CLASS 1A BASEBALL WEEKLY PREVIEW
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
One day into the new week and games were already being postponed. After an early spring storm brought snow to large sections of the state over the weekend and into Monday, the only games slated for that afternoon were called off. Otis was set to host Briggsdale in a doubleheader, and McClave was scheduled to host Wiley for two. All of the rankings listed are according to the most recent CHSAANow.com coaches poll, and any games highlighted are subject to weather and field conditions.
Two big doubleheaders in the LPAA get us started, as top-ranked Merino visits 2A Wiggins, while #3 Haxtun hosts 2A Sedgwick County. Merino got off to a fast start, taking a 16-0 win over Peetz in four innings last Thursday. Coen Schmidt went 4-4 with three runs scored, and Tyler Miller also crossed the plate three times. Four pitchers each worked one inning, allowing a total of two hits and striking out 10.
The Rams were supposed to travel to Sedgwick County on Saturday for a doubleheader, but those games were postponed because of snow. A make-up date has not yet been announced.
Wiggins hosted Limon on Tuesday of last week and after the pitchers and defense dominated the first four innings, the offenses took over down the stretch. Limon opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the fifth, and Wiggins got one back in the bottom of the frame. The Badgers took control with five in the sixth, but Wiggins clawed back with four in its half of the inning. The Tigers got one more in the seventh, but came up short, 7-6. Grayson Johnson had a pair of doubles for Wiggins in the loss.
Haxtun cruised to a pair of wins over Akron last Monday, 11-4 and 7-3. Kanin Koberstein went 4-4 between the two games, with three RBI. On Friday, the Fightin’ Bulldogs traveled to Holyoke and had a scrap on their hands in game one. A six-run top of the third put Haxtun up 7-1, but Holyoke chipped away and got back within one at 7-6, but the rally was thwarted. Jeron Turney gave up three unearned runs, but also struck out 10 Dragons. There were no dramatics in game two, as Haxtun ran away with an 18-0 victory. Michael Gerk was a double away from hitting for the cycle, and he drove in five runs. Keegan Colglazier hit three doubles and tallied four RBI and four runs scored.
Sedgwick County dropped its opener 13-12 to Caliche last Tuesday. The Cougars led 8-3 after four innings, and still held a 12-5 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth. Caliche struck for four in the bottom of that frame and then walked it off with four more in the seventh. Hunter Schneider hit a two-run homer for Sedgwick County.
Second-ranked Holly sees its first action in more than 10 days with La Veta making a visit. The Wildcats dropped their last two games in the Fowler/Crowley County tournament. Julian Terrazas and Truman King each had four RBI in the three game tourney. King also picked up the lone win for Holly during the event.
La Veta was outscored 27-4 by Stratton in a doubleheader last Friday. The Redhawks were victimized by an eight-run third in game one, and lost 11-3. It was an 11-run bottom of the third that sealed their fate in a 16-1 loss in game two. They were held without an extra base hit in the DH.
Cheyenne Wells (#5) rolled to a 4-0 start, sweeping McClave on Tuesday 5-4 and 10-5, and then sweeping Baca County on Friday, 12-2 in both games. Blake Gilmore drove in five runs in the sweep of McClave. The Tigers will visit Granada for two games. This will be the season debut for the Bobcats, who have some holes to plug, but return John Hainer, who tied for the team lead with three home runs last year.
Stratton is the last ranked team in action on Tuesday, with the #8 Eagles visiting Baca County. Stratton dropped a tough 5-2 decision to 2A Burlington last Tuesday, but bounced back with the sweep of La Veta on Friday. Bex Seaman and Ethan Bohnen have combined to start the season 9-12 at the plate, and Seaman leads the team with five RBI in three games. Baca County is looking for its first win of the season after being swept by Cheyenne Wells last week. Reese Porter drove in two of the four runs scored by the Wolverines in that doubleheader.
Just outside of the top-10 this week, Cotopaxi is looking to move to 4-0 on the year with Centennial visiting. The Pirates rolled through Manzanola last week, 22-1 and 26-6. Ty Coleman drove in nine runs in the sweep. It’s the first action of the season for Centennial.
The games between Wiley and McClave have been rescheduled for Wednesday and as of Tuesday morning were the only games on the slate for the day. Wiley has not played since suffering a 4-0 loss to Denver Christian more than two weeks earlier. The Panthers were held to a pair of singles in that loss, one apiece by Spencer Uhland and Evan Larrick. Jace Parker was tagged with the defeat after allowing four earned runs in four innings.
McClave responded from the losses at Cheyenne Wells to even its mark at 2-2 with lopsided wins over Manzanola (20-0, 16-1) last Thursday. Aiden Martinez homered in game one of that sweep, while Lawton Annen hit his first long ball of the year in the nightcap.
Three games on the schedule really stand out, beginning with a clash of ranked teams. Cheyenne Wells pays a visit to #4 Simla, with the Cubs having dropped their last three games, all to ranked 2A teams. Simla’s losses in that streak were to #6 Denver Christian (14-4), #3 Limon (14-4), and #2 Buena Vista (15-5). The remaining loss came in the opener to the #1 team in 2A, Peyton (9-3).
Ranked teams will also meet in Akron, where the #9 Rams host Stratton. The Rams bounced back from being swept by Haxtun to take a pair of tight wins over 2A Wray. Akron took an 8-5 win in the opener, scoring a total of four runs in the final two innings to make a winner of Caleb Poss, who allowed two unearned runs in two innings. In game two, Akron grabbed an early 6-3 lead with six runs in the top of the second, but Wray put together a late rally and got back within one in the bottom of the seventh before the Rams finished the 7-6 victory. Poss got the win in that contest, allowing three unearned runs in 5.1 innings.
The game that might fly a bit under the radar has Dove Creek seeking its first win at Monticello (UT). The Bulldogs are off to an 0-4 start, with two of the losses coming to Ignacio, who is ranked 12th in 2A. Despite the winless start, the Bulldogs are still tied for 11th in the coaches poll. Dove Creek nearly put a notch in the win column in its last outing, but Rehoboth Christian (NM) pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a 9-8 win.
The weather has not been very cooperative for Sierra Grande this season, but the Panthers are hoping to finally be able to open their campaign on Friday when they host Cotopaxi. Sierra Grande has not fielded its own team since 2019, so the excitement is at a high.
Baca County will get its first games in Springfield on Friday, when the Wolverines host Granada for two games. Tuesday’s game with Stratton was scheduled to be played in Walsh. The Wolverines need to get the bats rolling and could face a big challenge with the Bobcats bringing back some experienced arms on the hill.
Another big doubleheader takes place in Stratton, with the Eagles hosting Holly. The first game will be the one that counts in the league/district standings. Seven teams from District 4 are either ranked or received votes this week, so every game carries some extra weight.
The calendar may show the day as April Fools, but the schedule is no joking matter. Four ranked teams will be in action, and two more teams just outside of the rankings will also take the diamond.
Merino visits Wray for two games, while Akron squares off with 2A Holyoke for a single game. Holly makes a trip to Las Animas for a single game, and #10 Flatirons Academy plays its first game in more than two weeks, as the Bison host Elbert.
After dropping the opener 8-4 to Lyons, Flatirons won back-to-back games over #7 Evangelical Christian (12-1) and Longmont Christian (20-0). The latter of those was back on the 15th. Micah Doughty drove in six runs in the first three games this season, and Jude Meyer added five.
Elbert began its season with a 21-0 win over Miami-Yoder last Tuesday and the Bulldogs have been off since that lopsided victory. Tayden Wangerow had two hits, including a triple, and collect four RBI in that win. Logan LaFollette earned the victory after allowing one base runner in three innings. That came on a walk. He also struck out six in the game.
Dove Creek will travel to Rangely for two, and Nucla hosts Sanford for two, as well. Nucla fell out of the rankings this week after starting the year 0-2.