Baseball Playoff Breakdowns




The regional round of the Class 2A state baseball postseason saw a lot of upsets, with six in the opening round and one more in the championships. That set up the state bracket with three “underdogs” in the field. The remaining eight teams will all head to Pueblo’s Runyon Complex for the quarterfinals on Friday and semifinals on Saturday. The preview is listed in bracket order.


An eight-run third inning propelled Limon to an 11-0 run-rule victory over Sedgwick County in the regional semifinals last Saturday, with Keon Bandy clubbing his classification leading ninth home run of the season. His three RBI helped him earn the win on the hill, as he allowed two hits in three innings. Mason Jaques drove in a pair and Cale Bennett swiped three bases.

The Badgers had to come from behind in the regional final against Wray, who survived a late scare from #16 Ignacio (14-9), after the Eagles struck for four runs in the first inning. Limon tied it with four in the third, took the lead with one in the fifth, and put the game away with five in the sixth. Wray got one back in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to upend the Badgers, who won 10-5. Jaques drove in three more runs and Trey Smith plated two with his fifth homer of the season. Bandy, who stole four bases, got the win after pitching 5.2 innings of two-hit ball in relief.

Burlington scored early and late in its 11-1 run-rule win over Front Range Christian, plating four in the first, three in the fourth and then finishing it with four in the fifth. Dominic Conrardy earned the win after allowing a run on three hits and three walks in five innings, while striking out eight. He helped his cause at the plate, going 3-4 with two doubles and three runs, while also stealing two bases. Matthew Gutierrez tripled and drove in three runs, while Garrett Richardson, Gabe Roybal, and Tyler Ziegler each collected two RBI.

In the regional final, the Cougars faced the hosts, Monte Vista, who had survived an upset bid from Bishop Machebeuf. The Pirates trailed 4-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh in their semifinal, before walking it off with three runs when down to their final strike. Burlington again got off to a fast start, scoring twice in the top of the first, only to see Monte Vista tie it in the bottom. The Cougars pushed five runs across the plate in the second and seized control with two more in the third. The Pirates made a game of it late, striking for three runs in the six to cut it to 10-6, but the Cougars finished it off with a scoreless seventh.

Richardson drove in four to support his own cause, as he worked six innings, allowing six runs (five earned). Gutierrez pitched the final inning, allowing a walk and striking out one. He drove in two, as did Zack Foose.

Limon beat Burlington in the regular season, 12-4, overcoming a 4-0 deficit after two innings. Only four of the runs were earned. The big momentum swing came in the sixth, with the Badgers scoring seven to take the 10-4 lead. Smith worked three shutout innings in relief to get the win, while Foose took the loss after allowing eight runs (four earned) in 2.2 relief innings.


After wet weather forced the postponement of the regional at Buena Vista to Sunday, the host Demons found themselves with their hands full against #29 Clear Creek in the semifinals. The teams would go to the bottom of the seventh tied at zero. The Demons would scratch out an unearned run with one out in the frame to earn the walk-off victory. Zandon Mitchell threw a one-hit shutout to get the win, and scored the only run of the game. He stole two bases, as did Caleb Camp and Noah Vernier. Anthony Zacharias had the lone hit for the Golddiggers.

The Demons would go on to face #13 Colorado Springs Christian in the final after the Lions rolled to a 12-2 victory over Dayspring Christian in six innings behind three doubles and six RBI from Nate Davies. In the final, Buena Vista tried to remove any drama early, scoring five in the first inning. The Demons would answer a single tally by the Lions in the third, but things got tight when CSCS scored three in the top of the fifth. Buena Vista plated an important insurance run in the sixth, which would prove to be the game-winner after the Lions tallied two in the seventh. Haden Camp, Hudson Wingo, and Kaden Schell each drove in two runs to support Caleb Camp on the bump.

There were no dramatics for Holyoke in its regional, as the Dragons earned run-rule victories in both of their contests on Saturday. Holyoke put early pressure on #28 Las Animas, scoring five in the first, one in the second, and six in the third. From there, the Dragons just had to keep the Trojans from erupting. Las Animas did score one in the fifth, but Holyoke closed out the 12-1 victory. The Dragons racked up six doubles, two by Irving Dominguez, and Wyatt Sprague gave up one earned run in five innings to secure the win.

Crowley County used a nine-run first inning to move past Wiggins in the other semifinal, 12-10, earning a shot at the hosts. The #12 Chargers would not be able to get the offense rolling in the final, as their only run came in the top of the sixth, when they were already trailing 7-0. Holyoke pushed four runs across in the bottom of the frame to earn the 11-1 victory. Ty Dirks drove in five for the Dragons, backing up Tyson Mosenteen, who allowed just one unearned run in six no-hit innings.

Looking at potential semifinal match-ups, Limon took a 7-5 decision over Holyoke and dropped an 8-3 contest to Buena Vista early in the year. Burlington was swept by Holyoke in a doubleheader, 15-2 and 9-8 in a walk-off. Buena Vista and Burlington did not meet during the regular season.

#2 PEYTON PANTHERS (24-1) VS #10 ST. MARY’S PIRATES (13-12) 12:30PM

Peyton continued its domination of the opposition, rolling past #31 Custer County 16-0 and #18 Swink 13-3 to punch its ticket to the state quarterfinals. The Panthers opened regionals with a three-spot in the first against Custer County, and then put the outcome in doubt with a 12-run second. Owen Compton and Bryce Love both drove in three runs, and Zayden Ebbert allowed one hit and one walk in four innings.

Swink got a gem from Nick Paolucci in its semifinal against #15 Dawson School, with the sophomore tossing a six-hit shutout to get the 1-0 win. He also scored the only run, crossing the plate in the sixth on an RBI single from Landon Mills. The Lions would get off to a quick start in the final against Peyton, with Justin Paolucci driving in two of their three runs. That would be all the Lions could muster in the contest. The Panthers responded with 11 in their half of the frame and rolled to the run-rule victory. Toby Redmond homered and drove in four, helping Logan Nickell pick up the win.

St. Mary’s scored 10 runs over the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to hold off the upset bid of #23 Trinidad in an 11-5 win over the Miners in the Rye regional. Adam Jolicouer hit his first homer of the season and drove in two, while Jackson Lewis and Garrett Klein each hit a triple and collected two RBI, helping Peter Ghigleri pick up the win. Ghigleri gave up three runs (one earned) in six innings, striking out 13.

Estes Park scored six runs in the sixth inning and nearly saw Rye come back late, but the Bobcats held on for a 9-7 win to oust the #7 seed in the tournament. The Bobcats, seeded 26th, got four RBI from Michael Bird, and three from Jack Klipstein. In trying to pull off a second upset, the Bobcats scored three in the first and three in the second to grab an early 6-1 lead over St. Mary’s. The Pirates exploded for an eight-run eighth to pull out the 9-7 victory. Jolicouer again played a starring role, doubling and driving in four runs. Ryan Strub bounced back from the early struggles to work six innings and get the win.

Peyton swept the Pirates 3-2 and 13-3 in the regular season. The Panthers scored the winning run in the sixth inning of the opener, with Nickell outdueling Ghigleri. John Turner (4) and Ebbert (3) combined for seven RBI in the second game, which went five innings.


Just two weeks after beating Byers 17-0, Denver Christian opened regional play against the #30 Bulldogs. A seven-run outburst by the Thunder in the second inning gave them all the offense they would need in an 8-0 win the second time around. Asher Hawes doubled and homered, driving in three and scoring twice. Caleb Stork spun a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. He faced two over the minimum in the outing.

Jake LaCrosse gave Lyons a very strong effort in the semifinals, allowing one unearned run on five hits in a 2-1 victory over #19 Meeker. LaCrosse walked three and struck out five in the complete game. Just four days after suffering an 11-0 loss to Denver Christian in the regular season finale, the Lions made the rematch a lot more interesting. The Thunder could only manage two unearned runs on five hits, but it was enough to advance, as Brayden Epperhart and Mason Reilly combined to allow one unearned run on two hits in the 2-1 victory. Epperhart drove in both runs on a two-RBI single in the second.

Del Norte scored in the first six innings against #22 Rangely and overcame an early 2-1 deficit to bounce the Panthers 7-3 in their regional semifinal in Fowler. Ben Parra showed off his bat and his arm, going 3-3 with 3 RBI, while also working 6.1 innings, giving up three runs (two earned), on six hits. He struck out 11 and walked three. Kelby Mondragon, who got the final two outs, stole three bases and scored two runs.

Yuma pulled off the biggest upset of the opening round, seed-wise, taking an 8-7 win over #6 Fowler. The #27 seed scored three in the fifth and three more in the sixth to grab an 8-3 lead, before having to sweat it out as the host Grizzlies scored four in the bottom of the seventh, coming up just one run short of tying things up. Silas Baucke moved into sole possession of second place in the classification with his sixth home run of the season. The sophomore also doubled and drove in two. Freshmen Reyli Trejo and Brody Sheffield also drove in two runs apiece.

The regional final was a nail-biter from start to finish, with Yuma scoring first, Del Norte taking a 2-1 lead in the third, and Yuma tying it in the bottom of the frame. The Tigers would get another run in the fourth and then it was goose eggs from both the rest of the way. Del Norte took a 3-2 victory, only collecting one hit in the contest. Gage Trujillo recorded that knock. Nate Atencio got the complete game victory, giving up one earned run on five hits and two walks, while punching out 11. Only one of the three runs Yuma allowed was earned.


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