Mark Singleton didn't throw a pitch for Air Academy during the high school varsity spring season. On Friday, Singleton made a pitch to be a key component for the 2015 rotation.
Singleton threw a complete game and Air Academy drove in three runs on sacrifice flies in a 12-5 win over Palmer Ridge at Spurgeon Field in the first game of the day at the Palmer Pikes Peak Baseball Tournament.
Singleton allowed two earned runs and struck out five - four looking.
"Great effort," Air Academy summer coach Doug Goldberg said of Singleton. "Pounded the zone all day, good curve ball, good command of his fastball, so he did a really nice job."
Singleton's only real trouble came in the third inning. He gave up three runs, one earned, and bounced back to face the minimum number of batters in two of the next three innings.
"I just sat down on the bench, thought about what was going on on the field," said Singleton, who was coming off an arm injury and will be a junior in the fall. "Went out there and did my thing. Took a deep breath."
With the way the Air Academy lineup was hitting, Singleton could have afforded to give up a few more runs. Air Academy (2-1) scored at least one run in all but the fifth inning and scored four in both the third and fourth. Cole Daniluk drove in three runs and Noah McConnell drove in two runs on sacrifice flies and scored twice.
"I'm looking for a ball up in the zone and I got two at-bats where that happened," said McConnell, who will be a senior. "I just put them deep into the outfield and got the guy in."
Monument, made up mostly of Palmer Ridge players though with a few from Coronado and Pine Creek, committed multiple errors. Coach Paul Grubesic was not happy with the effort.
"The thing that hurts is that theses kids are good enough," said Grubesic, as Palmer Ridge dropped to 0-1. "We just had a nice five-game stretch where we were winning ball games, playing mistake-free baseball. As you know, and anybody who is in the game knows, you can't make a simple play and it compounds."
Both teams were scheduled to play later in the day. The four-day tournament continues Saturday with continued play between the 10-team, two-division field, and concludes Sunday with the championship game, scheduled at 6 p.m.
The remainder of the tournament is at Spurgeon Field.