In an extra inning thriller, Colorado and Missouri clashed on Chicago Field Monday morning. This game marked the beginning of the U.S. Bracket play. The winner advances and the loser goes home. Both teams knew what was at stake and they left it all out on the field. Colorado was able to continue their late game heroics and was victorious 14-5.
Even though the result did not go as Missouri planned, advancing to bracket was a remarkable accomplishment for the Carthage Tigers. Carthage made history as they became the first team from Missouri to advance out of their pool and enter bracket play.
Colorado’s bats were hot early and they jumped out to a 4-0 lead. By way of a single, the first two batters for Colorado reached base safely. With runners in scoring position and no outs, Evan Valdes gave Colorado the lead. Valdes grounded out to the second baseman, but two runners scored. Concluding their inning, Colorado scored two more runs with a two-run RBI double by Jakob Koinzan.
In the bottom of the first, Missouri responded and put a run on the board. Maxwell Templeman led off the inning with a walk. Templeman put his quickness to test against the Colorado catcher. Cutting Colorado’s lead to 4-1, Templeman stole second, third, and scored on a wild pitch.
In the top of the second, Colorado furthered their lead to 5-1 with an RBI single by Mason Sukigara. In their half of the inning, Missouri could not respond.
Missouri led off the bottom of the third with a single by Templeman. Colorado could not handle Templeman’s speed again as he stole second, third, and scored on a wild pitch, narrowing the Colorado’s lead to 5-2. Missouri cut the Colorado lead to 5-3 with an RBI single from Joel Pugh. Drew Musche scored the final run of inning for Missouri on a Colorado wild pitch. After three innings of play, it was a new ball game as the Colorado only led 5-4.
In the bottom of the fifth, Missouri completed the comeback. Cooper Jadwin crushed a solo homerun over the center field fence to tie the game at 5-5.
For both teams, innings six and seven were quiet as neither team could put a run on the board and win the game.
In the top of eighth, Colorado exploded for nine runs. Colorado’s player of the game, Jaxon Riley-Combs, began the nine-run outburst with a solo homerun over the center field fence. Following Riley-Combs, Valdes hit a single and Zane Pavelko was hit by the pitcher. When the game is on the line, Colorado has had great success relying on the sac-bunt. They turned to it again. On the bunt, an error made by Missouri’s pitcher allowed two runs to score. Colorado’s lead was now 8-5. Koinzan pushed the lead to 9-5 with an RBI single. William Mowers scored Koinzan with an RBI double, furthering the lead to 10-5. Colorado advanced their lead to 11-5 with yet another sac-bunt. Mason Sukigara expanded the Colorado lead with an RBI double and Riley-Combs struck again with an RBI double. On a wild pitch, Riley-Combs scored Colorado’s final run of the game.
Riley-Combs dominated offensively and finished the game a triple away from hitting for the cycle. Riley- Combs went 3-4 with a single, double, game-winning homerun, stolen base, and two RBI.
For Missouri, Templeman was named player of the game. Templeman finished 1-3 with a single, two runs scored, four stolen bases, and a walk. On top of Templeman’s great game on the bases, he dominated on the mound. Templeman pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings, walked three, and struck out one.
Colorado remains hot and advances to the next round of bracket play and will take on Pacific Northwest on Detroit Field. Unfortunately, Missouri’s time at the Cal Ripken World Series comes to end, but they will hold their heads high as history was made.