LITTLETON — Chatfield senior Christian Foutch finally got his shot to take the mound against rival Columbine in a Class 5A Jeffco League game April 23.
The University of Arkansas-commit didn’t disappoint throwing a complete-game shutout in the Chargers’ 12-0 victory that ended after five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
“It was awesome to the throw the Columbine game,” Foutch said. “It meant everything because I’ve never thrown against Columbine. I just wanted to come in here, fill up the (strike) zone and make them earn everything. I think I did a pretty good job of that.”
Foutch threw under 70 pitches while striking out eight and giving up just two hits and one walk. Despite a strong wind blowing directly out to centerfield, the hard-throwing righty had only to balls reach the outfield.
Senior Grayson Headrick singled in the bottom of the first inning and senior Brock Zanetell singled in the bottom of the fourth inning for the only two hits of the game for the Rebels (3-13, 0-3 in 5A Jeffco League).
Foutch finished the game catching an infield popup.
“I caught the last one,” Foutch said with a smile, adding he was please with how his fielders handled catching four infield popups in the tricky wind. “I caught the last one. Just decided I should be the one to end it.”
Chatfield (6-8-1, 2-1) has had a power surge offensively since conference play started last week. The Chargers have put up double-digit runs in all three league games. Senior Dylan Novotny led the charge against Columbine with solo home runs to leadoff the second and third innings.
“Earlier in the game I was thinking right side,” Novotny said of his approach at the plate. “I wanted to make sure I got on base to start off those innings. I barreled up two balls and obviously with the wind its going to take them.”
Novotny also walked and scored in Chatfield’s 6-run top of the fifth inning.
“It was definitely nice to have Foutch on the field with him and I both being seniors,” Novotny said. “It being our last game against Columbine we definitely needed to do something today because we weren’t going to leave this field with a loss.”
Senior Aidan Mullen went back-to-back with Novotny in the second inning ripping a solo home run over the left field fence the pitch after Novotny’s first home run.
“Aidan and Dylan have both been hitting the ball really well,” Chatfield coach Brett Pieratt said. “They were lights out in BP (batting practice) this morning and felt today was going to be special for both of those guys.”
It was the second straight game where Chatfield was able to end the game early. The Chargers defeated Bear Creek 16-1 in four innings on April 21. Two big bounce-back wins after a rough conference opener April 19 at Ralston Valley.
“It was definitely frustrating for sure. Not just because I started the game, but seeing how we got outhit and couldn’t shut the door on them,” Foutch said of the 12-11 loss to Ralston Valley in the league opener where Chatfield led 11-5 after five innings. “It put a salty taste in our mouth and we have focused on winning every game from here on out to win league.”
Junior Mason Lowe had struck out his first three plate appearances against Columbine, but the two-sport star belted a 3-run double to the wall to push Chatfield’s lead to 10-0 in the top of the fifth inning.
“We feel like if we score 11 runs we should be anybody,” Pieratt said.
Chatfield has a home non-league game against Grandview on Monday, April 25. The Chargers get back into conference play with three straight road contests against Arvada West (April 28), Lakewood (April 30) and Valor Christian (May 3).
“We feel like everyone is going to have a loss in league,” Pieratt said. “We have a chance and we just have to keep playing. The last two games we’ve had to quality starts from our pitchers and we are hitting the ball.”
Dennis Pleuss is the Sports Information Director for Jeffco Public Schools. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com.