Baseball: Silver Creek heads to next weekend unblemished in 4A tournament

Tanner Regan comes through for the boys with gritty start, walk-off hit

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    Silver Creek's Michael Wegleitner puts the ball in play against Pueblo West on Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorodo Springs.

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    Silver Creek's Spencer Rich drives the ball into the field of play during a Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West on Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

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    Silver Creek's Tanner Regan delivers a pitch against Pueblo West on Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

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    Tanner Regan of Silver Creek throws a pitch to Pueblo West in their Class 4A state tournament game played Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

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    Cam Hassert of Silver Creek stretches to make a play at second base against Pueblo West on Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

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    Silver Creek's Cam Hassert steps on second base to get Pueblo West's Matt Rudd out during Saturday's Class 4A state tournament game played at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs.

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    Silver Creek's Cam Hassert dives toward first base attempting to leg out a hit against Pueblo West on Saturday at UCHealth Pak in Colorado Springs.

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    Silver Creek's Charlie Jackson puts a swing on the baseball during Saturday's Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West.

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    Cam Hassert of Silver Creek fires to first base during Saturday's Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West.

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    Silver Creek's Alex Rich strikes the baseball during one of his at-bats Saturday against Pueblo West.

  • Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com

    Alex Rich of Silver Creek tosses the baseball across the diamond during their Class 4A state tournament game against Pueblo West on Saturday in Colorado Springs.

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COLORADO SPRINGS – It was hot at UCHealth Park on Saturday evening.

Lineups were tired, pitching staffs had been stretched thin and there was just one game left to play to cap the opening weekend of the Class 4A state tournament.

Holy Family and Fort Morgan had already claimed spots in the final four, but Pueblo West and Silver Creek still had to decide which of them would enter the final weekend of the double-elimination tournament in better position. The clear front-runner for the state title was sure to be decided by whichever team could find someone to step up and push his club over the edge.

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Tanner Regan of Silver Creek throws a pitch to Pueblo West in their Class 4A state tournament game played Saturday at UCHealth Park in Colorado Springs. (Brad Cochi/BoCoPreps.com)

Tanner Regan was ready for the moment.

As if gutting his way through a six-inning start wasn’t enough, the Silver Creek senior hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning to deliver the Raptors a critical victory over the top-seeded Cyclones and put them in the driver’s seat for a state title.

“Honestly, we all just play for each other and I couldn’t ask for a better team,” Regan said. “This has been the best baseball season I’ve ever had and it feels great to do that for my team. I have a coach and a lot of teammates who have a lot of confidence in me, and that gives me confidence. It was just great to come through when my team needed me.”

When the final two days of the state tournament are held May 31-June 1 back at UCHealth Park, the Raptors will arrive with an edge. But gaining that edge didn’t come easily.

The Raptors (26-2) scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run double from Justin Swenson that plated Michael Wegleitner and Spencer Rich. But they appeared to be bothered by Cyclones starter Tyler Barth’s low velocity over the next two innings.

Pueblo West (25-3) pulled ahead with three runs in the third against Regan, who surrendered five runs (three earned) in his six innings of work. Silver Creek responded with three runs on four hits in the fourth and the Cyclones, who were runners-up in 4A last spring, tied the game with two more runs in the sixth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Wegleitner singled to lead off the frame and Rich reached on a bunt single. With one out, both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Regan singled on a hard ground ball through the left side to walk it off.

“That’s just fun baseball,” Raptors head coach Brad Steward said. “When you beat somebody by 10, it’s fun. But walk-offs are way more fun. This was a good game played by two quality teams and doing the small things right worked out, and I’m glad we got it. They’re a very well-coached team with a ton of really good players and we will see them again.”

Raptors junior Davin Vialpando, entered in relief of Regan with a runner on first and no outs in the seventh, set down the middle of Pueblo West’s vaunted lineup in order to keep the game tied in the seventh inning and earned the win on the mound. Wegleitner went 3-for-4 at the plate on Saturday to cap a 7-for-12 performance in three games on Friday and Saturday.

Silver Creek 6, Pueblo West 5
At UCHealth Park

Pueblo West (25-3) 003 002 0 – 5 6 1
Silver Creek (26-2) 200 300 1 – 6 13 2

W – Vialpando. L – Davis.
Pueblo West hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jameson 3-0-0-0, Declusin 4-1-1-1, Cordova 3-1-0-0, Blackford 4-0-2-1, Mason 3-1-0-0, Barth 4-1-1-0, Dionisio 2-0-0-0, Tate 3-0-1-0, Gist 1-1-1-2. Totals 27-5-6-4. 3B – Gist, Declusin. SB – Cordova 2, Gist, Rudd.
Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Jackson 4-0-2-2, Wegleitner 4-2-3-1, S. Rich 4-1-2-0, Swenson 4-0-1-2, Regan 3-1-2-1, Hassert 3-1-1-0, A. Rich 3-1-1-0, Magill 3-0-1-0, Olinger 3-0-0-0. Totals 31-6-13-6. 2B – Swenson. SB – Tate.
Pueblo West pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Barth 3.2-8-5-5-0-2, Stiner 1.1-2-0-0-0-0, Davis 1.1-3-1-1-0-0.
Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Regan 6-6-5-3-3-4, Vialpando 1-0-0-0-0-1.

Silver Creek team members celebrate their 6-5 victory against Pueblo West in the Class 4A state tournament on Saturday afternoon in Colorado Springs. (Photo courtesy Dan Mohrmann)