5A Colorado District Bracket Preview

By Jeff Markle
Assistant State Director


District 1

The Chatfield Chargers, #1 seed overall with a record of 17-2 will be the host site for District 1.  The Chargers will face 10-9 Doherty from Colorado Springs in the first game set for 10:00 am.  The Chargers, who hung around the PBR top 5 all year will rely on Kyle Winkle .525 avg. and Sean O’Dell .448 avg. to power an offense that produced 197 runs, stole 52 bases and hit 29 homeruns.  Two veteran senior starters, Salt Lake City commit Nick Chamberlain and Lamar Community CC commit  Travis Schnoor will mostly take the bump and try to pitch the Chargers into the final 8. 

The second game of the day will feature the 16 seed Pine Creek Eagles 14-5 on the year vs. the 17 seed Grand Junction Central Warriors 14-5.  First pitch scheduled for 12:30.  The is a very even match-up in this game the Eagles come in with a team average of .375 and are lead by, Peter McEvoy .483 and Evan Maecker .439.  Defensively, the Eagles will turn to Junior Conner Deeds with 6 wins to take the ball and try to shut down this district.  The Warriors arrive from Grand Junction being lead by sophomore Trey Garcia .383 and junior Jeremy Champlin .397.  The warriors have plated 154 runs on the year and have 39 doubles as a team.  On the bump we will see 5 game winner senior Michael Price and junior Seth Krebill.

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 2:

A main stay as one of the host sites for a district tournament is Cherry Creek High School.  Only fitting that in a year when Bruins head coach Marc Johnson gets win 700, his club will host yet another district and attempt to move on to a final 8.  The first game of the day will feature the 15-4 #8 seed Cherry Creek Bruins hosting the 8-11 #25 seed Monarch.  The Bruins on paper seem to be a heavy favorite, 166 runs this year and 14 round-trippers.  Leading the Bruins at the plate are; seniors, Grant Farrell .492, Matt Rindal 24 hits and Ryan Robb 19 RBI.  It is a deep line up 1-9 that would strike fear into any pitcher.  There is a long list of players who have made an appearance for the Bruins this year on the mound, but Justin Jeronimus 1.30 ERA and Cody Wood 3.13 ERA should eat up the bulk of the innings.  Monarch on Saturday will come into the game looking for senior Garrit Elzinga .424 and 15 RBI to spark their offense.  Junior Logan Soole .407 and 14 RBI will also need to come through big for Monarch.  Look for Soole 2.81 ERA and senior Eric Love 32 innings pitched to be the ones who are called upon to shut down Creek and get Monarch into the 3:00 game.

The 12:30 game will feature Rock Canyon #9 seed 14-5 on the year and #24 seed 10-9 Mountain Range.  This is a match up of two teams from two very competitive leagues, it figures to be a tight ball game.  Rock Canyon hung tough in the Continental League all year, compiling 133 runs and being lead offensively by sophomore Daryl Myers .442 and junior Quinn O’Neil .431 and 10 RBI.  Look out when the Jaguars get on base they come into this game with 64 stolen bases.  Look for senior Kade Castleberry to take the ball for the Jaguars with his 1.54 ERA and 22 innings pitched.  The Mustangs from Mountain Range have played many close games this year and their 10-9 record does not tell you how tested they are.  The Mustangs have a trio of hitters over the .400 mark, Aaron Griffith .419, Jacob McCort .417 and Jake Walker .426 all hoping to propel the Mustangs further into the playoffs.  Pitching on Saturday will fall on the arms of Jacob McCort 31 innings pitched and Tanner Peterson 5.33 ERA.

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 3:

In District 3 we find another Jefferson County team playing host to three games.  The 10:00 game will feature the 18-1 Columbine Rebels taking on the 11-8 Legacy Lightning.  The consistent Rebels have been solid both at the plate and on the mound.  Some might be surprised by their year, but veteran Head Coach Chuck Gilman seems to produce quality teams year in and year out.  The Rebels are lead offensively by a pair of players hitting over .500.  Senior UNLV commit Austin Anderson  .552 and junior Michael Tait .517.  The Rebels have plated 174 runs this season and have aided their offense with 40 stolen bases.  Columbine has had 9 different players take the mound for them this year, but the bulk of the innings belong to senior Isaish Gonzalez-Montoya and senior Blake Weiman.  Legacy enters the post season lead by a their pitcher and catcher combination of senior Lucas Gilbreath and junior Wyatt Cross.  Gilbreath has 58 innings pitched on the year and is responsible for 6 of Legacy’s wins.  At the plate Cross has a .325 average and 14 runs batted in. 

The second game at Columbine will feature the 13 seed Chaparral Wolverines 11-8 on the year squaring off against the 20 seed Prairie View Thunderhawks 14-4-1.  The Wolverines have been up and down this year but come into the post-season lead by two experienced seniors, Vanderbilt commit  Keenan Eaton outfielder with a .353 avg. and Josh Nicol .475 avg.  Chaparral will look to senior Jakob Hernandez and his 39 innings pitched to control the Thunderhawks; you can also look for senior Brad Brown to see action on Saturday.  Prairie View comes into this game with a .379-team average and 180 runs scored.  With 73 stolen bases on the year, they will look to put plenty of pressure on the Wolverines.  Senior Jordan Jones and junior Jacob Alexis anchor the Thunderhawks both hitting .400 on the year.  On the mound Jones will be the guy to try and shut down the Wolverines.  He leads his team with 6 wins an 44 innings pitched.

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 4:

Up on top of the hill we will find District 4 being hosted by the Mountain Vista Golden Eagles.  Vista who enters the day with a record of 16-3 will host The Denver East Angels 11-8 in the 10:00 a.m. game.  The Golden Eagles enter the post-season very balanced and poised to make a lot of noise as Saturday unfolds.  As a team they have scored 167 runs and powered the ball in the allies with 42 doubles.  At the plate, senior Jack Strunc leads the way with a .469 avg. and 10 of those 42 doubles.  Grand Canyon commit junior Marc Mumper .370 avg. is another key part to the Golden Eagles offense.  You can bet that on Saturday you will see senior pitcher and 7 game winner Washington State commit Nick Leonard, his 1.07 ERA has paced Vista to their 16 wins.  Opposing the Golden Eagles will be the Angels from East High School.  The Angels have 37 stolen bases on the year and will look to use that weapon against Vista.  At the plate the Angels are lead by a pair of seniors, Zach Haning .429 and Ryan Michael, 17 RBI on the season.  Michael will also be the man on the mound charged with shutting down Vista.  He brings a 1.73 ERA into Saturday with 24 innings pitched.

At 12:30 we will find the 12th seeded Grand Junction Tigers 13-6 taking on the 21st seed Dakota Ridge Eagles 10-9.  The tigers will rely on experience and tradition to carry them through Saturday; a main stay in the 5A district tournament, the Tigers will be ready to play.  Offensively, they will be lead by Sophomore, Tyson Zanski who posted a .439 avg. and 14 RBI for the Tigers.  Senior Tristan Lafferty .358 avg. will also carry much of the weight for Grand Junction in this game.  The Tigers will be anchored by a pair of seniors on the mound for Saturday, Dillon Fante, 3.40 ERA and 22 innings pitched and Ty Dixon, 3.55 ERA.  The Eagles who seem to hit home-runs in their sleep (26) on the year will look to senior Kaylor Greenstreet and his 8 home runs to set the pace on Saturday.  Doug Case and his .44 avg. and 25 RBI will also be on display for Dakota Ridge.  When they are not hitting home-runs, the Eagles will look to pressure teams with stolen bases.  The Eagles have been successful 26 times swiping bags this year.  Senior Jake Stecki with 4 wins and Sophomore Peyton Turner 30 innings pitched will be the two arms Dakota Ridge will try to ride into the final 8.  

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 5:

The #2 seed overall, the 16-3 Regis Raiders will be the hosts of District 5.  The team opposing Regis in the first game will be #31 seed 11-8 Westminster.  The Raiders who have not lost a game in state since the first game of the season are paced by seniors, Pacific commit Justin Thaxton .500 and 25 RBI, Oregon State commit Max George .525 and 31 hits and Jack Brett .519 and 5 HR.  These three plus the rest of this high-powered line up have plated 177 runs and belted 15 home-runs.  When they are not circling the bases, they are stealing them; the Raiders have 40 swipes on the season.  Pitching this year is a bit misleading, the Raiders now have the big lefty Oregon commit David Peterson back to join up with Rice commit Brent Schwarz 2.45 ERA and Northern Colorado commit Zach Heath 26 innings pitched.  The Wolves come in to Saturday hoping to ride the hot bat of Garrett Smith .458 avg 27 hits and 14 RBI.  Westminster will try to match Regis at their own game of putting runners in scoring position with steals, having amassed 41 of their own this year.  The Wolves will march out seniors, Riebschlager and Rule both with 30+ innings pitched this year to shut down the Raiders.

The second game at Regis will feature, the #15 seed Ralston Valley Mustangs and the #18 seed Castle View Sabercats.  We can throw the records out for this game; both teams will have their hands full for the right to play at 3:00.  Ralston Valley who spent much of the season in the PBR top 8 seems to be a team that is balanced and ready to make a deep run.  As a team they amassed 193 runs, 20 homeruns and 44 stolen bases.  Two seniors and a sophomore lead the way at the plate, University of Nebraska-Omaha commit Jordan Holloway and Connor Roth both at .424 and Peter Carlson .429 will look to add to their totals against the Sabercats.  The pitching duties will fall on senior Jordan Holloway 40 innings pitched and Mitch Robinson 4.14 ERA.  The Castle View Sabercats out of the Continental League will attempt to slow down the Mustangs with their own offensive firepower.  Seniors, Michael Paul .418 and 24 RBI and Kaleb Geiger .367 and 22 hits will anchor a line up that had 10 homeruns and 27 stolen bases.  On the bump, we will most likely see, Ben Dalke 4.71 ERA in 35 innings.

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 6:

We need to jump on I-25 and head north to find Rocky Mountain High School and the host site of District 6.  The # 7 seed 14-5 Rocky Mountain Lobos will host #26 9-10 Bear Creek in the 10:00 game.  The Lobos are right at home this time of year and they prepare for another run into the final 8.  Lead by junior Cole Anderson .500 and 32 hits and Carl Stajduhar .500 and 38 RBI, the Lobos have scored 156 runs this year and hit 19 homeruns.  With 24 stolen bases on the year, they do not have the most of the teams in the tournament, but they are capable of stealing one at any time.  Two seniors, Marc Bachman 2.36 ERA and Carl Stajduhar 2.22 ERA will carry the pitching load this weekend and have combined for 8 wins on the season.  The Bear Creek Bears have done their own good work at the plate this year.  As a team they have pushed across 136 runs and hit 36 doubles.  Juniors, Nick Madrid .439 and 25 hits and Kolby Bonato .419 and 19 RBI will be try to spark the Bears past the Lobos. 

The second game of the day in Fort Collins will feature the #10 seed 14-5 Brighton Bulldogs and the #23 seed 10-9 Grandview Wolves.  The seeds are far apart, but do not take either of these teams lightly.  Brighton who ran the table in the East Metro League comes in with 219 runs scored 53 stolen bases and 16 homeruns.  The Bulldog offense is anchored by senior Ty Archuleta .500 and 18 RBI and junior Brandon Pettinger .408 and 20 hits.  When it comes to shutting down the opponent, the Bulldogs will turn to senior James Smith 2.77 ERA in 43 innings pitched.  Grandview who is no stranger to the post season will bring a team into Saturday that scored 164 runs and used all parts of the field collecting 45 doubles and 12 triples.  A pair of juniors provide much of the offensive punch for the Wolves, Eric Mingus .500 and 16 RBI and Keifer Glau .429 and 20 hits.  Senior Tanner Thomas 2.46 ERA and junior Morgan Smith 35 innings pitched will get the bulk of the work this Saturday.

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.

District 7:

District 7 sends us Boulder bound where we find the 18-1 #3 seed Fairview Knights playing host to the 8-11 #30 seed Mullen Mustangs who got a surprise visit into the districts after a good Douglas County High School team was in..but then got a call late Wednesday saying they were out due to a mistake in wildcard point scoring and switched out with Mullen.  The Knights on paper are one of the scariest teams we have seen in a long time.  A team average of .449, 201 runs scored and 22 home runs.  Not many holes in this lineup.  Fairview has three players over .500, senior Albiline Christian commit Jeff Clarke .571, junior Ryan Madden .540 and senior Cameron Frazier .500.  These three are well protected by 4 others all hitting over .400.  With that many players hitting for such high averages, it makes sense that they would add 31 stolen bases to their offensive firepower.  When it is time to go on defense, the Knights take the field behind two pitchers responsible for 16 of their 18 wins.  Senior Ryan Kokora and his impressive 1.51 ERA and 59 K’s is accompanied nicely by Ryan Madden and 43 strikeouts in 45 innings pitched. As for Mullen they have something to prove. At one point this year the Mustangs lost 9 games in a row, but then they regrouped and finished their season winning 6 of their last 7 games to get to 8 and 11. They have three pitchers who logged over 30 innings in senior Ty Kellet, senior Alex Watson, and junior Dominic Duran.

The second game on the docket up in Boulder brings us the 14-5 #14 seed Arapahoe Warriors vs. the 10-9 #19 seed Fruita Monument Wildcats.  Arapahoe comes into Saturday battle tested after being up near the top of a hotly contested Centennial League all season.  The Warriors will generate plenty of offense thanks in part to; seniors Andrei Williams .443 and 8 doubles, Garden City CC commit Ted Ramirez .443 and 27 RBI and Garrett Johnston .407 and 26 runs scored.  Arapahoe joins the teams already mentions as those who like to generate pressure on their opponents, having swiped 32 bases this season.  The Warriors will lean on two seniors to pitch them to the final 8, CJ Bossart, 38 innings pitched and a 4.42 ERA and Ted Ramirez 3.68 ERA in 32 innings pitched.  The Wildcats from Fruita will bring a young team to the party.  Offensively, the Wildcats will look to juniors; Grant Stagg .390 avg. and 11 RBI and Sam Graf .483 avg. and 28 hits to be the spark on Saturday.  A pair of sophomores will take to the mound for Fruita, Dan Canup 3.19 ERA and 27 K’s and Sam Schroeder 4.20 ERA in 25 innings. 

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00 pm.

District 8:

In District 8 we find the #6 seed Arvada West Wildcats taking on the #27 seed Horizon Hawks at 10:00 a.m.  The Wildcats who stayed perfect in a very difficult Jeffco League will bring some impressive numbers to the party.  On the season they racked up 122 runs, 55 doubles and 14 home-runs, individually they were lead by senior and Iowa Western commit  Brody Hagel-Pitt .448 and 14 RBI and senior and Siena commit Joe Rosenstein .395 and 17 hits.  Taking charge of shutting down the other team will be a pair of seniors, Hahel-Pitt 37 innings pitched and 3.56 ERA and Dixie State commit Nick Priola 2.77 ERA and 22 K’s.  Horizon comes into this game looking to slow the wildcats with some offense of their own.  The Hawks have produced 115 runs this year hitting 28 doubles and 9 home-runs.  Tyler Moore .420 and Jordan Humphries .408 will lead the Hawks on Saturday at the plate.  The Hawks seem to have a long line of players who have seen time on the mound this year, but Tanner Nickoloff leads the way with 3.55 ERA and 22 innings pitched.

The defending 5A champs the ThunderRidge Grizzlies who come in at 12-7 will be taking on the 10-9 Northglenn Norse.  ThunderRidge who has been the number one opponent on everyone’s radar was able to put together a solid season and ready themselves for another run.  The Grizzlies plated 137 runs this season and added 44 doubles and 10 home-runs.  The Grizzlies are lead offensively by senior and San Diego State commit Brody Westmoreland .429 and 32 RBI and junior Josh Brown .417 and 25 hits.  The Grizzlies have proven to be very aggressive this year on the base paths and have stolen 44 bases.  When it comes to pitching, the Grizzlies will march our senior and B.Y.U commit AJ Jones 33 innings pitched and a 3.53 ERA and sophomore Jake Eissler 2.31 ERA and 33 innings pitched.  Trying to dethrone the champs will be the Northglenn Norse who have played plenty of big games this year and will be ready.  The Norse come into this game having scored 137 runs and have a team average of .328.  A pair of seniors lead the Norse at the plate, Tad Sandoval .500 and 30 hits and Miguel Mendoza .385 and 15 RBI.  The man who will take the ball on Saturday to stop the Grizzlies looks to be Jacob Brown a junior with a 3.25 ERA and 36 innings pitched. 

The winner of these games will play for a birth in the final 8 at 3:00.