DENVER | JR McDermott walked away from his previous three games at Coors Field with losses, but he got to experience victory in his last trip.
The Smoky Hill senior ace pitcher — who made a big splash when he pitched the Buffs to an upset win over 2014 Class 5A state champion Rocky Mountain in the district playoffs — threw a scoreless inning and helped the Black Team to 10-9 walk-off win over the Purple Team in 9 innings Thursday in the 2015 Colorado Rockies High School Futures All-Star Game.
Rocky Mountain’s Chad Bell delivered a sacrifice fly off Regis Jesuit sophomore Caleb Sloan in the ninth inning to bring home the winning run for the Black Team to bring to an end the wood bat contest that combined to see 19 pitchers take the mound and 36 different players hit at least once.
“We lost our first three here, so I’m glad to finish up with a win here,” said McDermott, whose Smoky Hill team lost to Ralston Valley the past two seasons on the Colorado Rockies’ home field and also to Boulder in 2013.
“It felt good to be back on the mound,” he added. “I took two weeks off after the end of the season, so it was good to get out there.”
McDermott, Grandview infielder Eric Mingus and the Regis Jesuit duo of pitcher Brent Schwarz and infielder Matt Schmidt were all part of the Black Team, which was made up exclusively of top senior players from around Colorado as selected by a panel of Colorado Rockies scouts and state coaches.
The Purple Team, made up exclusively of top underclassmen, included the Regis Jesuit foursome of junior outfielder Quin Cotton, junior infielder Travis Marr and pitchers Bo Weiss, a junior, and sophomore Caleb Sloan, plus the Cherokee Trail left-handed pitching duo of junior Jerome Bohannon and sophomore Conner Nantkes.
The seventh pitcher used by the Black Team, McDermott recorded a scoreless top of the seventh inning to keep his team in front 9-6. The Colorado Mesa-bound right-hander — who posted a 6-1 record with a 2.10 ERA in the regular season — worked around an infield single and a hit batter to get out of the inning with a strikeout of Fairview’s Mitchell Tyce.
“I don’t really get intimidated by anybody, I just try to go out and compete,” McDermott said. “When it’s game time, I just go ready to play.”
Schwarz — a Rice University signee — came on next in the eighth and got the first two outs quickly, but a double to D’Evelyn’s Cameron Brown and a triple to Cherry Creek’s Nate Sweeney, sandwiched around a walk of his Regis Jesuit teammate, Cotton, helped the Purple forge a 9-9 tie going into the final frame.
The Purple Team came up scoreless in the top half of the inning, then turned to Nantkes, who came in following Bohannon, who had a squeaky clean eighth inning on less than a handful of pitches.
Nantkes surrendered a first-pitch double to Cherry Creek’s Parker Jax, then was taken out in favor of Sloan, who walked two hitters intentionally to load the bases with one out before Bell’s long drive to left field was more than enough to bring Cherry Creek’s Aeneas Roberson in with the winning run.
While Mingus and Schmidt each started and went 0-for-2 and Marr went 0-for-1 as a reserve, Cotton played the full nine innings and finished with two hits in four official at-bats and scored twice. One of the hits was an infield double, as the speedy junior hustled into second base on a pop-up that Black Team infielders lost in the sun and let drop between the mound and first base.
“Sometimes you have to get lucky,” said Cotton, who would come around to score on a triple by Columbine’s Tommy Gillman. “I hustled it out and it worked out in my favor.”
Cotton was also selected to play in last season’s Futures Game — along with teammates Schmidt and Schwarz, plus Mingus and McDermott — but the game was postponed due to weather and never rescheduled.
Last season, Cotton would have played with Schmidt and Schwarz on the Futures Team, but this season he got to play against them.
“It was nice to be out here, especially since this game got rained out last year,” Cotton said. “It was a lot of fun to play against Brent and Matt and we had a lot of fun over here. I’m sure they had a lot of fun over there, too.”
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
BLACK 10, PURPLE 9
Score by innings:
Purple 040 001 121 — 9 11
Black 301 023 001 — 10
QUIN COTTON (REGIS JESUIT) cf 4-2-2-0, Tommy Gilman (Columbine) ss-pr 3-2-1-2, Nate Sweeney (Cherry Creek) ss 2-1-1-2, Cuba Bess (Fruita Monument) 1b 3-0-2-1, Joel Pierce (Valor Christian) ph 1-0-1-0, Matt Burkhart (Eaton) 3b 3-0-1-0, TRAVIS MARR (REGIS JESUIT) 3b 1-0-0-0, Wyatt Featherston rf 3-1-0-0, Tanner O’Trembo (Cherry Creek) lf 2-0-0-0, Mitchell Tyce (Fairview) pr-rf 2-1-1-0, Daryl Myers (Rock Canyon) 2b 3-1-0-0, Chris Diehl (Rocky Mountain) c 2-0-0-0, Tyson Zanski (Grand Junction) ph-c 1-0-1-0, Kelton McCoy (Bayfield) ph 2-0-0-0, Cameron Brown (D’Evelyn) dh 4-1-1-0. Totals 35-9-11-5. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Preston Snavely (Fort Collins) (1-3-3-3-0-2); Sam Schroeder (Fruita Monument) (1-0-0-0-0-1); BO WEISS (REGIS JESUIT) (1-1-1-1-0-1); Ben Moran (Denver East) (1-0-0-0-0-2); Taylor Dye (Columbine) (1-2-2-2-0-0); Jake Greenwalt (Windsor) (1-2-3-2-1-0); Austin Wood (Silver Creek) (1-1-0-0-0-1); JEROME BOHANNON (CHEROKEE TRAIL) (1-0-0-0-0-0); CONNER NANTKES (CHEROKEE TRAIL) (L, 0-1-1-1-0-0); CALEB SLOAN (REGIS JESUIT) (2/3-0-0-0-2-0).
Aeneas Roberson (Cherry Creek) cf-pr 1-2-0-0, Willie Harris (Wheat Ridge) 2-0-0-0, Grant Witherspoon (D’Evelyn) ph 1-0-0-0, ERIC MINGUS (GRANDVIEW) ss 2-0-0-0, Peter McEvoy (Pine Creek) ph 1-2-1-1, Jared Montoya (Douglas County) ph 1-0-0-0, Logan Soole (Monarch) rf 2-2-2-1, Ryan Koehler (Eaton) ph 2-0-0-0, Kyle Winkler (Chatfield) ph 2-0-0-0, Greg Pickett (Legend) 1b 1-1-1-2, Jacob Thiessen (Sterling) ph 1-0-0-0, Parker Jax (Cherry Creek) ph 2-0-1-0, Garrett Hammer (Rocky Mountain) c 3-0-1-1, Blake Goldsberry (Cherry Creek) p-ph 1-0-0-0, Cole Anderson (Rocky Mountain) lf 2-1-1-1, MATT SCHMIDT (REGIS JESUIT) 3b 2-0-0-0, Jacob Thoning (Fairview) ph-2b 1-0-0-0, Marc Mumper (Mountain Vista) 2b 2-0-0-0, Dylan Row (Fruita Monument) 2b-ss 2-0-0-0, Chad Bell (Rocky Mountain) ph 1-0-1-1, Ryan Madden (Fairview) dh-p 3-1-1-0. Totals 31-10-9-7. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Ryan Connolly (Douglas County) (1-2-0-0-0-1); Brent Crampton (Lamar) (2/3-4-5-2-2-0); Blake Goldsberry (Cherry Creek) (1 1/3-0-0-0-1-2); Nicholas Kakavas (Peak to Peak) (1-0-0-0-0-1); Kyle Leahy (Erie) (1-0-0-0-0-2); Ryan Madden (Fairview) (1-1-1-1-0-3); JR MCDERMOTT (SMOKY HILL) (1-1-0-0-0-2); BRENT SCHWARZ (REGIS JESUIT) (1-2-3-3-2-2); Taylor Williams (Douglas County) (W, 1-1-0-0-1-0).
2B — Purple (3): Cuba Bess, Cameron Brown, QUIN COTTON; Black (2): Parker Jax, Peter McAvoy. 3B — Purple (2): Tommy Gillman, Nate Sweeney; Black (4): Logan Soole 2, Chad Bell, Ryan Madden.