Baseball: Area teams shut out from hosting district tournaments

May 7, 2014 Updated: May 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm
photo - Lewis-Palmer's Ben Stinson (13) steals second base in the Rangers' win over Palmer Ridge on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Lewis-Palmer High School.  Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography.
Lewis-Palmer's Ben Stinson (13) steals second base in the Rangers' win over Palmer Ridge on Saturday, April 19, 2014, at Lewis-Palmer High School. Photo by Spotlight Sports Photography. 

A few years ago, Cheyenne Mountain baseball was handed a No. 23 seed in the district tournaments. The Indians, who'd won the title in 2009, went on to win the 2011 Class 4A state title.

Those seedings had a human element to them and could be the reason the Indians were overlooked at the seeding meeting.

Before this season, the human element was completely removed. All that did was allow computers to determine wild-card points and slap Lewis-Palmer - unbeaten in Colorado and 4A Pikes Peak Athletic Conference champion - with a ninth seed and a travel date to Evergreen. The Rangers open against No. 24 Fort Morgan, with the Evergreen-No. 25 Air Academy winner in the second round.

"With how our league champ goes undefeated in league and doesn't host a district, that's a head scratcher," said Indians coach Mark Swope, who helmed that 2011 state title team.


Blog: TCA earns No. 10 seed, heads to Sterling


With coach Tom McCabe out of the country, it was left to L-P athletic director Nick Baker to address the players, who couldn't understand not being rewarded for going 15-0 in Colorado.

"They were excited thinking they were going to host, and I told them this is the system that was put in place for a reason," Baker said. "Just because of our record we thought the numbers would land in our favor. It just turned out that they didn't."

The Rangers were 0.22 points from hosting.

Lewis-Palmer wasn't the only area champ not to earn the right to host a district. In fact, no Pikes Peak region team in classes 3A-5A will host. Last season, two hosts arose out of the PPAC, and Pine Creek, champs out of the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League, also hosted.

Less than a week ago, Pine Creek coach Glenn Millhauser was talking about being on the cusp of hosting. And that was before the Eagles went out and wrapped up sole possession of the league crown. But Pine Creek lost to Air Academy in a game that was a makeup from what should've been the Eagles' season opener.

Instead of hosting or getting a decent seed for a favorable second-round matchup, Pine Creek was handed a No. 16 seed and could face No. 1 Chatfield in the second round. Or it could see league rival No. 32 Doherty if both teams win.

Chatfield earning the top overall seed was another head scratcher, seeing as how the Chargers didn't win their conference. They didn't finish second either. They placed third. Arvada West, which won that division, earned a six seed, while second-place Columbine was fourth.

Pine Creek (14-5) opens against No. 17 Grand Junction Central (14-5).

"That's baseball, you have to be able to overcome that kind of stuff," a diplomatic Millhauser said. "But the points system is kind of weird. A lot of people would rather have league champs host. But it's what the state has decided to do."

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