LONGMONT — Crouched behind the plate, Silver Creek senior catcher Cason Winn had the best seat in the house for younger brother Cole Winn's gem on Thursday.
But even with Cole Winn dealing, the Raptors still found themselves mired in a dangerous tie with Northern League-leading Northridge at Silver Creek High. The home team just couldn't push across the go-ahead run.
That's when Cason Winn's brotherly instincts kicked in. Ensuring his sophomore brother's pristine start didn't go by the wayside, Cason Winn smashed a two-run home run in the fifth inning to give Cole and the Raptors the 3-1 win.
"I'm a proud big brother right now," Cason Winn said. "We couldn't have asked for a better job from a young sophomore, really stepping up and shutting them down. I've been struggling a little bit but when coach called for a hit-and-run, I knew what I was supposed to do. I just put a good swing on it."
The Raptors (9-2, 5-2 Northern) are currently ranked second in Class 4A by the CHSAANow.com poll and have won four of their last five games.
Cole Winn is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA through his five starts this season. He held the Grizzlies (8-3, 4-2 Northern) to four hits while striking out 12 batters in a seven-inning complete game on Thursday. The sophomore has struck out 46 batters through the first 28 innings of his second varsity season.
On Thursday, the Raptors fell behind 1-0 in the second inning until senior Austin Wood drove in George Ramirez with an RBI single that tied the game in the third. Wood, who is batting .459 and leading the Raptors with 15 RBIs, picked up two more hits against the Grizzlies.
"I know it sounds like coach speak I have to be honest, right now in the Northern it seems like everybody's a top team," Silver Creek coach Mike Apodaca said. "It's good to get a win to start the series so we have a chance to sweep one. We ran into a big hit today. There were two good efforts going on the hill, we just got the one bigger hit when it mattered.
"To be honest, we left a couple innings out there when we couldn't manufacture a run and we need to be able to do that so we don't make it so hard. But Cason came up with the big hit and that was the difference."
The Raptors are scheduled to play the second game of a doubleheader with Northridge on Saturday. But with reports of heavy rain and snow over the weekend, the teams may look to move Saturday's game to another day.
Silver Creek 3, Northridge 1
At Silver Creek H.S.
Northridge 010 000 0 — 1 4 0
Silver Creek 001 020 0 — 3 6 0
W — Cole Winn.
Northridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kaylor Werner 3-0-0-0, Tayler Aguilar 3-0-0-0, Chance Eben 2-0-1-0, Chris Decker 0-0-0-0, Jake Hammer 3-0-0-0, Justin Frye 3-1-1-0, Giovanni Morfin 3-0-0-0, Korbin Reed 3-0-1-0, Trey Vasquez 3-0-1-1, Isidro Arellano Jr. 2-0-0-0, Jared Hinrichs 0-0-0-0, Jacob Lombardelli 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-1-4-1. 2B — Vasquez.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Sam Elting 2-0-0-0, Cade Call 1-0-0-0, Austin Wood 3-0-2-1, Dylan Kramer 3-0-0-0, Cole Winn 3-0-1-0, George Ramirez 4-1-1-0, Nick Metcalf 0-1-0-0, Adam Wager 0-0-0-0, Cole Borrego 0-0-0-0, Nick Gambirasi 2-0-0-0, Max Browne 2-0-1-0, Cason Winn 3-1-1-2. Totals 23-3-6-3. 2B — Co. Winn, Browne. HR — Ca Winn (1 on in fith). SB — Co. Winn.
Northridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chance Eben 5.1-6-3-3-4-5, Jacob Lombardelli 0.2-0-0-0-1-0.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Cole Winn 7-4-1-1-1-12.