Erie, Longmont could be on collision course in 4A state tournament

Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer
Erie’s Ruben Portillo, left, will help lead the Tigers back into the Class 4A state tournament Friday against Delta.

District baseball tournament are in the books and the state tournaments are approaching quickly, with three area teams still in the mix.

Two of those teams – Erie and Longmont – are quite familiar with one another. But the Tigers and Trojans, who combine to form the Longmont-Erie summer baseball team following each spring season, will not face off in the first round.

In the first round of the Class 4A state tournament on Friday, the Erie Tigers will enter the state tournament as the No. 3 overall seed. It will mark their second consecutive state tournament appearance, this one coming after they defeated Pueblo East and Niwot to win the District 7 championship.

The Tigers (14-7) will face No. 6 Delta (18-3) at 10 a.m. Friday at Frederick High School.

The Tigers will likely again feature pitchers Ruben Portillo and Victor Villa, who combined to allow three runs, one earned, in 14 innings of district play on Saturday. Whichever Tigers starter gets the ball in the first round could have his hands full against a Delta Panthers lineup that has averaged 11.9 runs per game this season.

Set to take the Frederick High field at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, the Longmont Trojans (15-6) will take on No. 2 Pueblo West. The Trojans should enter the state tournament with plenty of momentum after their District 6 title ended in a walk-off single from senior Mason Peterson that sealed a 4-3 win over Lewis-Palmer.

Longmont last reached the state tournament in 2014 and fell one win short of the title game. If Erie and Longmont win their first-round games on Friday, they would face each other in the second round at 3 p.m.

The Pueblo West Cyclones (17-4), regular-season champions of the South Central League, however, are stingy when it comes to runs. They have allowed an average of just 3.9 this season and have a pair of talented pitchers they can turn to in Rocco Arguto (1.56 ERA) and Zach Maize (2.73 ERA).

After Tanner Fulkerson (1.21 ERA) struck out the side with a runner on third to defeat Resurrection Christian, 5-4 to win the District 4 title, the Dawson Mustangs (14-4) will enter the 2A state tournament as the 11th seed.

The Mustangs will face No. 6 Rocky Ford (13-5) in the first round at Runyon Field Sports Complex in Pueblo. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Class 4A state tournament bracket

First round

May 20

(1) Mountain View vs. (8) Air Academy, 10 a.m., All-Star Park

(4) Valor Christian vs. (5) Windsor, 12:30 p.m., All-Star Park

(3) Erie vs. (6) Delta, 10 a.m., Frederick H.S.

(2) Pueblo West vs. (7) Longmont, 12:30 p.m., Frederick H.S.

Class 2A state tournament bracket

All games at Runyon Field Sports Complex in Pueblo

First round

(1) Paonia vs. (16) Sargent, May 20, 10 a.m., Hobbs Field

(8) Akron vs. (9) Crowley County, May 20, 12:30 p.m., Hobbs Field

(4) County Line (Wiley/McClave) vs. (13) Limon, May 20, 10 a.m., Andenuccio Field

(5) Hotchkiss vs. (12) Peyton, May 20, 12:30 p.m., Andenuccio Field

(3) Swink vs. (14) Dayspring Christian Academy, May 21, 10 a.m., Andenuccio Field

(6) Rocky Ford vs. (11) Dawson School, May 21, 12:30 p.m., Andenuccio Field

(2) Sedwick County vs. (15) Rye, May 21, 10 a.m., Hobbs Field

(7) Resurrection Christian vs. (10) Haxtun, May 21, 12:30 p.m., Hobbs Field

Brad Cochi: or