Dylan Carey donned the robe that the Ponderosa Mustangs’ baseball team gives to the most valuable player of the game.
Carey was wearing the robe after the Mustangs’ 9-5 win over Legend on April 29 at the Titans’ diamond.
It was a miserable day for baseball with the temperature around 53 degrees and a cold wind gusting to around 30 miles per hour blowing from left field toright field.
“It wasn’t bad at all,” joked Pondo coach Bob Maloney. “If we had lost, I would have said it was awful. It was very hard for our outfielders and it was tough to play with these conditions.”
Carey echoed the thoughts of his coach.
“It was pretty cold and windy,” he said. “My lips are destroyed from the wind. I keep on licking them but there are super dry. That’s baseball in Colorado.”
Carey, a senior shortstop who is committed to play at Nebraska, had a good day despite the conditions.
He had a sacrifice fly, a double and triple and wound up with five runs batted in. He also made a diving catch to prevent a hit in the sixth inning and closed out the game on the mound in the seventh, allowing a hit but striking out two batters.
Tyler Smith also had two hits, a triple and solo home run, for Pondo and starting pitcher Gabe Jacobs allowed one hit and one run in four innings of work.
Cam Cartwright had two hits for Legend.
“I was just trying to help the team as much as possible,” said Carey. “The first at-bat I was pulling the ball (to the left) and I had to hit the ball to the right side.
“We’re finally starting to hit a groove. We started out a little slow but we’ve finally hit our groove and figured out a few things and I’m proud of the guys.”
Ponderosa, the defending Class 4A state champions, improved to 11-6 overall and 3-3 in the Continental League against 5A schools.
Legend slipped to 3-3 in the league and 10-6 overall.
Pondo was ranked fourth in theClass 4A CHSAANow.com poll and Legend was ninth in the 5A rankings
“We’re not the same team as last year but as far as where we can be, we have aspirations to win again,” said Maloney. “Our guys are competing. Two of our best hitters have been out the past week and we find ways to win. Our pitching as been excellent. Gabe Jacobs and Tyler Smith have been unbelievable for us. The whole has been a team concept. Everybody contributes. We haven’t hit our peak yet, I don’t think. but we’re going in the right direction.”
Maloney emphasized that playing in the Continental League helps when it comes to 4A playoff time.
“I’ve been here eight years,” he added. “We might go 3-7 in league but playing those 10 league games and this isn’t a disservice to other 4A schools but when we get into the 4A playoffs we’re not going to see a team that is better than we see in the Continental League.
“We might get beat up at times but we’ll take that because it makes us better.”