Southern Colorado Roundup (Playoff Addition)





By Jeff Letofsky

PBR Senior Writer

For the second time in four years, the Pueblo West High School baseball team has reached the Class 4A state baseball championship series.

The Cyclones made it to this point in 2013 and went all the way to the championship game, only to fall to Mountain View 7-6 in eight innings.

Pueblo West defeated Montrose and Thompson Valley in District 5 play to reach the final eight. The Cyclones, 17-4, and the South-Central League champions, meet Northern League foe Longmont (16-5) in their opener at 12:30 p.m. on Friday at Frederick High School in the double-elimination tournament.

Erie and Delta are on the same side of the bracket as Pueblo West and play at 10 a.m. at Frederick.

The other side of the bracket has Mountain View against Air Academy at 10 a.m. and Valor Christian against Windsor at 12:30 p.m. Those games will be played at All-Star Park in Lakewood.

Six games are on tap Friday and Saturday with the survivors returning May 27 and 28 at All-Star Park. The championship game is set for May 28.

Pueblo West features a handful of seniors led by Rocco Arguto, the team's top pitcher (6-1, 1.56 ERA, 55 Ks) and hitter (.520). Zach Maize also is a top-notch pitcher with a 7-1 record, 2.73 ERA. Catcher Dauson Tate (.397, 23 RBI), first baseman Josh Drury (.357, 26 RBI) and shortstop Lucas Quimby (.386) are team leaders. Junior twins Ian and Alan Garcia supply speed in the outfield and on the bases. Ian Garcia is hitting .356 with 27 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Alan Garcia is hitting .409 with 24 runs scored and seven stolen bases.

In Class 3A, Lamar (17-4) is the lone Southern Colorado team in the eight-team field. The Savages meet Faith Christian (16-5) in their opener at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Butch Butler Field in Greeley. Eaton and Kent Denver play at 10 a.m. at Butch Butler.

On the other side of the bracket, St. Mary's takes on Manitou Springs at 10 a.m. and University meets Valley at 12:30 p.m. Those games will be played at Niwot High School.

Six games will be played on Friday and Saturday at Butch Butler and Niwot with the Final Four set for May 27 and 28, all at Butch Butler.

Lamar finished second in the Tri-Peaks East League behind St. Mary's. The Savages got through their district tournament by defeating Centauri and Bayfield.

In Class 2A, defending champion Rye (17-4) remains alive for the 16-team regional playoffs that will be held at the Runyon Sports Complex in Pueblo on Friday and Saturday.

Other Southern Colorado teams in the field include district champions Rocky Ford and Sargent along with RPI selections Swink, Crowley County and County Line.
Eight teams will play on Friday in two four-team pools and eight more on Saturday in the same format.

The winners advance to the field of eight May 27 and 28, also at the Runyon Sports Complex.

Rye (18-3) features one of the top hitters in the nation in junior Bailey Benz, who pitches and catches. He's hitting .730. The T-Bolts, seeded 15th, draw No. 2 Sedgwick County at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Rye, the No. 15 seed, takes on No. 2 seed Sedgwick County at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hobbs Field.

Sargent, Crowley County and County Line play on Friday with Swink playing on Saturday.

In Class 1A, Southern Colorado is represented by Holly (11-6), which survived the regional field this past weekend. The Wildcats meet Fleming (16-4) at 11 a.m. on Thursday at All-Star Park in Lakewood.

Holly knocked off Nucla 10-0 and Eads 15-4 on the way to the title game, while Fleming beat 2015 runner-up Granada 5-1 and 2015 state champion Fleming 4-1.