DENVER | Senior Colten Chase delivered a walk-off RBI single to lift Cherokee Trail over Rocky Mountain 8-7 Monday in the opening game of the Class 5A Championship Series.
Chase came up in a tie game with the bases loaded and two outs and knocked in the game-winning run to cap a two-run rally for the Cougars in the final inning at All-City Stadium.
Junior Kellen Cox picked up with the win with two scoreless innings of relief for coach Steve Eaton’s Cherokee Trail team, which moved into a 3 p.m. contest on the same field against fellow Centennial League member Arapahoe.
The Warriors (15-7) topped Mountain Vista 8-1 in the opening day of the double-elimination tournament, which was preemptively pushed back from its original scheduled start due to weather.
The Lobos (13-9) — the defending 5A state champions — scored three times in the first inning against Cherokee Trail starter Brendon Johnson, but the Cougars (16-6) answered with four runs of their own to take the lead.
Senior Gavin Bell doubled and scored on an error on a ball put into play by senior Blake Mackintosh and senior Ethan Leisge delivered a two-run single in the inning.
No more crooked numbers went up over the next five innings, though the Lobos added single runs in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings to lead 7-6 going to the bottom of the seventh inning.
Leisge doubled to open the final frame for Cherokee Trail and came home on the third of Wilfredo Matos’ hits to tie the game. The bases ended up loaded with two outs to set up the game-winning situation for Chase.
The winner of the Arapahoe-Cherokee Trail game will play Heritage at 3 p.m. Tuesday at All-City Stadium, while the loser is in action at noon at All-City Stadium against either Mountain Range or Rock Canyon in an elimination game.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports
(5) CHEROKEE TRAIL 8, (4) ROCKY MOUNTAIN 7
Score by innings:
Rocky Mountain 301 111 0 — 7 15 3
Cherokee Trail 401 001 2 — 8 13 3
ROCKY MOUNTAIN (ab-r-h-rbi)
Hayden Heinze 5-1-2-0, Tyler Mata-Lloyd 5-2-4-0, Cade Nelson 2-0-1-0, Jaren Piepho 3-0-0-1, John Cathcart 1-0-0-0, Garrett Fisher 4-1-3-1, Jett Hoggatt 4-0-2-1, Spencer Smithbaker 4-1-2-1, Cody Stevens 2-0-0-0, Ben Knauer 1-0-0-0, Dylan Hupfer 4-0-1-1, Easton Radcliff 0-0-0-0. Totals 35-7-15-5. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Cade Nelson (6-10-6-3-0-5), Blake Riott (L, 1/3-3-2-2-2-0)
CHEROKEE TRAIL (ab-r-h-rbi)
Jake Barber 4-1-1-0, Chris Rush 3-0-0-1, Colten Chase 5-1-2-1, Gavin Bell 3-1-1-0, Blake Mackintosh 4-2-2-1, Isaac Hayen 3-1-1-0, Ethan Leisge 4-1-2-2, Wilfredo Matos 3-0-3-1, Kody Kellogg 2-0-1-0, Ryan Jones 1-0-0-0, Caleb Albert 0-1-0-0. Totals 32-8-13-6. Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so): Brendon Johnson (5-14-7-5-3-6), Kellen Cox (W, 2-1-0-0-1-2)
2B — Rocky Mountain (3): Hayden Heinze, Jett Hoggatt, Tyler Mata-Lloyd; Cherokee Trail (3): Gavin Bell, Ethan Leisge, Blake Mackintosh. 3B — Cherokee Trail: Jake Barber, Colten Chase. HR — Rocky Mountain: Spencer Smithbaker