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The 'Gist' of it

  • Azteca 17U vs. OK Whitecaps
    Azteca 17U vs. OK Whitecaps

    Pueblo Azteca pitcher Dylan Gist throws a pitch against the OK Whitecaps at the Artie Escobado Memorial Tournament on Friday at Andenucio Field. [CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]

  • Azteca 17U vs. OK Whitecaps
    Azteca 17U vs. OK Whitecaps

    Pueblo Azteca's Jace Schlegel gets a base hit against the OK Whitecaps on Friday at Andenucio Field [CHIEFTAIN PHOTO/ZACHARY ALLEN]


Azteca 17U left-hander Dylan Gist leads club to victory on the mound, at plate

BY JEFF LETOFSKY | The Pueblo Chieftain | JUN 22, 2019

The pitcher who helped Pueblo West High School win its first state baseball championship was instrumental in Azteca 17U getting in the win column on Friday on the first day of the Artie Escobado Memorial Baseball Tournament.

Dylan Gist, who won two games for the Cyclones on the final day of the state tournament, did what he does best -- perform and win.

The left-hander threw a complete-game 3-hitter as Azteca whipped OK Whitecaps 12-2 at Andenucio Field to finish the day with a 1-1 record. Azteca 17U dropped its tournament opener 6-0 to Mtn. Baseball.

Gist received plenty of offensive support and he was instrumental on both offense and defense in the mercy-rule win, called after 4 1/2 innings because of the tournament’s 8-run rule.

Gist allowed just two runs, in the second and fifth innings. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.

“I’ve thrown a couple times this summer,” Gist said. “I threw seven innings one game and gave up two runs.”

Gist recalled the state tournament run and talked about his summer team.

“Great experience, fun to do, fun to play,” Gist said of the Cyclones’ run to a state title.

As for the summer team, Gist said: “I’ll play wherever they want me. If it’s pitcher or the outfielder, I’ll play. I’m happy either way.

“The first game was a rough game, but we came back as a team and won this one. I’ve played with all these people before, so I know them very well. They are my friends and teammates, too. It’s fun playing with this team.”

Azteca 17U coach Tommy Boudreau is a Gist backer.

“He’s a quick worker, he’s a leader on this team,” Boudreau said. “Everybody looks up to him. When he’s in the lineup everyone is comfortable, supportive, especially when he’s throwing.

“And he finds a way to get on base. And he’s always in the right place, knows his assignment and his duties.”

Azteca, 7-4, broke out its hitting shoes against the OK Whitecaps. It strung together five hits in the first inning against Whitecaps starter Caleb Mooney.

Hunter Fair and Diego Haun drove in runs with singles.

The barrage continued in the second inning as Azteca poured across eight more runs by sending 11 batters to the plate to build a 10-1 lead.

Gist helped himself with an RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. And Rocco Bottini and Vigil picked up RBIs with a single and a ground out. Gist crossed on a wild pitch.

The big blow came on a Louis Martinez bases-clearing double that drove in the final three runs of the inning.

Azteca added two more in the third for a 12-1 lead as Bottini had a sacrifice fly and Valdez walked with the bases loaded.

All nine Azteca batters had at least one hit with Ryan Malden, Gist, Fair and Martinez getting two hits apiece in a 13-hit attack. Malden and Gist scored three runs apiece.

“We’ve got a good pitching staff, it’s just supporting and backing them with our hits,” Boudreau said. “We did that in this game.

“I’ve got three kids who are 16 and even a 15-year-old. We have to play in all 18-under tournaments because there are no 17-under tournaments to play in, so that’s a little challenging.”

Boudreau hopes to be able to get to the finals of the Escobado and even play the Azteca 18U team.

“It is our goal,” he said. “We’d love to play the 18s, although they have a phenomenal team. I’d love to play them once. But we can’t look that far ahead. We’ve got two tough ones (today).”

Azteca play Lightning 17s at 9:30 a.m. at Hobbs Field and vs. Fossil Ridge at 4:30 p.m. on Andenucio Field.

Chieftain interim sports editor Jeff Letofsky can by reached at jletofsky@chieftain.com or on Twitter @JeffLetofsky

Azteca 17U vs. OK Whitecaps

Azteca 17U 12, OK Whitecaps 2

Whitecaps 010 01 — 2 3 1

Azteca 282 0X — 12 13 1

Mooney, Aguilar (2) and Grant; Gist and Valdez. WP—Gist. LP—Mooney

-- Compiled by Jeff Letofsky

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