Baseball: Erie’s 4A upset bid on No. 1 Pueblo West falls apart in seventh

Tigers will look to rebound against Golden on Saturday morning

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Brandon Hewell eyes a pitched ball during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game against Pueblo West on Friday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Greyson Schenbeck sends a ball to the outfield during the Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West on Friday in Colorado Springs.

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    Erie's Isaac Khanna, center, and Greyson Schenbeck come together to celebrate after scoring a run during their game against Pueblo West on Friday at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Pueblo West's Kyle Jameson, left, puts a tag on Erie's Greyson Schenbeck at second base during their Class 4A state tournament game played at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Pueblo West's Kyle Jameson, left, prepares to put a tag on Erie's Greyson Schenbeck at second base during their Class 4A state tournament game played at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie pitcher Mason Veve delivers to home plate against Pueblo West on Friday in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie pitcher Mason Veve delivers to home plate against Pueblo West on Friday in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Nolan Marthaier puts the ball in play during their Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West on Friday at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Trevor Ball throws to first base to complete a double play during Friday's Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Erie's Trevor Ball throws to first base to complete a double play during Friday's Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs.

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COLORADO SPRINGS – The Erie Tigers came within three outs of pulling off an improbable first-round upset that would have turned the Class 4A baseball state tournament upside down in just its first game.

Then everything fell apart in an instant.

On Friday at UCHealth Park, the seventh-seeded Tigers (15-11) had a one-run lead on No. 1 Pueblo West (24-2) going into the seventh inning before the 2018 runners-up rallied for nine runs in the final frame to win 12-4.

“We were three outs away,” Erie volunteer head coach Craig McBride said. “We were also really close to being in good shape for tomorrow so I feel like we made the right decisions. It’s tough because they played their guts out. It’s high school baseball.”

Erie led for most of the game courtesy of a three-run second inning in which the Tigers had four hits. After Pueblo West tied the game up with a run in the top of the sixth, the Tigers broke the late stalemate when junior Nash Phillips singled to score fellow junior Brandon Hewell in the bottom of the frame.

Tigers sophomore Mason Veve was pulled after approaching the 110-pitch limit with 101 pitches while holding the Cyclones’ vaunted lineup to three runs (two earned) over a six-inning start. After that, four Erie relief pitchers allowed nine runs.

Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com
Erie’s Nolan Marthaier puts the ball in play during their Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West on Friday at UCHealth Stadium in Colorado Springs. (Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com)

Hewell and teammate Schenbeck each had two hits in the game.

With a night to regroup after Friday’s late loss, the Tigers will continue the double-elimination tournament against Golden at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs’ Mountain Lion Park. Golden lost to Fort Morgan in the first round on Friday.

Erie will send senior ace Jon Thoren, who has a 2.30 ERA and 117 strikeouts in 64 innings this season, to the mound to start the critical elimination game for both teams.

“You know, 24-hour rule,” McBride said. “We’ll try to get them simmered down on the ride home and hopefully they’ll get a good night’s sleep and come back ready to play hard again tomorrow. I think they have it in them.”

Pueblo West 12, Erie 4
At Vibes Stadium

Pueblo West (24-2) 200 001 9 – 12 11 1
Erie (15-11) 030 001 0 – 4 8 1

W – Davis. L – Khanna.
Pueblo West hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jameson 4-1-3-1, Declusin 4-1-1-1, Cordova 3-1-0-0, Blackford 3-1-1-2, Stiner 0-1-0-0, Mason 4-2-3-2, Barth 4-1-1-2, Tate 4-1-2-2, Davis 2-0-0-0, Sanchez 0-1-0-0, Gist 3-2-0-0, Neff 0-0-0-0, Rudd 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-12-11-10. 2B – Mason 2, Tate. SB – Jameson 4, Cordova, Stiner.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Ball 0-0-0-0, Phillips 4-0-1-1, Mendoza 3-0-0-0, Marthaier 2-1-1-0, Bettencourt 1-0-0-0, Schenbeck 4-1-2-0, Thoren 2-0-0-1, Fuhrmann 3-0-1-0, I. Khanna 3-1-1-0, Hewell 2-1-2-1, Veve 0-0-0-0, W. Khanna 0-0-0-0, Stem 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-4-8-3. SB – Mendoza, Schenbeck, I. Khanna.
Pueblo West pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Neff 2-4-3-2-2-0, Rudd 3-3-1-1-5-2, Davis 1-1-0-0-0-0, Sanchez 1-0-0-0-1-1.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Veve 6-4-3-2-3-5, Khanna 0-0-2-2-0-2, Marthaier 0-1-1-1-0-0, Ball 0.1-4-4-4-0-0, Bettencourt 1-2-2-1-1-0.