AURORA | Quin Cotton donned the Regis Jesuit’s pink felt crown for a good reason on this occasion.
For the second time this season, the sophomore outfielder earned the symbolic prize bestowed on a player after each Raiders game for anything from a big play to something silly.
The first time Cotton got the award it was for making the first and last outs of an inning in a game against Douglas County, but he got it again for his two-run tie-breaking home run in the bottom of the seventh inning that helped lift Regis Jesuit to a dramatic 7-5 Continental League victory over ThunderRidge.
“I was just trying to get the run in, do my job and get the next man up; I was looking to maybe put it in the right field gap, but I got a pitch that was up and just went for it,” Cotton said of his first home run of the season. “I didn’t know what to do, I was just coming around second (base). …thrilled.
“That could have come from anybody, because our lineup is fantastic. Today, it just happened to be me.”
Senior David Peterson induced a ground ball out with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to earn the victory for the Raiders, who improved to 14-3 and moved to 9-0 in the league standings, good enough for sole possession of first place after Mountain Vista’s 5-4 loss to Douglas County.
Right fielder Zach Woodruff tripled twice, drove in a pair of runs and scored on Cotton’s home run to spark Regis Jesuit from the bottom of the order, while Justin Thaxton and Matt Schmidt also knocked in runs and Cotton added another RBI with a single.
The Raiders had a 5-1 cushion after a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning, but ThunderRidge (10-6, 5-4) began to hit the ball against junior star Brent Schwarz on the third time through the lineup.
The Grizzlies bunched together singles from Geoff Light, Aaron Germani and Josh Brown to load the bases with none out, forcing Darr to call on Peterson in relief.
ThunderRidge star Brody Westmoreland fell behind Peterson 1-2, but evened the count and drilled a two-run double to right field to make it a two-run game and Mark Hopper also knocked in two with another double one batter later.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
REGIS JESUIT 7, THUNDERRIDGE 5
Score by innings (r-h-e):
ThunderRidge 010 004 0 — 5 11 0
Regis Jesuit 100 402 x — 7 11 0
Aaron Germani cf 4-1-1-0, Josh Brown 2b 4-1-1-0, Brody Westmoreland ss 4-1-3-2, AJ Jones 1b 4-1-2-1, Mark Hopper lf-p 4-0-1-2, Jake Eissler p 3-0-0-0, Seth Barnes c 2-0-1-0, Sam Licausi dh 3-0-0-0, Jared Bonato 3b 1-0-0-0, Geoff Light rf 1-1-1-0. Totals 30-11-5-5. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Jake Eissler (4-9-5-5-0-3), Mark Hopper (L, 2-2-2-2-0-1)
REGIS JESUIT (ab-r-h-rbi)
Quin Cotton lef 4-1-2-3, Brooks Urich cf 4-0-0-0, Max George ss 3-1-2-0, Justin Thaxton dh 3-0-1-1, Jack Brett c 3-0-1-0, Ryan Vottiero pr 0-1-0-0, Matt Schmidt 3b 3-1-1-1, Reagan Todd 1b 3-1-2-0, Anthony Donovan 2b 2-0-0-0, Aidan Cameron ph 1-0-0-0, Zach Woodruff rf 3-2-2-2. Totals 29-7-11-7. Pitching (ip-h-er-bb-so): Brent Schwarz (5-6-4-4-0-0), David Peterson (W, 2-4-1-1-2-3).
2B — ThunderRidge: Brody Westmoreland 2, Mark Hopper; Regis Jesuit: Jack Brett, Max George, Reagan Todd; 3B — Regis Jesuit: Zach Woodruff 2; HR — ThunderRidge: AJ Jones (solo in 2nd); Regis Jesuit: Quin Cotton (1 on in 6th)