By Kyle Koso
After stumbling out of the starting gate Wednesday, the 13u Colorado Jaxx appear to be waltzing nicely toward the solutions needed to thrive at the Triple Crown World Series.
The Jaxx (Parker, CO) wrapped up pool play Thursday with a resounding 18-9 victory over the Storm-Lightning squad (Katy, TX) as the 13u World Series took root in new surroundings at Freedom Park in Edwards, CO. Coupled with a 20-0 victory in pool play against the Aspen Colts, the Jaxx have the bats percolating after starting the tournament with a 7-5 loss to Elevate Rijo-Sanders.
Heading into championship bracket play Friday, the Jaxx earned the No. 8 seed overall out of 24 teams and will play at 2:30 p.m. at the Eagle Sports Complex
“We just had a bad approach the first game, facing good pitching. We had 10 strikeouts, but we learned we need to chip away, chip away and get base hits,” said Tommy Humphrey, who had a home run, double and three RBI. “We made the adjustment. The goal is always making a run at the title … this is also the last tournament, and we’re trying to have fun. This is a fun place to play, the views are good, and we are looking to win it.”
Against the Storm, the Jaxx fell behind 2-0 after the top of the first before bursting ahead with 18 straight runs. Carson Monroe drilled a three-run homer in the third to make it 13-2; Jax Bush also had a couple of productive swings with a two-run single in the first and a two-run double in the third.
“We had two weeks off since the state championships, and I feel that first game we lost was a rusty game. We came back, and the bats are hot now,” said Monroe, who had three hits, three runs and four RBI from the leadoff spot. “I love leadoff because I get to see the pitches for my team, get to see how off-speed looks or how quick it’s coming. I like getting on base.”
Cole Cates did a solid job on the mound to start the game, and he added one hit, two runs and an RBI. Brady Rasmussen reached three times as well, and Logan Reber had two hits and two runs.
“We want our guys to put the ball in play. We teach them to hunt fastballs,” said Jaxx coach Trip Humphrey. “Swing early and swing often on fastballs. We used more pitching today than we wanted to, but we should be OK on arms going into the brackets. We want to win this bad and will do whatever it takes, This is the last tournament for the boys; they worked their butts off all year, and I’d like to see them win it.”
For the Storm, Azim Haydon doubled and scored in the first before adding a grand slam in the fourth inning. Dario Becerra had two hits and three RBI, Yanni Ibikunle contributed three runs, four stolen bases and an RBI, and Dabian Rincones added two hits.