Coal Ridge baseball stays undefeated following dramatic ending v. Delta
Coal Ridge High School baseball, ranked fourth among Class 3A teams in the state, narrowly squeezed by No. 9 Delta on Wednesday, winning 6-5 following a number of lead changes throughout the game.
Down 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Coal Ridge junior Alexis Serna bombed a ball to deep left field, sending the ball over the fence and advancing Logan Simpson and George Roberts to home plate to give Coal Ridge a 4-2 lead.
The three-run home run would be Serna’s only recorded hit of the day, but it would be a big one that came at a time when Coal Ridge, still undefeated at 16-0 and 6-0 in league, was not looking like the same team they have looked all season.
“We weren’t playing bad today but I could kind of tell that we were losing our momentum and getting a little down on ourselves.” Serna said.
Revitalizing the dugout, Coal Ridge scored again during the bottom of the sixth inning off a bunt from Logan Simpson that sent freshman George Roberts home to go up 5-3.
Roberts, who scored two runs on the day, is part of a young core on the Coal Ridge team that includes five freshmen on the varsity roster. Head coach Dan Larsen knows the contributions the underclassmen have provided throughout the season.
“These guys are great,” Larsen said. “They are a big part of the reason that we are where we are at now. They’ve brought a lot to this team and each of them has continued to improve.”
Looking to pull away with the game, Delta answered back multiple times throughout the day.
Delta junior Ryland Bynum followed Serna’s home run with one of his own in the top of the sixth inning to bring the score within one and renew Delta’s hopes of a comeback.
In Delta’s last and final chance to mount a comeback during the top of the seventh inning, junior Landon Clay gave the team what it needed.
Hitting a double to send freshman Landon Kennell to home plate, Clay found himself tying up the game off a pop up catch fly from senior Luke Gastineau that gave him the opportunity to find home plate and even the score at five apiece.
A controversial call at first base made Delta parents furious and sent the game to the bottom half of the inning. Coal Ridge senior pitcher Brandon Short gave the Titans the win following a Delta error that allowed Short to find his way to home plate for the victory.
A dramatic ending to Coal Ridge’s senior night game, Short said the game ranks in the top of his list regarding challenges the team has faced this year.
“This is a good team we had to play today and we knew they were gonna be one of our tougher tests heading into this game,” Short said. “To be where we are right now in the season, this is a special team who has been able to do some really amazing things this year.”
Coal Ridge will have two days off before hosting Aspen High School in a double header on Saturday. The team has seven games left in the regular season to continue battling for an undefeated regular season finish and the Western Slope League title going into the playoffs.
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