Palmer Ridge was the lone Tri-Lakes area baseball team to win a postseason game Saturday as Class 4A regionals were played across the state.
The Bears (17-8) defeated Conifer 6-1 in game 1 of their regional at Pueblo West. Palmer Ridge then faced Pueblo West (23-2) — the No. 1 overall seed and last year’s state runner-up — in the late game and lost 6-3.
“I’m proud of my boys,” said Palmer Ridge coach Jason Heidel. “They played extremely well.”
The Bears managed five hits against Pueblo West, a team dominated with deep pitching, including several left-handers.
“Pueblo West is so deep, they have pitchers only,” Heidel said. “They will be very tough to beat.”
Pueblo West’s losses this season are to teams out of the state.
Palmer Ridge used a complete team effort to defeat Conifer. Three different pitchers combined to allow four hits. Bridger Havens picked up the victory by tossing 4 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked five while allowing three hits and a run.
Jake Wotta provided the key hit offensively with a three-run triple. Also with RBIs were Havens and Jai Liester.
Palmer Ridge ace right-hander Charlie Deeds, who racked up 100 strikeouts in 50 innings of work this spring, was limited. Deeds pitched to two batters in relief against Pueblo West, throwing just 10 pitches.
“Charlie pitched earlier in the week,” Heidel said. “We could have used him, but taking care of his arm was more important.”
Lewis-Palmer (15-9) played in a region hosted by Silver Creek, the No. 2 overall seed. The Rangers faced Pueblo Central in the morning game and lost 8-5.
“We made four errors early and dug ourselves a 5-run hole,” said Lewis-Palmer coach Brett Lester.
Rangers’ ace right-hander Jason Shuger, the author of two no-hitters this season, came in the game to pitch in the third inning and kept Pueblo Central bats relatively quiet the rest of the way as the Rangers clawed their way back. Shuger, who will pitch for the Air Force Academy next season, struck out 12 and allowed three unearned runs.
“When Jason’s on the mound he is very effective,” Lester said.
The Rangers had a chance to tie the score in the sixth, but left the bases loaded.
The Classical Academy (16-8) — winners of the Metro League — played in the Pueblo West regional and lost to the Cyclones 12-5.
TCA trailed 6-0 after three innings, but answered two runs in the top of the fourth and three in the fifth to pull within one.