DENVER | The Cherokee Trail baseball team generated some momentum prior to a lengthy lightning delay Saturday afternoon, then kept rolling on the other side to stay alive in the Class 5A Championship Series.

The 25th-seeded Cougars suffered their first defeat of the double-elimination tournament in the morning and trailed No. 6 Chaparral 1-0 through three innings at All-City Stadium as they faced elimination.

But a three-run rally in the top of the fourth inning — highlighted by senior Charlie Boyd’s two-run single plus a bases loaded walk to senior Colton Gray — gave coach Jon DiGiorgio’s team an advantage before the teams were cleared from the stadium for more than an hour with lightning in the area.


Cherokee Trail launched three-run rallies in the fifth and sixth innings as well and finished off a 9-4 victory that knocked the Wolverines out of the tournament. The Cougars will meet No. 3 Regis Jesuit (20-8) at 10 a.m. June 2 at All-Star Park to decide which Aurora program will play the subsequent game against No. 5 Rock Canyon.

The winner of that game moves on to a June 3 contest against No. 15 Valor Christian, which finished the first weekend of the tournament 3-0.

No. 1 Broomfield — the 2022 5A state champion — No. 6 Chaparral, No. 10 Rocky Mountain and No. 13 Mountain Vista were eliminated from the tournament on the opening weekend of play between games at All-Star Park and All-City Stadium.

Keegan Eberly had logged just innings during the regular season for Cherokee Trail (and hadn’t pitched since May 1), but the junior right-hander logged some valuable innings for the Cougars. He surrendered a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, but worked out of trouble in the second inning and had a quick third.

In the top of the fourth, Cherokee Trail finally broke through against Chaparral starter Derek Ball, who lost the strike zone in the inning, which started as senior Bowen Tabola reached on a hit by pitch. Senior Tommy Munch reached on a fielder’s choice and junior Braedan Reichert walked ahead of a balk that sent both runners into scoring position.

Boyd then rifled a pitch into the outfield that brought home both runners, while senior Zach Garcia singled and junior Johnny Robledo walked to bring up Gray, who earned an RBI when he drew another walk from Ball, who was then lifted.

Eberly surrendered a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth, but got two outs before a lightning delay sent both teams out of the stadium for more than hour.

When play resumed, the Cougars touched relievers Alex Clark and Brady Booth for three runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings.

Cherokee Trail — which opened the tournament with a 5-4 victory over Broomfield May 26 behind another strong outing from junior starter Logan Reid (STORY, HERE) — next faces Regis Jesuit, which posted a 15-5 victory over No. 13 Mountain Vista in an elimination game. The two Aurora programs met in an elimination contest in last season’s Championship Series as well in a game won by the Cougars.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports


Elimination bracket, May 27 at All-City Stadium


Score by innings:

Cherokee Trail 000 333 0 — 9 4 2

Chaparral 100 021 0 — 4  5 2

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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