CLASS 1A BASEBALL WEEKLY PREVIEW
BY: KERRY SHERMAN
(Author’s note: This week’s previews are delayed due to personal commitments. We will still look at the key games from earlier in the week, while also hitting on the top contests in the second half of the week.)
The regular season is rapidly winding its way to a close, with district tournaments only a few weeks away. The early portion of this week had a handful of important clashes, while the final three days of the week has a number of top-10 fights on tap. All rankings are from the Thursday morning CHSAA Selection and Seeding Index.
The week began with #3 Akron visiting #15 Caliche for a doubleheader, in which the Rams did a lot of scoring. Akron nearly gave away a 12-2 lead after giving up nine runs in the bottom of the third. They recovered to win the contest 23-13. Marek Charney drove in four runs for the Rams in that victory.
Game two didn’t have nearly the drama, with the Rams using a nine-run top of the second to collect the sweep, 10-0. Anderson Filla went 4-4 at the plate, and Alex Bowin allowed a total of two base runners in the complete game shutout.
Top-ranked Haxtun also picked up a doubleheader sweep, taking decisions of 12-2 and 10-9 over 2A Sedgwick County. Keegan Colglazier collected four RBI in game one, backing up Michael Gerk who allowed two unearned runs in four innings. The second game was a back and forth affair, with Sedgwick County taking a 9-7 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Haxtun tied it in that frame and won it with a run in the bottom of the 8th. Colglazier had another four RBI outburst in that contest.
Colby Batterton led Baca County to a third straight win, with the sophomore going 4-4 with five RBI in a 15-6 victory over Granada. Batterton also went the distance on the hill, allowing only three earned runs.
That winning streak for the Wolverines came to an end on Tuesday, as they gave up eight unanswered runs to #4 Holly in an 11-7 defeat. Andre Salgado hit his second homer of the season for the Wildcats. Nine of the junior’s 23 hits this season have gone for extra bases. Devin Eaton came on with two outs in the top of the first and Holly trailing 6-0. He scattered 10 hits over his 4.1 innings to get the win in relief.
A lot of eyes were focused on the happenings in Akron on Tuesday, where the Rams hosted #2 Merino for two games. Merino took game one 17-8 after scoring eight in the top of the seventh to ice the win. Thirteen of the runs were unearned. The Rams in maroon earned the sweep with a 10-6 win in the nightcap. Merino struck for six in the top of the sixth to seize control. Akron was again its own worst enemy, committing eight errors, leading to seven more unearned runs.
In another clash of highly-ranked teams, #10 Stratton used a four-run bottom of the third to pull out a 6-2 win over #11 Wiley. Cooper Seaman gave up two earned in seven innings, with 10 strikeouts. After allowing 19 runs (12 earned) in his first three appearances this season, Seaman has given up nine runs (seven earned) in his last three. He’s also picked up 21 of his 34 strikeouts in those last three, during which the Eagles posted a 2-1 mark.
Most of the other ranked teams were on the right end of blowouts on Tuesday, with #5 Simla, #6 Cheyenne Wells, #8 McClave, and #9 Flatirons Academy going 5-0 and winning by a combined tally of 103-7. Nineteenth-ranked Nucla also got in on the fun, as the Mustangs took a DH from 2A Grand Valley behind scores of 23-2 and 19-0.
Seventh-ranked Otis got off to a slow start against 2A Wray, with the Bulldogs trailing 9-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth. They would get the offense in gear, but fall 11-8. Otis outhit the Eagles 11-9, but Wray had three doubles and a homer in its tally, while the Bulldogs had a pair of doubles.
When Cheyenne Wells and Holly met last Friday, they were only able to complete one game of their doubleheader, which Holly won 13-5. The second game was suspended with the Tigers leading 3-1. They resumed that game on Wednesday. Holly took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the fourth, before Cheyenne Wells tied it. On to the seventh they would go, knotted at four. Holly pushed two runs across in its half of the inning to complete the sweep, 6-4. Julian Terrazas worked the final 5.1 innings of the game for Holly, giving up a single run and striking out nine to garner the victory.
None of the games on the Thursday slate have two ranked 1A teams facing off, but there is a nice little cross-classification match-up with top-20 teams in action. Flatirons Academy hosts 2A #14 Colorado Springs Christian. The Bison enter having won their last two, including Tuesday’s 20-0 blanking of Gilpin County. Colorado Springs Christian has won its last three.
Merino, who has won three straight since dropping the first game of a doubleheader to Haxtun on Saturday, visits Sedgwick County for two, while Caliche looks to snap a three-game slide when the Buffs visit 2A Wiggins. McClave puts its three-game winning streak on the line at La Veta, and Stratton tries to get over the .500 mark on the season with a Union Pacific league game at home against 2A Byers, and #6 Simla looks to stay unbeaten in April with a trip to Miami-Yoder for a single game.
Ranked teams will meet in Cheyenne Wells hosts Wiley for a doubleheader. Both teams enter on losses, with the host Tigers having dropped two of their last three. The Panthers have lost three of their last four. Of the combined five losses in those stretches, four have come against Holly, who leads the district standings.
Speaking of Holly, the Wildcats will put an 11-game winning streak on the line when they host Granada for two. The Bobcats fell to 0-7 on the year with a forfeit to La Veta on Tuesday.
Elbert took a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s game at winless Kiowa, and things look to get tougher on Friday for the Bulldogs when they visit 2A #16 Lyons. The Lions have won their last two by a combined score of 22-7.
Three match-ups on the Saturday calendar really jump off the page, as they all involve ranked teams squaring off. First, Simla visits Cheyenne Wells, with huge Selection and Seeding Index implications. The winner could climb inside the top four of that metric.
Otis visits Flatirons Academy in another showdown of top-10 teams. In this case, they’ll be playing two. Both should remain inside the top-10, but if either team earns the sweep, they could rocket up the standings.
While they’re not as highly ranked, Nucla and Dove Creek meeting for a doubleheader definitely draws attention. Yes, both are closer to 20th in the metric than 10th, but if either of these teams can sweep the series, they really give their San Juan title hopes a shot in the arm. Dove Creek has won six straight and seven of eight since opening the season 0-5. One of those wins came over Nucla, 15-5, last Wednesday. That was part of a three-game skid for the Mustangs. Sheldon Gardner hit his first home run of the season for the Bulldogs in that win, and the duo of Taber Dejane and Mike Coffey both drove in three.
Looking at some key cross-classification meetings, Haxtun visits 2A #18 Wray, Merino is at 2A #6 Holyoke, and Akron goes to 2A #11 Yuma. All three of those are LPAA match-ups and all are set for doubleheaders. McClave also travels to face a 2A opponent, as the Cards will head to 2A #15 Burlington for a single contest.