• Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Monarch pitcher Erik Flaska throws a pitch to a batter during a NIT tournament game against the Impact on Wednesday at Centaurus High School in Lafayette. Go to for more photos.

  • Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer

    Centaurus High School's Nick VanTassel tries to force out a runner in a pickle between second base and third base during a NIT tournament game against the Impact on Wednesday at Centaurus High School in Lafayette.



LAFAYETTE — It was a tough day at the park, eh?

On the Opening Day of the annual Boulder NIT at Centaurus’ Izzy Salazar Field, both Monarch and the host Warriors had a chance to make a big splash against the Canadian team from Regina Saskatchewan.

But the neighbors to the north, sporting the old-school 1980’s style Chicago White Sox uniforms, had other ideas. They held off Monarch 6-5 in the first game and then limited Centaurus to just one run on two hits in a 7-1 victory in the second game.

In the opener, the White Sox nickel and dimed Monarch starter Eric Flaska for five runs in his four inning of work and only three of those were earned.

They scored on a throwing error from centerfielder Corbin Cowan, a wild pitch to plate their first two unearned runs.

The lead grew to 6-0 in the sixth inning before the Monarch bats finally solved White Sox starter Brett Kleisinger.

Chase Phillips lead of the inning by getting plunked in the helmet and after a balk moved him to second, would come around to score on Trevor Flynn’s base hit to right. player of the year Andrew Morris would drive in Flynn for the next run to cut the lead to 6-2.

“Unfortunately we threw the first five innings away, but the positives were the at-bats we had in the sixth and seventh innings,” Monarch skipper James Thompson said. “Unfortunately we waited until then to start playing some baseball.”

Cowan and pinch hitter Tyson Trofino would also deliver clutch RBI hits in the sixth that got the Coyotes to within 6-5 going to the seventh.

After reliever Nick Santman, who was fantastic in his three innings in relief of Flaska, pitched a scoreless seventh, it set things up for Monarch in the bottom half of the inning.

Davis Elliott and Flynn each reached and had the tying run in scoring position for Morris, who battled, but struck out against Dylan Edwards. Noah Messman grounded out to short to end the game.

“The message that we try to preach to these guys is that no matter who is in the dugout across from you, you have to focus on you and play your game,” said Thompson, whose team will play on Thursday morning at both 9 and 11:30 a.m. “Otherwise, it’s going to be a long day at the ballpark.”

The Canadians kept the good times rolling in the second game against Centaurus.

They scored two runs in the second, third and fourth innings against recent Dawson School graduate Chase Fulkerson.

The lone run for the Warriors came in the top of the third inning, when Tucker Heroux’s triple to the centerfield fence plated Randall Blair.

The Warriors will play two game tomorrow at 2 and 4:30 p.m. against the Slammers (Akerfelds) and Batters Box Grey.

Jon Yunt: or


At Centaurus

Regina112 101 0 — 6 11 3

Monarch000 005 0 — 5 7 3

W — Kleisinger (1-0). L — Flaska (0-1).

Regina hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cleggett 3-1-0-1, Kleppenstein 3-1-2-0, Edwards 4-1-2-0, Tessier 3-1-1-0, Ward 0-0-0-0, McDougall 3-1-1-2, King 4-0-2-0, Pollon 4-0-1-1, Christison 3-1-1-0, Kleisinger 0-0-0-0, Bachis 4-0-1-0. Totals 31-6-11-4. 2B — Tessier, Edwards. SB — Pollon, Christison, Edwards.

Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Phillips 3-1-1-0, Siedem 1-0-0-0, Elliott 2-0-1-0, Campbell 0-0-0-0, Secunda 2-0-0-0, Flaska 0-0-0-0, Flynn 1-1-1-1, Morris 4-1-1-1, Messman 4-1-0-0, Cowan 3-1-1-1, Fish 3-0-1-0, Santman 2-0-0-0, Trofino 1-0-1-2, Langer 2-0-0-0, Turner 1-0-0-0. Totals 29-5-7-5. SB —Cowan, Trofino.

Regina pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kleisinger 6-6-5-3-1-3, Klebeck .1-1-0-0-0-0, Edwards .2-0-0-0-0-1.

Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Flaska 4-7-5-3-5-0, Santman 3-4-1-0-0-1.


At Centaurus

Regina022 200 1 — 7 8 0

Centaurus001 000 0 — 1 2 4

W — Cleggett (1-0). L — Fulkerson (0-1).

Regina hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bachis 4-0-0-0, Christison 0-2-0-0, Kleppenstein 4-1-2-2, Edwards 3-0-0-0, Klebeck 3-2-1-1, King 4-0-1-0, Cleggett 0-0-0-0, Pollon 0-0-0-0, Tessier 4-1-1-1, Ward 3-1-1-0, Kleisinger 4-0-2-2. Totals 29-7-8-6. 2B — Kleppenstein, Klebeck, Kleisinger, King. SB — Ward.

Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Blair 1-1-0-0, Heroux 1-0-1-1, Fulkerson 3-0-0-0, VanTassell 2-0-0-0, Day 3-0-0-0, Zeigert 1-0-0-0, Whitton 1-0-1-0, Bernstein 3-0-0-0, Larson 1-0-0-0, Sheppard 1-0-0-0, Dodga 2-0-0-0. Totals 19-1-2-1. 2B — Whitton. 3B — Heroux. SB — VanTassell.

Regina pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Cleggett 5-1-1-1-3-8, Pollon 2-1-0-0-1-3.

Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Fulkerson 4-6-5-2-5-0, Sheppard 3-2-1-0-1-2.