Mountain Vista, Ponderosa capture baseball titles

Valor delivers pitching gem, Ponderosa shows hitting prowess

Jim Benton
jbenton@ColoradoCommunityMedia.com
Posted 6/29/21

Mountain Vista and Ponderosa claimed state baseball championships in different ways. The Golden Eagles used strong pitching performances and smart base running to edge Valor Christian, 3-2, in the …

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Mountain Vista, Ponderosa capture baseball titles

Valor delivers pitching gem, Ponderosa shows hitting prowess

Posted

Mountain Vista and Ponderosa claimed state baseball championships in different ways.

The Golden Eagles used strong pitching performances and smart base running to edge Valor Christian, 3-2, in the Class 5A championship game while Ponderosa just pounded out an 11-2 win over Holy Family in the 4A title contest.

Visa rode the pitching performances of senior starter Evan Ma gill and senior reliever Griffin Hart in the conquest over Valor Christian in the June 25 5A final game at Kelli McGuire Field at All-Star Park in Lakewood.

In semifinal games earlier in the day, the Golden Eagles (17-2) held on to down Fairview 6-4 while Valor Christian (18-5) advanced to the title game with a 10-1 romp over Fort Collins.

It was the second state title in three seasons for Vista who won the school’s first crown in 2018.

“The first one was special because it was the first one for Vista,” said Vista coach Ron Quinton. “This one was special because of the boys. This is a close group. This was a different special because a lot of people counted these guys out.”

Both Vista and Valor each got four hits during the game but Ma gill dominated with his curve ball for six innings and Hart saved the victory with a one-two-three seventh inning.

Both Ma gill and Hart were freshman on the 2018 state title team.

“The curve ball was on, the fast ball was on, the slider was on and I didn’t throw a change up,” said Ma gill. “It was a good day. We won state. We worked all season for it.”

Valor took the lead in the top of the first on Blake Wilson’s two run double but Vista came back with a run in the bottom of the first on a RBI double by Tyler Meija who was 2-for-2 and hit by a pitch in the game.

Travis Sprinkle opened the bottom second inning with a infield hit and Trey Dunn walked. After three wild pitches which advanced the runners, both scored and the Golden Eagles grabbed a 3-2 advantage with just an infield hit during the frame.

Magill allowed four hits and struck out nine batters in six innings of work. Valor had a man on third base with one out after an error and wild catch in the sixth inning but Magill got a strike out and rightfielder Sean Marlow made a diving catch on a fly ball to retire the side.

“You’ve got to get the outs with one out,” said Magill. “I was happy to get the strikeout. I was thinking curve balls, curve balls, curve balls because they were swinging right over them and right through them. And the catch was amazing.”
Quintana said Marlow was following orders.

“The second baseman probably should have caught it because he was underneath it but my one rule is catch the ball,” he added. “I don’t care how you catch it but catch it.”

Valor suffered its third loss this season to Mountain Vista.

“Our guys did a great job,” said Valor coach Keith Wahl “They’ll be another day.”

Ponderosa, playing for teammate Luke Karel who is hospitalized while battling leukemia, went into the June 26 finals undefeated in the double elimination tournament but dropped a 10-4 game to Holy Family in the semifinals. The Mustangs got to come back to play the Tigers in the afternoon title game on June 26 in Pueblo.

The Mustangs scored five runs in the sixth inning to seal the title victory over Holy Family and finish the season with a 21-3 record.

Starting pitcher Derek Lukes scattered four hits to Holy Family in seven innings while Skyler Ahern and Dylan Carey each had three hits and combined for three RBIs to spark the Pondo offense. Parker Dennis and Carson Conant had two hits each for the Mustangs.

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