Baseball: Regis Jesuit, Grandview hold city’s diamond hopes

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Grandview’s Eric Mingus puts a ball into play in the Wolves’ regular season finale May 2, 2014, against Mullen. Mingus and Grandview — which made the Class 5A baseball championship series a year ago — enter the postseason as the No. 23 seed in the May 10 district round. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

Dugouts around the Aurora will be mostly silent during the baseball postseason, as only two city squads qualified for district play.

Regis Jesuit and Grandview finished in the top 32 in Class 5A wild card points — the group that battles it out for eight berths in the 5A championship series — and will be in action May 10.

Coach Matt Darr’s 16-3 Raiders received the No. 2 overall seed when the eight four-team district tournament pairings came out May 7. The seeding allowed Regis Jesuit to play at home, where it will welcome No. 15 Ralston Valley (14-5), No. 18 Castle View (9-10) and No. 31 Westminster (11-8).

The talented senior core of the Raiders is determined that this season won’t end in districts on their home field like it did in 2013, when Chatfield came in and stunned the Raiders. The group is thinking more along the lines of what happened when they were freshmen in 2011 as Regis Jesuitwon the state championship.

“We have that bad taste in our mouths from last season, so we plan to go out into districts and capitalize this time,” senior shortstop Max George said.

“We’re on a little bit of a roll and we have that confidence right now…We’re ready.”

Regis Jesuit certainly appeared ready in its finale against Mountain Vista, as junior starter Brent Schwarz and senior David Peterson — looking the best he has since returning from surgery — combined on a crisp five-hit shutout and George and the defense made a variety of spectacular plays to hold down the talented Golden Eagles.

It only took two runs —on George’s RBI triple and Justin Thaxton’s groundout — but it was enough for Darr’s team to win the way its been playing.

“We’ve found a lot of different ways to win games this season and that’s going to serve us well in the playoffs,” Darr said. “We’re in a good place right now.”

Grandview (10-9) comes into the postseason in a different place than usual, as coach Dean Adams’ team is seeded No. 23 as opposed to its regular position in the top 10.

Due to massive graduation, the Wolves have a different look from last season, when they made it all the way to the 5A semifinals before losing to Rocky Mountain, but have been putting it together at season’s end.

Adams’ group dropped a 6-5 decision to Mullen in its regular season finale May 2, but before that had won seven of its previous eight games to get over .500 and move up to third in the Centennial League standings.

Much of the winning streak coincided with an overall improvement from the pitching staff, which has cut down on walks and made the opposition work.

Senior ace Tanner Thomas had led the way and goes into the postseason with a streak of 12 scoreless innings in his last two starts, which includes five innings in a no-hitter thrown against Arapahoe.

“If I was outside the Centennial League, which I have been before, and saw that we were playing a Centennial League team, I didn’t like it,” Adams said.

“I know this much, we’ll fight, we’ll go play hard and let the chips fall where they may.”

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel

AURORA’S 2014 CLASS 5A BASEBALL DISTRICTS (MAY 10)

DISTRICT 5 (at REGIS JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL)

10 a.m.: No. 31 Westminster (11-8) at NO. 2 REGIS JESUIT (16-3)

12:30 p.m.: No. 18 Castle View (9-10) vs. No. 15 Ralston Valley (14-5)

3 p.m.: Westminster/REGIS JESUIT winner vs. Castle View/Ralston Valley winner (Winner makes 5A championship series)

DISTRICT 6 (at Rocky Mountain High School)

10 a.m.: No. 26 Bear Creek (9-10) at No. 7 Rocky Mountain (14-5)

12:30 p.m.: NO. 23 GRANDVIEW (10-9) vs. No. 10 Brighton (14-5)

3 p.m.: Bear Creek/Rocky Mountain winner vs. GRANDVIEW/Brighton winner (Winner makes 5A championship series)