LOVELAND — Not only did Saturday's 7-3 win over Mountain View mark Silver Creek's arrival as the first Northern League team to reach double-digit victories in 2019, it also signaled the arrival of reinforcements for the Class 4A No. 4-ranked Raptors.
Junior transfer Cameron Hassert debuted with the Raptors, and announced his arrival with a two-run blast in the fifth inning of the win. Hassert helped propel the Raptors to their 10th win of the spring but, perhaps more importantly, he deepens a lineup that is averaging 9.5 runs a game and provides the Raptors with an everyday shortstop.
That's less than exciting news for the rest of the Northern League.
"It was really fun because it was my first varsity game back," said Hassert, who sat out the team's first 11 games per the CHSAA transfer rules. "I've been practicing with all the guys and it was great to actually get out there with them. I was actually a little nervous, to be honest, but the guys have been great and it's such a close group of guys that I was just happy I could help us get a win."
Hassert batted .429 with 22 RBIs and nine extra-base hits for Niwot as a sophomore last season. His first homer — also his first hit — of the spring broke Saturday's game open and gave the Raptors (10-2, 4-0) a 6-1 lead over the Mountain Lions (4-5, 1-3) in the top of the fifth inning on the road.
Raptors starter Tanner Regan came within one out of a complete game, allowing two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings. Davin Vialpando came on in relief to strike out the final Mountain View hitter of the game. In 15.2 innings this season, Regan, a senior, has struck out 14 and walked nine while posting a 2.23 ERA.
"I thought Tanner threw very well," Silver Creek head coach Brad Steward said. "Last year, he didn't throw for us and was primarily a first baseman. I think he's done a great job for us in his starts. He really wanted to finish it out today but we hit our limit and put Davin in there to take us home."
Raptors senior Spencer Rich went 3-for-3 with a pair of triples and a double. Through 12 games, he is slashing .523/.542/1.045 with 13 extra-base hits, which include six triples, five doubles and two homers.
Completing the home-and-home series sweep to remain undefeated in conference play was especially rewarding for the Raptors considering their ability to avoid the fielding woes (five errors) that bothered them in the series' first game on Thursday. The Raptors committed just one error on Saturday, though it did lead to an unearned run against Regan and contributed to his elevated pitch count.
"Last game, we had some defensive errors that kind of cost us early on," Steward said. "Today, I thought we picked things up and cleaned up our defense. We were also a lot more steady and consistent offensively. I feel good about where we're at and getting Cam back in the mix is going to help us a lot moving forward.
"He had a home run today and he's a good athlete there at shortstop for us. Hopefully, he can provide some consistency at that position so we're not bouncing back and forth with a different shortstop on days when Michael (Wegleitner) isn't pitching."
Silver Creek will be back in action on Thursday at Thompson Valley (4-5, 2-1) for their fifth league contest.
Silver Creek 7, Mountain View 3
At Mountain View H.S.
Silver Creek (10-2, 4-0) 130 020 1 — 7 9 1
Mountain View (4-5, 1-3) 001 010 1 — 3 4 2
W — Regan. L — Bartelson.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jackson 4-0-2-1, Wegleitner 3-0-0-1, S. Rich 3-2-3-1, Swenson 4-0-1-1, Regan 3-1-1-0, Hassert 4-1-1-2, A. Rich 2-1-0-0, Olinger 3-0-0-0, Brown 2-1-1-0, Belcher 0-1-0-0, Ordway 0-0-0-0, Suess 0-0-0-0, Vialpondo 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-7-9-6. 2B — Regan, S. Rich. 3B — S. Rich 2. HR — Hassert (1 on in 5th). SB — S. Rich.
Mountain View hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Baumann 3-1-0-0, Miller 2-1-0-0, Shadowen 4-0-1-0, Naughton 2-1-1-1, Vondy 2-0-1-1, Sanchez 3-0-0-0, Armstrong 3-0-0-0, Bartelson 3-0-1-0, Davis 3-0-0-0, Carda 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-3-4-2. 2B — Vondy.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Regan 6.2-4-3-2-4-3, Vialpondo 0.1-0-0-0-0-1.
Mountain View pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Bartelson 7-9-7-4-2-2.