GREENWOOD VILLAGE — It was a rematch of last season’s Class 5A state championship baseball game.
And, the result was the same as Cherry Creek defeated Legend, 12-4, Tuesday at Tom McCullen Field at Cherry Creek High School.
In last year’s state title game at All-City Stadium, the Bruins blanked the Titans 6-0 to capture the state title.
Derik Beauprez walked five batters but limited the Titans to one hit in last spring’s championship victory and the 6-foot-4 senior made his first start of the season against Legend.
He allowed six hits, four runs, walked four and struck out five in five innings as Cherry Creek, the state’s top-ranked team, won for the third time in three games this season.
“I felt fine,” Beauprez said. “The first two innings, I was solid. I started walking some guys. It’s early. I’m not too worried about it. I had a better outing against them (Legend) last year but they hit the ball better this game, more contact at least.”
Legend used a walk and four hits to score four runs in the fourth inning against Beauprez, who was playing in his first game of the season after recovering from an illness.
However, the Bruins exploded for five runs against Titans starter Bobby Dalbec in the bottom of the fourth.
“We give them a five spot in the fourth after we had scored four runs, that kind of woke them up,” Legend coach Scott Fellers said.
Dalbec, the Titans’ shortstop and leading hitter, has assumed a role as a starting pitcher this season since Legend lost three pitchers off last year’s teams via graduation.
He allowed nine runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings.
“We’re easing him back in,” Fellers said. “He pitched two innings against Columbine. Bobby threw the ball pretty well.”
Jake Gentry’s two hits paced Legend’s offense as the Titans fell to 1-3 against a tough non-league schedule.
“I thought we played well for not being outside that much this spring,” Fellers said. “We have half our guys back from last year and half are new. We are looking at what the new guys can do. With us losing three pitchers we have to see who can pitch. We play four games in five or six days where we can see two guys pitch each day and go from there.
“Playing good competition will get us ready for the Continental League.”
Cherry Creek catcher Lane Mulligan, who belted two home runs in last May’s championship game against Legend, went 3-for-4 Tuesday with a homer and five runs batted in. He had a three-run double in the Bruins’ five-run uprising in the fourth inning.
Griffin Jax hit two homers and had three RBI for Cherry Creek.
“Griffin and Lane have been on fire,” Cherry Creek coach Marc Johnson said. “We feel good about what Derik did. This was his first game.”