AURORA | Yasmine Ybarra’s home run got it started, but everybody in the Smoky Hill lineup contributed to the most pivotal inning of the season Saturday.

Ybarra’s three-run moonshot over the center field fence in the top of the fifth inning at the Aurora Sports Park put the Buffaloes in front of Douglas County in a Class 5A Region 1 state qualifying game and it ignited an eight-run rally that helped push them to a 9-6 victory.

Seventeenth-seeded Smoky Hill downed the 16th-seeded Huskies twice — sandwiched around a loss to top-seeded Cherokee Trail in the regional championship game — to earn its way back to the 5A state tournament for the first time since 2015.

Ybarra homered three times in all on the day for coach B.J. Kingsbaker’s Buffaloes, who are one of four Aurora teams to qualify for the Oct. 19-20 state tournament. Top-seeded Cherokee Trail, No. 2 Eaglecrest and No. 21 Regis Jesuit also made it.

Seedings and schedule for the state tournament are due out Monday.

Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Sentinel Prep Sports


Oct. 13 at Aurora Sports Park

Game 1: NO. 1 CHEROKEE TRAIL 18, No. 32 Denver East 0 (5 inn.); Game 2: No. 17 SMOKY HILL 7, No. 16 Douglas County 6; Game 3: NO. 1 CHEROKEE TRAIL 6, NO. 17 SMOKY HILL 0(NO. 1 CHEROKEE TRAIL qualifies for 5A state tournament); Game 4: No. 16 Douglas County 23, No. 32 Denver East 1; Game 5: NO. 17 SMOKY HILL 9, No. 16 Douglas County 6 (NO. 17 SMOKY HILL qualifies for 5A state tournament)

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...