LONGMONT — Cole Winn, who has the type of last name you want as a pitcher, wasn't sure his Silver Creek Raptors were going to get their game in on Thursday at home against Mountain View.
Another one of those unpredictable Colorado early spring days came with wind, rain, cold and darkness before opening up in the afternoon.
When Winn found out the game was on, he was pumped, maybe too pumped, as he walked the Mountain Lions leadoff hitter. But he settled in nicely and mowed down Mountain View for six innings in a 4-1 decision. It cinched at least a share of the Class 4A Northern League title for the Raptors, who stand 13-5 overall, 11-2 in league and have one game to go, on Saturday on the road, against these same Mountain Lions.
Having played most of its schedule early, Silver Creek is a game ahead of Northridge and Thompson Valley, who both are 8-3 in league.
But back to Winn ... the junior, already a pledge to Mississippi State, was masterful. He was touched for an unearned run in the third inning, struck out 12 Mountain Lions, walked two and allowed just one hit. He mixed an effective heater with off-speed offerings and remained in command.
"I felt really good today," the right-hander said. "Honestly, I didn't think we would play. When I found out the game was on, I was so excited. I guess I was a little bit nervous, but I came back and felt I did well.
"At 1:45 (p.m.), I was coming back from lunch and it was just all over clouds and darkness ... thankfully, we got it in."
Said coach Mike Apodaca: "He's pretty good and he's fun to watch, isn't he? He had a little bit of jitters there in the first inning, but got us out of it."
Winn weathered the leadoff walk, then a double and an error that produced the only run for Mountain View (13-5, 9-4). But the thing was, would the Raptors be able to solve Mountain View starter and loser Jace Suarez, who stranded nine Silver Creek base runners through four innngs?
They did. The Raptors broke it open in the fifth. Run-scoring singles by Dylan Kramer and Nick Gambirasi preceded a two-run double by leadoff George Ramirez. Supporting Winn's pitching — Dyan Ordway handled the seventh for the save -- with runs has been the Raptors' theme.
"Against a good team, we hung in there," Apodaca said. "As good as Cole is, we knew it would come down to what we did at the plate."
Winn, who also doubled, singled and reached on an error, said "I trusted our team to get it done, and it did. After it was 1-0 in the fifth, I'm, like, something has to change. It did and we came through."
SILVER CREEK 4, MOUNTAIN VIEW 1
Mountain View001 000 0— 1 2 3
Silver Creek000 040 x — 4 9 1
W — Winn. L — Suarez..
Mountain View hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Norsen rf 2-0-0-0, Mendoza 2b-p 3-0-0-0, Jimenez 1b 2-0-0-0, Thomas 3b 2-0-0-0, Nichols lf 3-0-1-0, Vondy ss 3-0-0-0, M. Felton c 2-0-0-0, Barker dh 2-1-1-1, T.J. Felton cf 2-0-0-0, Suarez p 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-1-2-1..
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ramirez cf 4-0-1-2, Winn p 4-0-2-0, Gregory cr 0-0-0-0, Ordway p 0-0-0-0, Browne c 4-0-0-0, Call lf 2-0-0-0, Rich ss 3-0-1-0, Bicknell dh 3-0-1-0, Olinger 1b 0-0-0-0, Carlough cr 0-1-0-0, Kramer 3b 3-1-1-1, Smedley 2b 3-1-2-0, Gambirasi rf 3-1-1-1. Totals 29-4-9-4..