Prep Baseball Report

PBR CO Spotlght Game: Regis Jesuit vs. Roughriders

By Neil Devlin
Senior Writer
Denver Metro Area

They were throwing around 90s like Colorado does with temperatures on hot July days. They struck as quickly as the lightning in the distance. And a light crowd peppered by a half-dozen or so professional scouts under threatening skies were treated to a bit of flame-throwing on Wednesday.

At Regis Jesuit in Aurora, a summer playoff game in pool play featured dominance, a nice rally, holding off another comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning and some of the best arms we'll see on the schoolboy level over the next couple of seasons.

As it was, the Rough Riders club team out of Superior, comprised mainly of upper classmen from the northwest and northern areas of the metropolitan area, rallied to down Regis Jesuit, containing the basis of players for next spring's varsity team in the Class 5A Continental League, 8-7.

The real story? There were slick and powerful arms on display, complete with big heat, developing breaking stuff and the high-end scholarship pledges to prove it for three top right-handers.

Taking assorted turns, Regis Jesuit's Caleb Sloan and the Rough Riders' Drake Davis (Ralston Valley) and Cole Winn (Silver Creek) dominated.

And the underlying theme? Fun, and lots of it.

"It was really cool,," said Davis, who will be a senior next school year and has committed to Arizona State. "It was awesome."

Sloan, a Raiders senior-to-be headed to TCU, called the game "fun to be a part of, very rare (with the high-end arms) and we were talking to each other the whole game."

And Winn, a junior for the Raptors in Longmont who already has pledged to Notre Dame, termed the matchup "special ... we all work with the same guy (Sean Cashman, a director for the Rough Riders) and it was a great atmosphere."

Cashman, a cousin to New York Yankees general manager and senior vice-president Brian Cashman, and a former Division I coach, including at Philadelphia's Temple, knows good baseball. He's from the Toms River, N.J., area, where he was a youth and schoolboy teammate of Todd Frazier, the now Chicago White Sox player who was a home run derby winner in the All-Star Game a year ago while with the Cincinnati Reds.

Sean Cashman said he has been pleasantly surprised with Colorado talent.

"I've been here almost two years and have seen some really highly talented players."

As it was, Sloan threw only his team's first two innings as he was to leave on Thursday for the Under Armour All-American Game to be played on Saturday at Chicago's Friendly Confines, Wrigley Field. He faced six batters, struck out four and induced two ground-ball outs to his second baseman.

"I was a little rusty," he said after resting for more than a week. Still, he reached 95 mph on the speed gun.

Davis had a much tougher time, permitting three runs in each of the first and third innings. He was touched for six hits and walked three, although the Rough Riders also kicked it some, committing three errors.

Six feet and 175 pounds, Drake, who will be a senior for the 5A Jefferson County Mustangs,  said he didn't perform well, but was working on his curveball after recently committing to the Sun Devils.

"There were some positives, but I have a lot to work on," said Drake, who said he's also trying to put on some weight. "Obviously, I wasn't happy with the six runs and I got behind on some counts ... I've got some work to do."

Winn was impressive before being lifted with two outs in the sixth inning. He surrendered a run in the sixth, but also retired six of his first seven batters and fanned the side in the fourth.

Even with two more seasons for the 4A Raptors, he said his commitment to Notre Dame is solid, and why not? Having declared back in February, Winn said he "went out there and just loved it. Obviously, it's a special place, incredible. I went to the North Carolina-Notre Dame basketball game and fell in love with it."

With summer play on the downswing, a lightly attended playoff game put some Colorado talent on display.

Most of all, Cashman, said, "it was fun."

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