Baseball season comes to end for Coal Ridge, Grand Valey
DENVER, Colorado – At the beginning of the season, first-year head coach Luke LaBaw told the players on the Coal Ridge baseball team the motto of the season was “building traditions and leaving a legacy.”On Saturday, the Titans completed the final step of accomplishing that goal. The team went from never having won a game to getting six victories and finishing fifth in the Class 3A Western Slope League to qualify for the postseason. It was there where Coal Ridge faced the state’s No. 1 team, Faith Christian, and lost 19-0 on Saturday in the first round of the District 1 Tournament at Faith Christian High School. The loss ended the Titans’ season, but the game marked the first playoff game in the team’s history.”It was a year of firsts,” LaBaw said. “They had their first home runs, first varsity win, first conference win, first back-to-back wins, first no-hitter, first shutout, first 10-run rule game.”Coal Ridge (6-13) fought hard on Saturday, but playing the top team with one of the best players in the state – Jobi Wall – was a daunting task. On the mound, Wall pitched a perfect game for the Eagles (18-3). At the plate, the senior hit for the cycle and knocked in nine RBIs.Jonathan Roessler pitched the first three innings for the Titans, giving up 15 runs on 15 hits. Darren Matthews took over in the fourth and gave up four more runs before the game was called because of the 10-run rule in the fifth.Eight seniors – Matthews, Braxton Jackson, Zach Lyon, Brett Burrows, Jake Swindell, Milton Arroyo, Zach Mekis and Malcom King – helped the Titans reach the game and lead them through their program-changing season.”As a coaching staff and as a team we are just proud of how they battled this year and have been leaders and the way they have conducted themselves,” LaBaw said of the seniors. “They gave the younger guys a lot to build off of in the future.”
CORTEZ, Colorado – Down 7-0 going into the seventh inning, things weren’t looking good for the Grand Valley baseball team in its district playoff game against Dolores.The Cardinals weren’t ready to give up just yet, however, and the team rallied back to score four runs with timely hits from Michael Shepard and Ben Evers. Unfortunately for Grand Valley, that’s all the squad could muster up as Dolores held on for the 7-4 victory and ended the Cards’ season.The Cardinals knew they were going to have their hands full with Dolores, which moved to 18-1 with the win. Grand Valley head coach Jeff Bradley also said his team committed a few errors to help the Bears.”We just didn’t play our best today,” he said.The game was the last in the prep careers of Cardinal seniors Evers, Tyler Jensen and Matt Cain.
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.