Baseball: Regis Jesuit staves off elimination, moves into 5A’s Final Four with one loss

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Class 5A Baseball Championship Series, 5.17.14
Regis Jesuit senior Max George celebrates as he heads to home plate after hitting a tie-breaking grand slam in the sixth inning of the Raiders’ 7-3 Class 5A Baseball Championship victory over Fairview on May 17, 2014, at All-City Field in Denver. The Raiders went on to defeat Chatfield to advance to the Final Four next week. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

DENVER | The Regis Jesuit baseball team’s bats awoke at the right time.

Shackled and held to one run in a loss to Rocky Mountain Friday to open the Class 5A Baseball Championship Series, the potent Raiders finally erupted late in its first game against Fairview Saturday at All-City Field and continued against Chatfield as coach Matt Darr’s team won twice with its back to the wall in the double-elimination tournament.

Following a 7-3 win over No. 3 Fairview and 11-5 victory over No. 1 Chatfield — which knocked out both of those teams — second-seeded Regis Jesuit advanced to the Final Four. The Raiders join Rocky Mountain, the lone 3-0 team, plus Mountain Vista and Cherry Creek in the semifinals and play the Golden Eagles at 2:30 p.m. May 23 at All-City Field.

It took some late-game heroics for Regis Jesuit to stay alive, as it trailed 2-0 through four innings against third-seeded Fairview — another team facing elimination — despite double-digit strikeouts from senior starter David Peterson.

Finally, the Raiders got untracked and Matt Schmidt and Zach Woodruff drove in runs to tie the score before senior Reagan Todd put them ahead in fifth. The Knights tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, but that didn’t last long, as Woodruff, Quin Cotton and Brooks Urich all reached to loaded the bases for senior Max George.

George whacked a pitch from Knights’ reliever Johnny Feauto over the fence in left center field for a grand slam to ignite his team and Woodruff escaped a bases loaded jam in the top of the seventh to end it. Peterson, who struck out 12 batters in his 5-plus innings, earned the victory.

It was pretty much all Regis Jesuit in the second game, as the Raiders scored at least one in every inning and benefited from senior Justin Thaxton’s red-hot bat.

The left-handed swinging Thaxton pounded out three home runs — including a pair of two-run shots — and the Raiders went up big before holding off the top-seeded Chargers. George hit his second homer of the day and Schmidt also left the yard as part of a three-hit day.

Senior Anthony Donovan also had three hits and every regular had at least one base hit as Regis Jesuit racked up 16 knocks in the contest.

Senior Zach Heath allowed five runs in four innings to earn the victory.

Full 5A Championship Series scores and schedule, here.

Notes: Rocky Mountain, last season’s 5A runner-up, is the only 3-0 team through the first days of the Championship Series. The Lobos beat Regis Jesuit its loss to open the tournament, beat ThunderRidge — the team that denied them last season’s state title — 5-4 and routed Mountain Vista 17-7 in the meeting of 2-0 teams. Mountain Vista, Cherry Creek and Regis Jesuit all have one loss.

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

(2) REGIS JESUIT 7, (3) FAIRVIEW 3

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Fairview        100 101 0 — 3  4  0

Regis Jesuit  000 214 x — 7  5  1

REGIS JESUIT (ab-r-h-rbi)

Quin Cotton lf 3-1-1-0, Brooks Urich cf 3-1-0-0, Max George ss 3-1-1-4, Justin Thaxton dh 3-1-1-0, Jack Brett c 2-0-0-0, Thomas Jahde cr 0-1-0-0, Matt Schmidt 3b 2-0-0-1, Reagan Todd 1b 2-0-1-0, Anthony Donovan 2b 1-0-0-0, Zach Woodruff rf-p 1-1-1-1. Totals 20-6-5-6. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): David Peterson (W, 5 1/3-3-2-2-5-12), Zach Woodruff (Save, 1-1-0-0-2-0).

3B — Regis Jesuit: Justin Thaxton; HR — Regis Jesuit: Max George (3 on in 6th)

(2) REGIS JESUIT 11, (1) CHATFIELD 5

Score by innings (r-h-e):

Regis Jesuit  222 211 1 — 11  16  0

Chatfield      002 210 0 —  5   9  1

REGIS JESUIT (ab-r-h-rbi)

Quin Cotton lf 4-1-2-1, Brooks Urich cf 4-1-1-0, Max George ss 3-1-1-1, Justin Thaxton dh 4-3-3-5, Jack Brett c 3-0-1-1, Ryan Vottiero cr 0-1-0-0, Matt Schmidt 3b 3-1-3-1, Reagan Todd 1b 4-0-1-0, Anthony Donovan 2b 4-1-3-0, Zach Woodruff rf 3-1-1-0, Thomas Jahde cr 0-1-0-0. Totals 32-11-16-9. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Zach Heath (W, 4-6-5-5-2-3), Justin Thaxton (3-3-0-0-1-0).

2B — Regis Jesuit: Quin Cotton 2; HR — Regis Jesuit: Justin Thaxton 3 (1 on in 1st, 1 on in 3rd, solo in fifth), Max George (solo in 5th), Matt Schmidt (solo in 2nd).