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Baseball: Longmont Christian can’t keep pace against Denver Christian

HIGHLANDS RANCH — The arms are coming for the Longmont Christian baseball team.

How soon, though, is up for debate.

After Friday’s 25-13 setback to Denver Christian in Highlands Ranch, LCS coach Victor Puchino was at a loss. He had seen his lineup produce, his defense falter and his pitching just get plain overworked.

Now at 4-5 overall and 0-3 in the Class 2A Mile High League, the hope is to win a couple of games in order to qualify for districts this year. But at the same time, Puchino is planning on using the rest of the season to develop some young arms.

“I’ve got some kids that we’re trying to develop, because when you don’t have pitching it’s tough to play high school baseball,” coach Puchino said after Friday’s game. “We’re doing a lot of bullpen and stuff, but a lot of times these kids have to go out on their own and get a pitching coach. You try and get them to learn fundamentals here, and a lot of them don’t have a clue (about pitching) yet.

“We’re making strides, and you take your lumps sometimes. “

All five losses this season have been by double-digits, and in one of the Warriors’ wins, they beat Community Christian 18-17.

The bats can swing, but the pitching is lean.

However, the Warriors are working on it, with sophomore Cade Martin and freshmen Luke Puchino and Jalen Dittman all on the list of hopefuls.

Juniors Anthony Puchino and Austin Fineberg are also learning to fine-tune their games on the hill. Fineberg labored through 3 1/3 innings Friday, though — surrendering 19 runs (12 earned).

“We’re just really focusing on development and building the team,” said Luke Puchino, who drove in three runs against the Crusaders. “By our senior year, us freshmen I think are going to be developed really good, and I think we’re going to be really good then.”

“We’ve had pretty much our whole team out at our pitching practices to kind of see who’s going to develop,” said Anthony Puchino, who also pitched Friday and gave up six unearned runs. “Austin is a really good pitcher, but he had some rough pitches today. And, defensively we’ve got to be able to back him up … we didn’t really do that, either.”

Oddly, Longmont Christian’s season opener might have been its best all-around game, Anthony Puchino said. Though they have some wins, one thing or another has let the team down.

The bats have been pretty solid, though. The Warriors managed 11 hits Friday and drew eight walks against the Crusaders (4-3, 3-1). Anthony Puchino had two doubles, and Fineberg also had a double.

“If we can put together the defense from the (opener) and the hitting from today, we could be a good team,” Anthony Puchino said.

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Denver Christian 25, Longmont Christian 13

At Denver Christian H.S.

Longmont Christian 230 62 — 13 11 7

Denver Christian 545 (11)x — 25 18 3

W —VandenBroeke. L — Austine Fineberg.

Longmont Christian hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Clayton Eldred 2-3-1-0, Josiah Bolyard 2-2-0-1, Luke Puchino 3-1-2-3, Anthony Puchino 4-2-2-1, Cade Martin 3-0-2-1, Jalen Dittman 3-1-2-1, Austin Fineberg 4-1-1-2, Sam West 3-2-1-1, Lonnie Kee 3-1-0-0. Totals 27-13-11-10. 2B —A. Puchino 2, Fineberg.

Denver Christian hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kastens 5-5-5-0, Vandenbroeke 5-3-3-3, Van Eps 5-5-4-5, Harguth 3-3-0-0, Peters 3-4-2-1, Newcombe 1-0-1-0, Van Dyke 1-3-1-0, Willoughby 0-0-0-0, Gesink 3-1-2-3, Bjorgum 4-0-0-1, Davis 3-0-0-0, Kortenhoeven 1-1-0-0. Totals 34-25-18-13. 2B — Vandenbroeke, Van Eps 2, Peters. 3B —Van Eps. SB —Kastens, Vandenbroeke, Van Eps 2, Harguth 2, Peters 2, Gesink, Bjorgum.

Longmont Christian pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Fineberg 3.1-13-19-12-5-1, A. Puchino 0.1-5-6-0-2-0, Martin 0.1-0-0-0-0-0.

Denver Christian pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vandenbroeke 3.2-7-10-9-6-3, Bjorgum 0.1-3-3-2-2-0, Kastens 1-1-0-0-0-2.