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Azteca future is bright

BY JEFF LETOFSKY | The Pueblo Chieftain | JULY 30, 2019

The youngsters flexed their muscles Monday night at Hobbs Field.

And if it’s any indication, the future appears bright for the Azteca baseball program.

In the final appearance of the summer for Pueblo’s top two high school teams, the result was a wash.

Azteca 17U won the opener of Monday’s doubleheader 7-1 in a game called in the top of the fifth inning due to lightning in the area.

Instead of finishing the first game, the team’s decided to start the second game following nearly an hour and a half delay..

Nate DennistonNate DennistonAnd that game belonged to the older group as the 18s run-ruled the 17s 13-0 in five innings.

In the opener the 17s gave up a run in the top of the first before taking control with a four-run bottom of the inning. Reese Bucciarelli, Jordan Valdez and Chazz Vigil had RBIs and another scored on an error.

The 17s added three more unearned runs in the third inning, taking advantage of two 18s errors.

That was plenty of runs for the younger team’s two pitchers. Jace Schlagel went 31/3 innings, allowing just two hits and no earned runs. He struck out three.

And Diego Haun relieved in the fourth and walked one in facing five batters. That’s when the delay hit.

In the nightcap, a pair of Pueblo West High School pitchers went head to head. Nate Denniston for the 18s and Dylan Gist for the 17s.

Gist had problems with wildness in the second inning when the 18s poured across eight runs. He walked five batters, hit one and unleashed a wild pitch. And the 18s made him pay as Jayden Cordova supplied a big blow with a bases-loaded two-run double into right field that made it 6-0

Matt Rudd relieved and didn’t fare much better. Another walk followed by Josh Velasco’s two-run double down the right field line made it 8-0.

And the 18s struck for three more in the third for an 11-0 cushion.

The run support was welcomed by Denniston, who gave up two hits in the first inning and just one more in the fourth. The left-hander threw a shutout through four innings, walking two and striking out six. Brennan Gutierrez threw a scoreless fifth.

Chieftain interim sports editor can be reached at jletofsky@chieftain.com or on Twitter @JTosk12

Azteca 17U vs. Azteca 18U

Game #1

Azteca 17U 7, Azteca 18U 1

Azteca 18  100 00 — 1 2 3

Azteca 17  400 3X — 7 3 0

Addington, ACordova (3) and Duran; Cristelli (4) Schlagel, Hahn (4) and Valdez

 

Game #2

Azteca 18U 13, Azteca 17U 0

Azteca 17  000 00 — 0 4 0

Azteca 18  083 2X — 13 8 0

Gist, Rudd (2) Rittgers (3) and Vigil; Denniston, Gutierrez and Cristelli

-- Compiled by Jeff Letofsky

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