COLORADO SPRINGS — Silver Creek junior Cam Hassert survived a rundown during his first trip on the base paths Friday afternoon, turning what appeared to be a disastrous situation into a run.
A mere footnote to a successful, albeit zany, opening day for the Raptors.
The Niwot transfer belted a go-ahead, inside-the-park home run in Silver Creek’s extra-innings victory over Wheat Ridge in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament at Mountain Lion Park. Then, a beat-up Spencer Rich limped around the bases after crushing a three-run home run to break things open against Holy Family.
And later, he made a dazzling catch in center field.
So … what craziness awaits Saturday when No. 2 Silver Creek matches up with No. 1 Pueblo West?
A possible trip to the state finals, for starters.
“It was a really wacky day today,” Hassert said. “A lot of balls flying left and right, and people couldn’t see the ball. But luckily we came out on top and we’re excited for tomorrow.”
Hassert put the Raptors (25-2) ahead 5-4 in the eighth against the seventh-seeded Farmers, spinning around the bases as his drive went into the left corner of the outfield, and Davin Vialpando closed it when he induced a game-ending double play.
In its entirety, each team found crucial hits off the other’s ace as Silver Creek’s Michael Wegleitner and Wheat Ridge’s Aaron Arcilise left with the score tied 4-4.
Charlie Jackson led the way for the Raptors with three hits, two of them helping supply late leads.
In a two-run fifth, Jackson made it 3-2 on an RBI single before the Farmers tied it in the sixth on a two-out single by PJ Dewitz. In the seventh, Wegleitner brought Jackson home with a base hit to make it 4-3 prior to Wheat Ridge again drawing even a frame later.
In the end, it was another victory for the team that has yet to lose in Colorado this spring.
“They are a group that plays for each other,” Silver Creek coach Brad Steward said. “They are not individuals. They pull for each other and want to win for each other.
“On the back of our shirts we have ‘You’re not special’. Nobody is above anybody else on this team.”
Rich, for one, certainly wasn’t worried about his own well-being in an 11-7 victory over the sixth-seeded Tigers.
The senior was dealt with a series of bad luck before cranking a three-run shot that put the Raptors up 8-4 in the fourth.
During his first at-bat, he struggled to get to first base on a drive to the wall due to apparent cramping. And on his second, he was nailed with a pitch in the middle of his back.
After his deep fly, he gingerly trotted around the bases — only to show a little more flash in the next frame when he laid out to steal an extra-base hit from Zach Becker.
“A little (painful), but I had a ton of fun out here,” Rich said. “I love being out here and thank my teammates for having fun with me.”
Holy Family (21-6) finished the day 1-1 and will face the winner of No. 8 Erie and No. 4 Golden in an elimination game Saturday.
Collin Kringlen hit a two-run home run and drove in four runs off Cheyenne Mountain starter Michael Ellis, who was chased in the fourth without recording an out as the Tigers beat the Indians 13-4 in their opener. He hit his second shot of the day against the Raptors in the seventh.
Holy Family coach Marc Cowell had mixed emotions at day’s end. His team was dominant in its win, but couldn’t hold onto a 4-2 lead against Silver Creek and allowed five unearned runs in the loss.
“We’re trying to balance,” Cowell said. “We have (pitcher Jordon) McFarland waiting for Erie or Golden, so that feels good.”
On the other hand, “we had a chance to win that game, but we just kept making too many mistakes, and give Silver Creek credit, they made us pay for every one.”
With a win, the Raptors can clinch the first spot in the 4A state finals. They’ll be at Vibes Stadium at 2:30 p.m.
Holy Family will play in the noon game at Mountain Lion Park Saturday.
Holy Family 13, Cheyenne Mountain 4
At Mountain Lion Park-UCCS
Holy Family (21-5) 302 422 0 – 13 9 1
Cheyenne Mountain (21-5) 001 300 0 – 4 8 1
W – W. Siefken L – Ellis.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – McGowan 2-2-0-1, Baker 2-2-0-0, Becker 2-3-2-2, Kringlen 4-1-2-4, Callaway 3-0-1-1, Delgado 3-1-0-0, King 4-1-1-0, Cooney 3-1-1-1, Martinek 4-1-2-2. Total 27-13-9-11. 2B– King. 3B– Cooney. HR– Kringlen.
Cheyenne Mountain hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – A. Berkhoff 3-1-2-1, Mondejar 4-0-1-1, Buckler 1-0-0-0, Ellis 3-0-2-1, Jackson 4-0-1-0, Damgaard 4-1-2-0, Morley 1-1-0-0, R. Berkhoff 2-0-0-0, Helton 3-0-0-0. Total 25-4-8-3. 2B – Berkhoff. SB – Morley, Mondejar, A. Berkhoff.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – W. Siefken 3.2-7-4-4-3-1; Kringlen 3.1-1-0-0-3-5.
Cheyenne Mountain pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Ellis 3.0-6-8-8-2-1; Berkhoff 4.0-3-5-4-2-2.
Silver Creek 5, Wheat Ridge 4 F8
At Mountain Lion Park-UCCS
Silver Creek (24-2) 010 020 11 – 5 11 2
Wheat Ridge (19-7) 002 001 10 – 4 7 1
W – Wegleitner L – Radi S – Vialpando
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jackson 3-1-3-1, Wegleitner 4-0-2-1, S. Rich 4-0-1-0, Swenson 4-0-1-0, Regan 3-0-0-0, Hassert 4-2-2-1, A. Rich 4-1-1-0, Brown 4-0-0-0, Olinger 3-1-1-1. Total 33-5-11-4. 2B – Jackson 2, Hassert, Olinger. HR – Hassert. SB – Jackson.
Wheat Ridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Sitzman 4-1-0-0, Miller 2-1-1-0, Bronk 4-1-2-1, Tate 4-0-0-0, Radi 3-0-1-0, Arcilise 2-1-0-0, Kingman 2-0-1-1, Tate 3-0-1-0, Bloomer 1-0-0-0, Dewitz 2-0-1-1. Total 27-4-7-4. 2B– Bronk.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Wegleitner 7.0-6-4-3-5-3, Vialpando 1.0-1-0-0-1-0.
Wheat Ridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Arcilise 7.1-10-4-3-1-9, Radi 0.2-1-1-1-0-1.
Silver Creek 11, Holy Family 7
At Mountain Lion Park-UCCS
Silver Creek (25-2) 203 303 0 – 11 12 0
Holy Family (21-6) 040 011 1 – 7 10 2
W – Koelfgen L – I. Siefken.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jackson 5-1-1-0, Wegleitner 4-3-1-0, S. Rich 2-4-2-4, Swenson 4-1-3-0, Regan 4-0-1-2, Hassert 4-1-2-3, A. Rich 4-0-2-1, Brown 4-1-0-0, Olinger 3-0-0-0. Total 34-11-12-10. 2B – A. Rich. HR – S. Rich. SB – S. Rich.
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – McGowan 4-0-2-1, Baker 1-0-0-2, Becker 3-0-0-1, Kringlen 4-2-2-1, Callaway 4-0-0-0, Delgado 3-1-1-0, King 4-1-2-1, Cooney 4-1-1-0, Martinek 3-2-2-1. Total 30-7-10-7. HR– Kringlen.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Koelfgen 6.0-5-3-3-1-3, Suess 1.0-5-4-4-2-2.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – I. Siefken 5.0-9-8-4-3; Kringlen 1.0-3-3-3-2-1, Delgado 1.0-0-0-0-0-1.