Summit’s Blake Butcher named MVP at mountain league All-Star Game, July 2 |

Summit’s Blake Butcher named MVP at mountain league All-Star Game, July 2

Read on for a recap of Summit Extreme Black Diamonds baseball in Week 4 of the regular season.

Just two days before holiday fireworks, barbecues and revelry, the best of the best with the Mountain West Summer Collegiate Baseball League met in Grand Junction for the league’s first-annual All-Star Game and home run derby.

Now in its second season, the league draws players from Division II and junior college teams across the nation. The level of skill and pure energy on display the afternoon of July 2 led to some of the best ball this side of Coors Field.

Home run derby

The weekend kicked off with the MWSCBL homerun derby, which included two players from each of the six regular-season teams. The local boys, Summit Extreme Black Diamonds of the Frisco Peninsula, were represented by Tanner Bowden and Blake Butcher. Other players included: Jake Summey and Kyle Gracey of the Eagle Valley Eagles; Caden Goldby and Blake Billinger of the Glenwood Geckos; Nick Canas and Hunter Wilson with the Rocky Mountain Oysters of Colorado Springs; Casey Echols and Bryce Aldridge of the Steamboat Storm; and Blain Crim and JD Gann of the Vail Vipers.

Here’s how it worked: Competitors participated in two rounds of 10 pitches each, with the leading two batters advancing to the final round.

Eagle Valley’s Gracey (six home runs) and Glenwood’s Goldby (five homeruns) advanced to the final round. Gracey and Goldby saw 10 pitches each and hit one home run apiece. Gracey broke the tie in a second round of five pitches by hitting one home run to win the derby with a total of eight homeruns. Goldby ended with a total of six home runs.

All-Star Game

The MWSCBL All-Star Game featured the visiting East team and the home West team — but home advantage hardly mattered. The East (home to all Summit players) collaboratively beat the West in 5.5 innings, 6-2 in a well-played game.

Both teams saw a three-up, three-down first inning and stayed even until the East took a four-run lead in the second. East went through the full lineup, beginning and ending with Vail’s Blain Crim. Crim started the inning with a walk, advanced to third on JD Grann’s (Vail) single and an error by the West third baseman, Jacob Anderson (Glenwood).

Summit’s Tyler Daugherty hit a single to score Crim and advance Grann to third.

Next up, Kyle Smith (Vail) hit into a fielder’s choice that forced Grann out at home. Tavin Thompson (Summit) singled to left, advancing Daugherty and Smith. Daugherty scored on Maverick Latour’s (Vail) single to left-center. Bryce Aldridge (Steamboat) then singled to left, scoring Smith and Thompson.

After the East scored four runs, Crim lined out to left field to end the inning.

The East scored another run in the third and took a six-run lead off of Crim’s home run in the fourth. The West scored two runs in the fifth — too little, too late.

The game was called after the top of the sixth due to rain. East won 6-2 and Summit’s Blake Butcher was voted MVP.

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