AURORA | League championship aside, the Regis Jesuit baseball team played the perfect game to go into the postseason Wednesday.
Sure the Raiders ended up with the Continental League crown following their 2-0 victory over visiting Mountain Vista, but it was the impressive way that coach Matt Darr’s team won it that was heartening for the weeks to come.
Regis Jesuit jumped out with two runs in the first inning, saw junior starter Brent Schwarz and senior David Peterson combine on a five-hit shutout and played stellar defense to finish the regular season 16-3 overall and a sparkling 11-0 in the conference.
The Raiders — ranked No. 2 in the most recent Class 5A Associated Press media poll — hope to keep all phases humming next week in 5A district play, which tripped them up last season. Closing out the season with a 13-game winning streak, Regis Jesuit put itself in line for one of the highest seeds in the postseason.
The crisp victory over fifth-ranked Mountain Vista (16-3, 9-2) was such a team win that Darr wore the pink felt “crown” given out at the end of games instead of one of the players.
The winning recipe began with a quick 1-2-3 top of the first inning by Schwarz, who picked up his sixth win of the season. Following that up, Regis Jesuit put up two runs against Golden Eagles standout Nick Leonard just three batters into the game.
Sophomore leadoff man Quin Cotton — hero of the team’s 7-5 win over ThunderRidge on April 25 — launched a drive that snuck over the head of the right fielder for a double, then came home on senior shortstop Max George’s one-out triple. George scored on designated hitter Justin Thaxton’s groundout to shortstop.
From then on, it was a battle of pitching and defense.
Schwarz sailed through the first four innings before escaping a first-and-third with one out jam in the fifth. George, who had already made some nifty plays at shortstop, scooped up Brian Froechtenight’s groundball, stepped on second base and fired to first for an inning-ending double play. Schwarz allowed four hits in five scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
Leonard also settled in on the other side, getting help from a brilliant double play started by shortstop Jack Strunc in the fourth inning and coaxing routine outs to end Regis Jesuit rallies with two runners on in the third and sixth innings.
Raiders’ second baseman Anthony Donovan executed a 4-3 double play to finish off the sixth inning, the first of two frames for Peterson, who stranded two runners in the top of the seventh with a game-ending strikeout of Froechtenight.
Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel
REGIS JESUIT 2, MOUNTAIN VISTA 0
Score by innings (r-h-e):
Mtn. Vista 000 000 0 — 0 5 0
Regis Jesuit 200 000 x — 2 6 0
MOUNTAIN VISTA (ab-r-h-rbi)
Dylan Formby cf 3-0-0-0, Mark Mumper 2b 3-0-1-0, Jack Strunc ss 3-0-0-0, Will Dixon 1b 3-0-0-0, Michael Dunnebecke rf 3-0-1-0, Brady Subart c 3-0-1-0, Nolan Lewis cr 0-0-0-0, Dalton Lewis dh 1-0-0-0, Brian Froechtenight 3b 3-0-2-0, Cale Sparks lf 1-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-5-0. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Nick Leonard (L, 6-6-2-2-1-4).
REGIS JESUIT (ab-r-h-rbi)
Quin Cotton lf 3-1-1-0, Brooks Urich cf 3-0-1-0, Max George ss 3-1-2-1, Justin Thaxton dh 3-0-0-1, Brent Schwarz p 0-0-0-0, David Peterson p 0-0-0-0, Jack Brett c 3-0-0-0, Ryan Vottiero cr 0-0-0-0, Matt Schmidt 3b 2-0-1-0, Reagan Todd 1b 3-0-0-0, Anthony Donovan 2b 2-0-1-0, Zach Woodruff rf 1-0-0-0. Totals 23-6-2-2. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Brent Schwarz (W, 5-4-0-0-0-4), David Peterson (Save, 2-1-0-0-1-1).