Baseball: Messinger dazzles at Rockies All-Stars/Futures game

Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Niwot High School’s Skylar Messinger is congratulated after a home run by teammate Luke Ziegler, of Valor Christian, during the Colorado Rockies High School Futures game on Monday at Coors Field. Go to for more photos.

DENVER — With one swing of his bat on Monday afternoon at Coors Field, Niwot shortstop Skylar Messinger gave himself and his entire family something they’ll never forget.

Even his older brother, Connor, in attendance for the Colorado Rockies High School All-Stars/Futures Game, said it was a “fairy-tale” moment that might be the “big fish, bigger fish” story the siblings will tell for years.

While baseballs fly out of Coors Field with regularity in the major leagues, it’s not your everyday occurrence that a prep player parks one — with a wood bat, no less. However, that’s exactly what Skylar Messinger did in the fourth inning of Monday’s game, part of a 5-5 tie that also featured contributions from several other Boulder County players.

It may just have been hit to the right place of the spacious park — that being just over left field wall about 360 feet from home plate — but it put him in pretty rare company nonetheless and got the crowd buzzing.

After a breakout season that saw him hit .493 for the Cougars, Skylar may have started to catch the attention of college recruiters and scouts this year as it was. But on Monday, they were positively in attendance and Messinger presented a perfect portrait of good shortstop play, too.

“It was just a very cool thing to be a part of,” Messinger said after the game, which went a full nine innings. “I wanted to come out and perform, because it is a great opportunity to be seen with those scouts up there. I just had a mindset to control what I could control, and you get fortunate to get a couple ground balls out there and field on a great playing surface.

“I kind of figured, if I was a scout I’d want to be here to see the young talent in Colorado. But it’s something there was no way I was going to pass up.”

About 60 players from all over Colorado were invited to play in the game, and Messinger was one of seven area players in attendance. Also included were Broomfield’s James Notary and Walter Pennington; Fairview’s Matt Erickson; Silver Creek’s Cole Winn and Austin Wood; and Boulder’s Sonjay Solomon. Dawson head coach Joe McKenzie was also selected to participate.

The opportunity to play at Coors Field comes a little more often now that the organization has expanded its program allowing regular-season contests throughout the spring, but there’s no doubt it is still something the athletes do not take for granted.

Winn was one of four area pitchers for the underclassmen who helped keep the heavy hitting 2016 class to just nine hits on the afternoon. The Raptors to-be junior threw the fifth inning, allowing one unearned run while striking out three.

“I know a lot of the guys from club ball, summer ball, that kind of stuff and there was a great group here,” said Winn, who went 6-1 for the Raptors this spring. “Every time you get to play at Coors, it is something special.

“It was a great year. I feel like I threw pretty well (during the season) and it was nice to come out here and throw strikes and help my team out.”

Notary and Erickson were quite effective, too, as each got an inning of work and combined to strike out five batters while allowing three hits and a run. Solomon pitched the seventh inning for the underclassmen.

Wood came in to pitch the eighth inning for the seniors and struck out a batter.

Adam Dunivan: or

Futures seniors 5, Futures underclassmen 5

At Coors Field

Underclassmen    001 200 020 — 5 10 3

Seniors                  001 010 201 — 5 9 4

Underclassmen hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cody Schultz (Cherry Creek) 3-0-1-0, Kalen Hammer (Rocky Mountain) 2-0-0-0, Tyson Hays (Grandview) 2-0-0-0, Luke Leisenring (Ralston Valley) 1-0-0-0, Kyle Cardona (Legend) 2-0-0-0, Justin Olson (Pine Creek) 2-0-0-0, Andrew Chavez (Cherry Creek) 2-0-1-0, Tanner O’Tremba (Cherry Creek) 3-0-0-0, Walker Rumsey (Bear Creek) 2-0-0-0, Jay Onken (Pine Creek) 2-0-1-0, John Sorenson (Rocky Mountain) 2-1-0-0, Skylar Messinger (Niwot) 3-1-1-1, Brody Perkins (ThunderRidge) 1-1-1-0, Luke Ziegler (Valor Christian) 3-1-1-0, Matt Givin (Rock Canyon) 1-0-1-1, Austin Chouinard (Regis Jesuit) 2-0-1-1, Nate Dill (Fort Collins) 1-0-0-1, Kayden Seriani (Paonia) 1-0-1-0, Levi Leisenring (Ralston Valley) 1-1-1-0, Jaden Urich (Rocky Mountain) 2-0-0-0. Totals 38-5-10-3. 2B —Chouinard. 3B —Le. Leisenring. HR —Messinger.

Seniors hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tommy Gillman (Columbine) 3-1-1-0, Maverick Handley (Mullen) 2-1-1-0, Cole McCissock (Air Academy) 1-0-1-1, Jerome Bohannon (Cherokee Trail) 1-1-0-0, Jake Greenwalt (Windsor) 1-0-0-0, Bailey Collins (Dakota Ridge) 2-0-0-0, Peter Carlson (Ralston Valley) 1-1-0-0, Ryan Sullivan (Cherokee Trail) 3-0-0-0, Austin Alarid (Rocky Mountain) 1-1-1-1, Zane Phelps (Bayfield) 2-0-0-0, Tyler Smith (Grandview) 3-0-1-1, Chris Diehl (Rocky Mountain) 2-0-2-0, Matt Burkart (Eaton) 3-0-1-1, Sam Schroeder (Fruita Monument) 2-0-0-0, Wyatt Featherston (Green Mountain) 2-0-0-0, Dane Kapande (Evergreen) 1-0-0-0, Cuba Bess (Fruita Monument) 1-0-1-0, Travis Marr (Regis Jesuit) 2-0-0-0, Nate Sweeney (Cherry Creek) 2-0-0-0. Totals 35-5-9-4. 2B — Diehl, Alarid. 3B —Gillman, Smith, Diehl.

Underclassmen pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caleb Sloan (Regis Jesuit) 1-0-0-0-1-0, James Notary (Broomfield) 1-1-0-0-1-2, Matt Erickson (Fairview) 1-2-1-1-0-3, Drake Davis (Ralston Valley) 1-1-0-0-0-1, Cole Winn (Silver Creek) 1-0-1-0-0-3, Connor Nantkes (Cherokee Trail) 1-1-0-0-1-1, Sonjay Solomon (Boulder) 1-2-2-2-1-0, Davis Heller (Valor Christian) 1-0-0-0-0-1, Riley Egloff (Heritage) 1-2-1-1-1-1.

Seniors pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bohannon 1-0-0-0-0-0, Alarid 1-2-0-0-0-1, Greenwalt 1-1-1-0-1-3, Taylor Dye (Columbine) 0.1-3-2-1-1-0, Ben Moran (Denver East) 0.2-0-0-0-0-1, Marr 1-0-0-0-0-0, Walt Pennington (Broomfield) 1-0-0-0-0-2, Preston Snavely (Fort Collins) 1-0-0-0-0-2, Austin Wood (Silver Creek) 0.1-3-2-2-1-1, Schroeder 0.2-0-0-0-0-0, Sweeney 0.2-1-0-0-0-0-1, Kapande 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.