Class 1A State Semifinals and State Championship Predictions
Class 1A Wraps things up this weekend and the top 4 teams have advanced into the semifinal rounds. I bet looking back this is the first time this has happened in some years.
#1 Cornerstone Christian vs #4 Haxtun
Cornerstone Christian advanced to the semifinals beating Cheyenne Wells (15-0) and Cotopaxi (13-0). Cornerstone Christian has really dominated this year and have a team batting average of .459 and 8 home runs. The biggest difference maker for Cornerstone Christian is their pitching. Walker who has thrown the most inning has a 2.19 ERA. Zach Dube has the second most innings pitched and has a 0.79 ERA. It does look like Cornerstone Christian can go to 4 pitchers.
Haxtun advanced to the semifinals beating Eads (8-2) and Granada (3-2 in the 10th). Haxtun played a good amount of 2A teams and had a strong schedule against Merino, Caliche, and Prairie. Haxtun team batting average is .299 and have 11 homeruns. Drew Coffin leads the way hitting with a .484 batting average and 7 homeruns. Pitching wise Drew Coffin is the team ace with 45 innings pitched and a .77 ERA. Clayton Stephens is a solid #2 with a 3.44 ERA. Haxtun has thrown two other pitchers over 15 innings with Gerk and Buccelli but both ERA are over 4.00. Haxtun must get solid pitching from all four pitchers.
Pitching matchup is the most important thing in this game. Haxtun I am guessing throws Drew Coffin which gives them their best shot at winning this game. Cornerstone Christian has good options either way they go in this game. The big advantage in this game is Cornerstone Christian can hit the ball well and that is why I am picking them over Haxtun. This should be a good game and if Coffin can hold Cornerstone Christian bats up then it gives Haxtun a shot.
#2 Otis vs #3 Nucla
Otis advanced to the semifinals beating Elbert (11-1) and Evangelical Christian (4-2). Otis has just one loss on the season to Prairie late in April but since that loss have won 6 straight games. Otis can also hit the ball well and have a team batting average of .455 and 241 RBI’s. Otis hitting attack is led by Cullen Glosson who has a batting average of .754 and 4 homeruns. Otis has 3 players over .500. Cullen Glosson also leads the pitching staff with a 1.43 ERA over 44 innings. Ty Hunt is a solid #2 pitcher with a 1.91 ERA and 33 innings. The big thing I see for Otis is no other pitcher has thrown more than 10 innings, but Bryce Miracle and Isaac Wells are solid relief pitchers with ERA under 2.00.
Nucla advanced to the semifinals beating Stratton/Liberty (10-0) and Longmont Christian (20-0). Nucla had 5 losses on the season but played in the extremely tough Western Slope League. Nucla last loss was to 2A Hotchkiss but have since won 7 straight games including big wins over Dove Creek and Dolores. Nucla team batting average is .369 with 8 home runs. Nucla hitting attack is led by Tyler Wytulka .571 batting average and Will Gabriel .528 batting average. Nucla pitching staff is also led by the same two players. Will Gabriel has the most inning pitched at 51.1 but has a ERA at .95 and 100 strikeouts. Tyler Wytulka is a solid #2 pitcher with 46 innings pitched and a ERA of 3.50. Finding relief pitching is the biggest thing for Nucla if their #1 or #2 must come out.
This should be a great game. Two teams that can both hit the ball well and feature some very good pitching. I am not sure who gets pitched in this game by either team. Both teams could throw their #2 pitcher, or both could throw their #1. Both teams have played tough schedules and whichever pitcher gets to throw must keep each team’s hitting in check. I am going with Nucla in this game. Nucla was in the State Championship last year and have the experience to make a run again.
State Championship Prediction
#3 Nucla over #1 Cornerstone Christian
This is a bold pick, but I am guessing Will Gabriel is saved or just pitches relief in the semifinals. If Gabriel can pitch this game I think he can slow down the Cornerstone Christian bats. Cornerstone Christian will have a solid pitcher for the game regardless of the semifinal game. I think this game could go either way, but I am going with Nucla with the experience over a very good Cornerstone Christian team.