To close out day four of the Cal Ripken Major 70 World Series, Kansas and Colorado battled on Chicago Field. After coming from behind in their previous game against Pacific Southwest, the comeback kids from Colorado struck again. In an epic last inning thriller, Colorado won the game 5-4.
Colorado went down early 4-0 in the ballgame, but they never gave up and inched their way back in the game inning by inning.
In the top of the first, Kansas started the scoring with a two-run homerun by Trystian Juarez. Despite ending on the wrong end of the scoreboard, Juarez played had a great game offensively and received the player of the game award for Kansas. Juarez finished the game 1-3 with a homerun, 2 RBI, a walk, stolen base, and two runs scored.
In the top of the third, Kansas added another run by an Aaron Archuleta RBI single. Kansas showed great speed on the base path as they stole 10 bases on the night. Archuleta contributed four of those stolen bases. Because of their quickness up and down the lineup, Kansas scored their final run of the game as Archuleta stole home successfully, furthering the lead to 4-0.
It was Colorado’s turn to make some noise. Throughout the game, Colorado scored most of their runs by being very aggressive on the base path. In the bottom of the third, Jaxon Riley-Combs put Colorado on the board as he reached base safely on an error made by Kansas’ center fielder. Riley-Combs stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and stole home to make the score 4-1. Kansas walked the next two Colorado batters and a Frank Willius single loaded the bases for Colorado.
Batters are told “to put the ball in play and good things will happen.” This was the case for Colorado runs two and three. Zachary Zatz put the ball in play to Kansas’ shortstop, Archuleta. Archuleta made an error which allowed Colorado to put two runs on the scoreboard, narrowing the lead to 4-3.
For both teams, inning number four was quiet. Next, in the bottom of the fifth, Colorado tied the game at 4-4 with an RBI sac-fly by Willius that scored Riley-Combs.
Inning number six was a thriller and the comeback became complete. Coach Palmer called upon his son Nick. With one out and runners at the corner, Nick took a deep breath and stepped into the batter’s box. Chase Cavender was at third and Evan Valdes was at first. Cavender broke for home and Nick squared around and laid a beautifully placed bunt down the first base line. Cavender scored and Nick was drenched and praised as his teammates devoured him with gallon jug of water, but most importantly, Colorado won the game 5-4.
Of course, Nick was named player of the for Colorado with game winning sac-bunt.
Colorado seeks to keep their late inning heroics and momentum rolling as they take on Missouri Monday morning at 10:00 AM on Chicago Field. Meanwhile, Kansas seeks to rebound against a tough Australian team Monday afternoon at 12:30 PM on Detroit Field.