Cheyenne Mountain coach Mark Swope said he prefers not to extend his pitchers at this point, especially in cold weather and with his team’s depth.
But with his pitch count creeping up Thursday against Palmer Ridge, Devin Dodson said he wanted to stay in.
“First guy on, I was taking him out,” Swope said.
No problem. Dodson got two strikeouts, then a fly out to end it.
Cheyenne Mountain (11-1, 6-0 4A/5A Pikes Peak) steadily built a lead and then ran away in a four-run sixth inning en route to a 7-0 victory and a sweep of a series Swope said they had circled. The Indians beat the Bears 5-3 on Tuesday at Palmer Ridge (9-4, 4-2).
“They took the league title out from underneath us last year when I thought we had kind of a stranglehold on the league,” Swope said.
“That was a huge series for us, big time.”
Dodson, a junior, pitched seven strong innings with two hits, striking out 11 Bears.
“You get to the third, fourth inning and you could just see he was locked in,” sophomore Adam Jackson said. “When he finished his sixth inning, everybody knew, we’ve got to give him this game.”
Juniors Mike Ellis and Grant Mondejar scored a run to go with two RBIs. Senior Aaron Berkhoff scored three runs.
Down 3-0, the Bears stayed in it when Bridger Havens came in and pitched his way out of a bases-loaded situation. But Mondejar’s line drive scored two on the Bears’ Parker Braun’s first at-bat in the bottom of the sixth to provide a cushion.
Cheyenne Mountain, ranked second in 4A by CHSAA, had survived an important test.
“We knew this was going to be one of the toughest games going into the season,” Jackson said. “We made sure going into these last couple of weeks that we were going to be ready for these guys.”