Aurora teams will lay a handful of aces on the table at the 5A baseball championship series.

Grandview and Regis Jesuit go into the double-elimination state tournament May 18-19 equipped with enough top-end pitching to bring home a state title.

A slugging offense was a big part of the Raiders’ run to last season’s championship, but their repeat chances will ride heavily on the arms of senior right-hander Peter Bayer and sophomore lefty David Peterson.

“It really helps to have a No. 1 and a 1A; we have two guys that are No. 1s and that’s a luxury; we also go a little bit deeper than that,” said Weiss, whose 17-4 team opens the championship series against Dakota Ridge at 10 a.m. May 18 at Bishop Machebeuf.

“We’re set up pretty well for a tournament format because our pitching is deep, but we’ve had the same formula all year: we grind out at-bats, we make opposing pitchers earn every out, we run the bases well, we catch the ball really well and we pitch,” Weiss added.

“We don’t outslug people like we did last year, but these guys play the game right.”

Both pitchers came through for Regis Jesuit in District 7 play.

Peterson (6-1, 2.88 ERA) — whose complete game 4-hitter against Cherokee Trail last season got the Raiders into the championship game — gutted out seven innings in Regis Jesuit’s 8-7 outlasting of Liberty in the title game. He convinced Weiss to let him pitch the seventh inning with a one-run lead and he held it.

The Richmond University-bound Bayer set the tone for the day with a two-hit shutout of Northglenn in the district opener.

“I have confidence in every single one of our guys and we have as much pitching depth as anybody out there,” said Bayer, who is 6-0 with 2.46 ERA.

“They all believe they can go out and dominate whenever they are in the game. We’re going to come out, let it fly and see what happens.”

Daniel Sutherland, Reagan Todd and Pat Dinges have also put in significant innings for Regis Jesuit this season.

Thin pitching may been a reason Grandview has had trouble in single-elimination district tournaments the last four years, but seniors Jordan Schlehuber and Madison Spencer made sure the Wolves (19-2) advanced out of District 5 on their home field.

The pair combined to allow just one run in 13 innings of work — with 16 strikeouts and just four walks — in wins over Rangeview (10-0) and Chaparral (5-1).

Schlehuber tossed a six-inning no-hitter against Rangeview, then Spencer worked around seven base hits and allowed just one run in the seventh inning to beat Chaparral in the district title game.

“I guarantee you we’ve outworked every pitching staff out there; our coach (Chris Baum) is more like a track coach because he makes us run a ton,” said Spencer, who has allowed just one earned run in his past 19 innings. “We can go deep in games because of our leg work.”

The numbers speak for themselves for the Wolves, who have allowed the second-fewest runs of any of the eight remaining teams. Only Pine Creek (48) has allowed fewer runs than Grandview (49).

Schlehuber leads the way with a 6-0 record and 0.99 ERA, while Spencer (4-1, 1.50 ERA), Michael Tanner (4-0, 2.23 ERA) and Austin Deal (3-0, 2.88 ERA) give Grandview as deep an arsenal of arms as its taken into the championship series before.

The left-handed Tanner has been effective as a starter and reliever and most recently threw a complete game to beat powerful Cherry Creek in the regular season finale.

The Wolves can still hit plenty, but coach Dean Adams feels as good about his pitching as he has in previous trips to the championship series.

“They learned a lot early on and we jumped on them because they got away from doing what we do to be successful,” Adams said.

“They were trying to do too much early in the year in the league and that’s why Arapahoe beat us, but they listened. They are a great group and we just have a good baseball team, we really do. We’ll see what happens.”

Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at  303-750-7555 or


SCHEDULE (MAY 18) — Game 1: No. 8 Pine Creek (19-2) vs. No. 1 Cherry Creek (19-2), 12:30 p.m., All-City Field; Game 2: No. 5 Legend (16-4) vs. No. 4 Ralston Valley (15-6), 10 a.m., All-City Field; Game 3: No. 6 Dakota Ridge (17-3) vs. NO. 3 REGIS JESUIT (17-4), 10 a.m., Bishop Machebeuf H.S.; Game 4: No. 7 Highlands Ranch (15-6) vs. NO. 2 GRANDVIEW (19-2), 12:30 p.m., Bishop Machebeuf H.S.; Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 3 p.m., All-City Field; Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 3 p.m., Bishop Machebeuf H.S.

Courtney Oakes is sports Editor and photographer with Sentinel Colorado. A Denver East High School alum. He came to the Sentinel in 2001 and since then has received a number of professional awards from...

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