No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain 7, No. 7 Pueblo County 3
At Runyon Sports Complex: Brad Helton had a stellar seven-inning outing on the mound in Cheyenne Mountain’s first-round win over Pueblo County.
The senior right-handed pitcher struck out 12 batters, allowed six hits and threw 103 pitches.
Jaxon Siegel hit a home run and led Cheyenne Mountain with three RBIs. Ben Byers had two RBIs while Helton and Hays Chaney had had one RBI each.
No. 3 Ponderosa 10, No. 2 Cheyenne Mountain 8
At Runyon Sports Complex: Ponderosa’s Derek Lukes hit a two-run walk-off home run to advance to the state semifinals and send Cheyenne Mountain to the elimination bracket of the 4A state tournament.
Cheyenne Mountain battled back from a three-run deficit in the top of the sixth thanks to back-to-back home runs by Brad Helton and Denton Damgaard. Helton hit a two-run bomb, followed immediately by a solo shot to center by Damgaard to tie the game.
“We played clean defense, we didn’t give up any runs that were self-inflicted and we made them earn it,” Swope said. “We were really hoping to get the first game (against Pueblo County) and we knew Ponderosa is a really good team. But I told the guys I’m proud of them because now we know, we can slug with them and we can play with them.”
Hays Chaney and Max O’Neil had two RBIs each. Chaney pitched one inning of relief with one strikeout. He stepped in for starter Jaxon Siegel, who later reentered the game for Chaney. Cheyenne Mountain coach Mark Swope said it was the first time in his 27-year coaching career he sent a starter back in.
Swope said he wanted to save his team’s No. 2 pitcher for Saturday, and once he saw his reliever begin to struggle, he wanted to bring back Siegel to eliminate the possibility of self-inflicted wounds.
“There were some positives to take out of this game,” Swope said. “You don’t want to lose, but our goal is to get to next weekend, and I feel like we are in a pretty good spot to do that.”
No. 4 Holy Family 12, No. 5 Lewis-Palmer 2
At Runyon Sports Complex: Lewis-Palmer's bats went cold in a first-round playoff loss against No. 4 Holy Family.
The Rangers, which averaged nine runs per game heading into the state tournament, had just five hits in the loss to the Tigers. KJ Acevedo hit a two-RBI double in the top of the third.
Caleb Ralph pitched four innings and had four strikeouts, but also allowed 11 hits and nine earned runs.
Lewis-Palmer is back in action on Saturday in the state elimination bracket, taking on No. 1 Severance. The winner will move on to face Cheyenne Mountain in the afternoon.
No. 4 The Classical Academy 11, No. 5 Basalt 3
At Frederick High School: The Classical Academy opened the state tournament with a dominant performance over No. 5 Basalt. The Titans racked up a 9-0 lead heading into the sixth inning before the Longhorns were able to score, but it wasn’t enough to take down TCA.
Vinny Miller had two hits and four RBIs to lead the Titans. Cameron Brickler and Josh Dunn had two RBIs each. Dunn hit 4-for-3 and Teller Wilson had three hits. Ryan Howard dealt 5.1 innings and struck out eight to help the Titans advance to the second round.
No. 4 The Classical Academy 12, No. 1 Lutheran 3
At Frederick High School: TCA upset the top seed in the second round of the 3A state tournament and will move on to the state semifinals to play No. 2 Eaton on Saturday.
The Tians allowed Lutheran to score three runs in the bottom of the third but rebounded to take the lead with a four-run fourth inning and shut the Lions out the rest of the way.
Ryan Howard hit two home runs and finished with four RBIs to lead TCA. Alex Moore and Cameron Brickler had two RBIs each.
Vinny Miller earned the start on the mound and went 5.2 innings, striking out four along the way. Kobe Katayama closed out the final 1.1 innings with no hits and one strikeout.
No. 4 Rock Canyon 2, No. 5 Pine Creek 0
At Shea Stadium: Pine Creek suffered its first loss of the season in the 5A state semifinals to No. 4 Rock Canyon, finishing the season 11-1. The team made history in the program’s first ever undefeated regular season while coach John Frederick heads into the offseason with 251 career wins.