CLASS 2A BASEBALL WEEKLY PREVIEW
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
One month into the season and there really hasn’t been much separation yet in Class 2A. With a lot of top match-ups on the calendar, this week could be the time when we start to see the top teams pull away from the pack. We also start looking at the CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index, and all rankings in the preview are from the Tuesday morning release of that metric.
Two top-15 squads meet for a non-league doubleheader, when #13 Holyoke hosts #12 Burlington. The Dragons got off to a 2-0 start, but have since dropped their last three. It’s been 10 days since they were last in action, and they dropped a 10-7 decision to 1A #4 Akron on that date. Wyatt Sprague is off to a hot start, posting an .800 average, with three doubles. Tyson Mosenteen already has four extra base hits, including two triples and a home run.
After suffering a pair of tough losses to #4 Limon and Colby (KS) last week, Burlington picked itself off the mat and pounded out a 17-1 win at Byers last Friday. The Cougars hit three home runs in the top of the first, during which they scored 13 runs. Garrett Richardson went 3-3 with two homers and a triple. He drove in seven runs. Dominic Conrardy and Gabe Roybal also collected home runs in support of Zack Foose, who picked up the win on the hill.
Speaking of Limon, the Badgers look to make it two straight and six of the last seven when they host Colorado Springs Christian. Down 4-0 after two innings to Burlington last Tuesday, Limon scored the final 12 runs of the game, with a seven-run fifth providing the difference. Trey Smith worked three scoreless innings in relief to earn the victory. He’s 2-1 on the year with an ERA just over five.
Colorado Springs Christian has been feast or famine, scoring at least 11 runs in each of its three wins, but only two in a loss to 1A #6 Simla. The Lions have not played in almost three weeks, but had won their last two outings before the layoff. Liam Kohl has 10 hits in his first 13 at bats this year.
Five other teams in the top-10 will be in action, with #3 Del Norte visiting 3A #19 Centauri and #6 St. Mary’s hosting 3A #18 Manitou Springs being two to keep an eye on. Del Norte is looking to begin the season with seven straight wins, while Centauri is trying to avoid a three-game slide. In the other match-up, it’s St. Mary’s that will be attempting to get back on track after dropping two straight. Manitou enters on a five-game winning streak.
Second-ranked Denver Christian visits Bishop Machebeuf, #8 Rye is at Salida, and #9 Wray travels to Wiggins for a doubleheader.
Three of the top four teams in the Seeding Index will be in action on Thursday, with top-ranked Peyton seeing its first action since sweeping St. Mary’s last Saturday. The Panthers visit Byers, who has been outscored 157-64 on the season in 11 games. The Bulldogs have allowed at least 15 runs eight times this year. They’re 0-8 in those games.
Peyton has outscored the opposition 127-27 in building a 10-0 mark. The Panthers have only had three games decided by fewer than 10 runs, one coming in the sweep of St. Mary’s. Peyton won the opener of that DH 3-2. Six players have already driven in at least 10 runs, led by AJ Kranz with 15. Kranz has six extra base hits, including a homer.
Denver Christian will be heavily favored in its home contest against SkyView Academy, who had dropped four straight going into Tuesday’s game with 1A Longmont Christian. The Hawks had been outscored 60-3 in those four losses, with two shutouts. Asher Hawes leads Denver Christian with 19 RBI in nine games.
Limon will welcome #10 Yuma to town, and the Badgers will try to hand the visitors a fifth straight defeat. Yuma was swept by 1A #1 Haxtun last Saturday, 10-5 and 13-3. All four losses have come against top teams from 1A, as Yuma’s other two defeats came against #2 Merino. Silas Baucke has been a bright spot in the early going, as the sophomore is hitting better than .600 with two doubles and two homers.
Seventh-ranked Fowler looks to have one of the tougher match-ups on the day, as the Grizzlies host 1A #9 McClave. Fowler has won three straight since allowing a six-spot in the bottom of the seventh about 10 days ago at Burlington. The Grizzlies led 8-3 entering the home half of the frame and lost on walk-off fashion. Jakob Manchego has 19 RBI on the season, including eight in the doubleheader split with Burlington.
McClave had won three straight before heading to Granada on Tuesday for a DH. The Cards have seen Aiden Martinez be unhittable so far this season. Martinez is 2-0, with no runs and no hits allowed in eight innings of work. He’s struck out 15 and walked three. He’s one of four pitchers with a sub 3.00 ERA.
Two teams who played on Tuesday will also have games to watch on Thursday. Holyoke hosts a good Flatirons Academy team from 1A, while Burlington visits Colby (KS) as part of a home-and-home. Colby scored six runs in the top of the seventh to win at Burlington last Thursday, 8-5.
It’s a fairly light slate on Friday, with only a few games involving ranked teams. Limon will travel to 1A #10 Stratton for a Union Pacific game and the Badgers have not lost to the Eagles since 2014, a span of seven straight. Both teams could be a bit taxed on their pitching, with it being Limon’s third game of the week. It will be the second for Stratton, who plays two games on Saturday, too.
Depending on how things go on Thursday, Yuma could be looking to break a five-game skid when it hosts Sedgwick County for a doubleheader. The Cougars dropped both ends of a doubleheader on Monday to 1A #4 Akron, 9-1 and 11-1. Hunter Schneider has the lone homer of the season for the Cougars, and his six RBI tie him with Josh Kler behind Tate Renquist and Chris Loyd, who each have seven.
Wrapping up the week, Saturday’s schedule is loaded. Highlighting the slate is a top-five match-up between Peyton and #5 Buena Vista. BV had a four-game winning streak snapped last Friday, when the Demons lost their first two games of the Roaring Fork tournament. However, they scratched out a 10-9 win over Glenwood Springs with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Zandon Mitchell homered and drove in four in that win.
Denver Christian hosts #16 Dayspring Christian in a key Mile High league clash. Dayspring Christian entered the week having won three of its last four, including a 24-3 decision over Clear Creek last Saturday. Peyton Coleman homered and tripled, and drove in four runs for the Eagles in that victory.
Del Norte brings Center in for a doubleheader and the Vikings travel with losses in their last outings. Center was swept by Sargent in a wild doubleheader last Saturday, 22-2 and 29-22. The Vikings collected 10 doubles in the nightcap, including three by Lorenzo Trujillo, who drove in six.
It’s a home doubleheader for #8 Rye, as the Thunderbolts welcome in #21 Crowley County. After splitting a DH with Limon in late March, the T-bolts picked up a 25-3 win over John Mall last Saturday. Leading 4-1 after two innings, Rye scored 14 in the third to pull away.
The Chargers were red-hot in a sweep of Rocky Ford last Saturday, as they scored 21 in each game (21-11, 21-0). Gunner Hughes went 6-7 in the doubleheader. In game two, he doubled and homered, and drove in seven.
We’re also keeping a close watch on doubleheaders between Burlington and #9 Wray, #14 Ignacio and South Park, #17 Swink and Las Animas, and #18 Meeker and Cedaredge.