Their hitting was solid, their defense was spectacular and their gutsy play left an impression.
Unfortunately for the Southwest Colorado All-Stars, however, a tournament championship was not to be as the team lost to the Durango All-Stars, 10-6, in Cortez on July 13.
One day after defeating Durango 3-2 to force the winner-take-all game, Southwest Colorado got off to a slow start, falling behind 4-0 after the top of the first inning.
Battling back in the bottom of the first, Southwest Colorado scored a run when Makayla Long lined a sharp single to left to score Dylan Barb from second.
Southwest Colorado’s momentum was short lived, however, as Durango added three more runs in the top of the second inning to pull ahead 7-1.
“The first few innings, we were being shut down and they scored a couple,” said Southwest Colorado catcher Kevin Purkat. “We had our heads down.”
Thanks to solid pitching by Cole Hermann and an outstanding catch in center field by Barb, the game remained close.
Then, in the bottom of the third inning, Southwest Colorado stormed back, scoring on an RBI double by Teagan Whiteskunk and an RBI single by Ryan Medina to cut Durango’s lead to 7-3.
After Durango extended their lead to 8-3 with a run in the top of the fifth inning, Southwest Colorado again battled back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame to enter the final inning trailing 8-6.
A final-inning comeback was not to be, however, as Cortez gave up two runs in the sixth inning and failed to score.
With the loss, Southwest Colorado ended their season one win short of a trip to the state tournament in Denver.
Even so, players could not help but be pleased with their team’s effort and vowed to improve in the near future.
“I just want to practice baseball and be a good person,” said Hermann, who pitched four outstanding innings in the defeat.
“I just want to strive to get better,” added Purkat.
In the event that Hermann, Purkat and others follow through with their plans, the future of Little League Baseball in Cortez will undoubtedly be bright.