LONGMONT — Nick Metcalf, who will be a senior at Silver Creek High School last year, is exactly the type of player the Silver Creek coaches were trying to draw back to their program when they rejoined Colorado Legion Baseball this summer.
Metcalf did not play baseball for Silver Creek last season. But on Wednesday evening, the soon-to-be Raptors senior stepped back on the pitcher’s mound for the first time in over a year.
In his return to the diamond, Metcalf held the Skyline summer team to seven hits over six innings in an 11-2 victory.
“I’m not much of a pitcher but I was just going out there and throwing strikes, just doing what I can,” Metcalf said. “I was able to do that today and it worked out. I haven’t pitched in over a year and I didn’t play baseball this past spring but I had a feel for it and it felt good. My defense backed me up and it turned out really good.”
While Metcalf only struck out two Skyline batters, the Silver Creek defense helped him out with a pair of double plays.
In its first season with a Legion A summer team in nearly a decade, Silver Creek is off to an 11-8 start and recently won the Mert Letofski Memorial Tournament in Centennial. Much of that success has been the result of performances like Metcalf’s Wednesday outing, which was cut short by lightning and thunder just after the sixth inning finished.
Ryan Hewitt, who coaches the Silver Creek Legion A team and is an assistant during the high school season in the spring, said the summer of 2015 is all about trying to establish an attractive summer option for Silver Creek baseball players that will help build the program prior to the spring season. That is tough, of course, considering the appeal of outside club programs to elite players and the extra exposure they offer.
“I told the guys after the game that it starts on the mound with a guy who can throw strikes,” Hewitt said. “We had a kid who was able to do that for six innings today. These guys are working really hard on being good baseball players and it’s going well. We’re a young team and we have a lot of guys buying in to what we’re trying to do here.
“We’re working on keeping everybody together this summer and going forward. If we can build a good starting platform this summer where the guys are having fun and they love playing together, then hopefully some of these club guys will start coming back to us and find a little more value in building a team during the summer.”
Silver Creek jumped out to an early lead with a four-run first inning on Monday and led 5-0 going into the top of the sixth. Skyline finally got on the board with runs from Nate Higgins and Nick Hamby.
Playing the summer independent from leagues such as the American Legion, Connie Mack or NCBL, the Skyline club is 5-5 this summer. After graduating eight seniors at the end of the spring season, Skyline is spending the summer trying to get its younger players up to speed for 2016.
“We’re young, we’re real young,” Skyline coach Travis Schlagel said. “We’re playing all the games we can and our goal this summer is just to get better individually, grow up a little better and try to get these guys ready for the spring.”
Cole Borrego and Dylan Kramer both had multi-hit games for Silver Creek on Wednesday.
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Silver Creek 11, Skyline 2
At Silver Creek HS
Skyline 000 002 — 2 7 4
Silver Creek 401 105 — 11 11 2
W — Nick Metcalf. L — Chris Seger.
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Terao 3-0-0-0, Higgins 3-1-1-0, Hamby 3-1-1-0, Alexander 2-0-2-1, Riddoch 3-0-0-0, Seger 2-0-1-0, Bojorguez 1-0-0-0, Zietlou 2-0-0-0, Blick 2-0-0-0, Canar 2-0-1-0. Totals 23-2-6-1.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ramirez 3-1-1-0, Brown 3-2-1-0, Kramer 3-2-2-2, Call 2-2-0-0, Borrego 4-2-2-2, Gambrosi 3-1-2-1, Wager 2-0-0-0, Olinger 2-0-0-0, Hartman 2-0-1-0, Elting 2-1-1-0. Totals 26-11-11-5. 2B — Brown, Kramer, Elting. 3B — Borrego.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Seger 4-9-6-3-1-1, Bojoroquez 2-2-5-3-5-2.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Metcalf 6-7-2-1-0-2.