "It was tough in the beginning because we used a lot of pitching in the first two games."

The Wildcats now get a break to rest before they're back at it, but this win means a lot for Fruita Monument.

"It feels good to have a win," Morrill said. "We're rolling right now and we're doing our thing. Just stepping up to the plate, making plays on defense and having eachother's backs and that's all we can ask for."