5A Colorado District Roundup
May 20, 2019
A few things about last Saturday’s Class 5A Regional rounds …
For one, if your team was a home seed, it didn’t necessarily work out – only four or half of the hosts advanced to this weekend’s beginning of the Championship Series.
For another, and as expected, if your team is from the Continental League, it was a good thing. Half of the field is from Colorado’s best group.
And for still another, included are the defending state champion (Mountain Vista), an old standby (Cherry Creek), one that always seems to be here during this era (Rocky Mountain), another that has gotten very hot the past several weeks (Grandview) and arguably one that no one expected to make it this far (Legacy).
In Region 1, the 2018 winning Golden Eagles thrashed Mullen and Dakota Ridge by a combined 32-3. Now 23-2, Mountain Vista has yet to lose an in-state game. Clay Burke, beat the Mustangs in the opener, and 2018 player of the year Sam Ireland handled Game 2. Catcher Grant McGill (.506 avg., 42 hits, 37 runs batted in and five home runs) is the real deal. While many feel these aren’t the Golden Eagles of a year ago, who will beat them this year?
Rocky Mountain grabbed the Region 2 title by handling Fruita Monument 3-1 before taking the Continental’s and host Legend 14-8. Now 17-7-1, the Lobos’ Dylan Hupfer was 3-for-3 with an RBI in the opener, then out slugged the Titans behind Jaren Piepho (4-for-5, 5 RBIs, two doubles) and Garrett Fisher (2-for-3, 3 RBIs). Hand it to head coach Scott Bullock. The man has built a program.
Hot? Grandview is hot. Coach Scott Henry’s guys were 3-8, but have won 14 games in succession. And the Wolves advanced Saturday in interesting fashion. They had to rally past and hold off Jefferson County’s Ralston Valley 12-11 before simply drubbing host Windsor 11-0. And the Wizards were among the 5A leaders all year in runs allowed.
Region 4’s Legacy certainly is leaving a legacy down the stretch of the season. The Lightning, just 13-10 entering the rounds, nevertheless spanked the Western Slope’s Grand Junction 12-1 and outlasted the Continental’s Douglas County 9-8 as freshman Blake Roberts homered, and Blake Labuda and Joshua Maestas each contributed two RBIs. This is a Legacy team that won its opener, then dropped six straight games.
You Like Regis Jesuit’s pitching? You should. The Raiders won in Region 5 by beating Monarch 6-0 and Chatfield 2-0. They were the sixth and seventh shutout victories – and third in four outings -- of the season for the Raiders, now 20-5. Senior Patrick Strawbridge tossed a four-hitter in the opener with eight strikeouts and junior Jacob Thompsen also had a four-hitter, fanning 12. Junior Ethan O’Donnell had three RBIs in Game 1, and Geno Macias and Craig Kenny drove home runs in Game 2.
Despite top prospect Riley Cornelio one out away from tossing a no-hitter (along with 10 strikeouts and four walks) against Broomfield before having to leave due to the pitch count, host Pine Creek couldn’t advance again. So Region 6 belonged to Chaparral. While Pine Creek won its opener 3-0 and the Wolverines edged Loveland 4-3, Chaparral beat the Eagles 7-3. The Wolverines won in a walk-off first, then Bryce Matthews doubled and homered, and Ryan McKown doubled twice for four RBIs.
Heritage (18-7) has played a tremendous schedule and it did again in Region 7, beating Mountain Range 4-0 and fellow Continental member Rock Canyon 8-4. The Eagles can grind. Cam Sisneros had a key double against Mountain Range and Eric McKnight tossed a two-hit shutout with five strikeouts. In the finale against Rock Canyon, Jakob Boose, Jimmy Hebenstreit and Mason Mitchell each drove in two runs.
And don’t under-estimate what’s happening at Cherry Creek. To complete the regular season, the Bruins gave 47-year head man Marc Johnson his 800th career victory (against 200 losses). In Region 8, they add two more – 11-1 over former 4A power Valor Christian and 8-7 over a very pesky Horizon. Alec Adolph had three RBIs in the first game and the bruins overcame deficits of 7-4 in the sixth and 7-5 in the seventh. Brice Martinez, who had two RBIs against Valor, had the walk-off against the Hawks.
Championship Series matchups and early schedule:
Friday at All-City Field
Rocky Mountain vs. Mountain Vista, 9:30 a.m.
Legacy vs. Grandview, noon
Winners: 2:30 p.m.
Friday at All-Star Park
Cherry Creek vs. Heritage, 9:30 a.m.
Chaparral vs. Regis Jesuit, noon
Winners: 2:30 p.m.