Ryan Robb, the second batter to the plate, got Cherry Creek off to a good start by hitting the first of his team’s five home runs as the Bruins posted a 14-2 win over Arapahoe in Centennial League baseball action.
“The bats were hot today,” Bruin coach Marc Johnson said after the April 22 game. “We tied our season total in home runs today. We had five home runs in all of our games up to today and hit five homers today.”
Arapahoe Coach Luke Muller said Cherry Creek deserved the credit because they hit the ball hard.
“Our pitchers threw strikes but the pitches were up where the batters could hit them hard. I’m not making excuses but our park is small, the wind was blowing out and that could have helped a long fly over the fence,” he said. “You can battle back when you are a couple runs behind but we were down by 14 after two innings. Our kids kept working to try to score runs but that’s just too big a gap to overcome.”
The loss drops the Warriors record to 12-3 overall and gives them their first league defeat. At 9-1 in Centennial League action, the Warriors still sit atop the standings with a one-game lead over Cherry Creek (11-4, 8-2).
Arapahoe now travels to Eaglecrest April 26, returns home April 29 to play Overland and is on the road May 1 against Grandview. The Bruins are on the road April 26 at Mullen, then return home to play Cherokee Trail April 29 and Overland May 1.
Arapahoe retired the first Bruin batter April 22, but then Robb hit his solo homer and two batters later, Matt Rindall hit a two-run shot to make the score 3-0.
When the Bruins came back up in the top of the second, they put the game quickly out of reach. Jack Gillett hit a two-run homer for his first of two shots on the inning. Gillett drove in three to cap the nine-run inning and give the Bruins the 12-0 lead.
Parker Jax hit the last of the team’s five homers in the top of the third inning with a man on base, pushing the lead to 14-0.
The Warriors found hits hard to come by as Bruin hurler Justin Jeronimus threw four scoreless innings. Jeronimus gave up just two hits and struck out five before being relieved by Blake Goldsberry in the fifth.
“My fastball was working well for me today,” Jeronimus said. “I was able to locate my pitches and (they were) tailing away from the batters near the plate. I just threw strikes. I had good defense behind me and we got the win which is a big one for us.”
Detek Troeger took over on the mound for the Warriors in the third inning after the Bruins chased both Ryan Kearney and CJ Bossart. Troeger held the Bruins to four hits and no runs the rest of the way with his side-arm pitches that moved all over the strike zone.
Arapahoe managed to finally get on the scoreboard in the final inning, tagging Goldsberry for a pair of runs. The Warriors loaded the bases with two singles and a hit batter Then Ted Ramirez blasted a two-run double for the team’s only runs on the afternoon. The Warriors loaded the bases again but the Bruins recorded the final two outs to ice the win.
“This was a good game for us and put us in a better spot in the league standings,” Johnson said. “We split the two games we played with Arapahoe and if we win our final three games, we are second in the league and in the playoffs.”
In the other dugout, Muller said it was just one of those days.
“Even with the loss we are still in first place,” he said. “We’ll just put today’s game behind us and focus on winning the final four games of the season. We are league champs if we win those final regular season games. We are pretty healthy and we’ll just keep working and then see what we can do in the playoffs.”