Chaparral bats overwhelm Littleton
Defense by both teams was solid, but Chaparral's bats proved the difference as the Wolverines defeated Littleton 16-2 in Continental League baseball action April 19.
“You have to tip your hat to Chaparral. They are a good hitting team and, when our pitchers got the ball up in the zone, they made us pay for it,” Littleton coach Micah Bernhardt said after the game. “It's been that kind of season for us. We have played good defense and our pitching has been strong in most games, but we haven't scored a lot of runs. It seems we don't get the big hits or those seeing-eye hits when we need them. Despite everything, our kids play hard every game, they play the game the right way and, in this competitive league, we have to play perfect every game to get wins.”
Littleton is now 2-10 overall and 1-3 in league and looking to build some momentum by winning a majority of the eight games left on the schedule.
On the other side of the field, Chaparral is 10-2 overall and leading the league with a 5-0 record.
“Our kids are really playing well. They are playing for each other and taking care of each other,” Chaparral coach Tony Persichina said before the game. “Our strength is a fundamentally solid team. We have a solid pitching staff, play good defense and we have been hitting the ball well.”
He noted the team has the league lead now, and that will be a goal as they head into the home stretch of the season because a league title means an automatic playoff berth. But, like the vast majority of coaches, Persichina said he tells the players to not look ahead but to concentrate on taking the field and focus on winning games one at a time.
Weather has forced games to be rescheduled, so both teams face busy schedules down the home stretch of the season.
The Lions face a stretch of five games in six days in the upcoming week. The Lions wrap up the season with an April 29 home game against Mountain Vista and a May 1 game on the road against Legend.
Chaparral leads the league standings has a four-game schedule in five days in the coming week. The Wolverines wrap up the season with an April 29 game against Rock Canyon and a key May 2 game against ThunderRidge, which is currently 10-2 overall and 3-1 in league.
In the April 19 game, the Wolverines got the bats going early, jumping out to a 5-0 first inning advantage. A big blow came when Keenan Eaton hit a two-run homer. It the fourth inning, he cleared the bases with a grand slam homer.
Pitcher Max Kuhns and teammate Brett Wallace also hit home runs for Chaparral. In all, the Wolverines collected 18 hits, which included the four homers and a trio of doubles.
Littleton got three hits, but two of them were home runs, one by Paul Holden and one by Sean Walker.