Middle Park High School / Baseball: Team battles its way to win, 10-8
Sky-Hi Daily News
In Tuesday’s home game against Peak to Peak, Middle Park High’s baseball players had to battle back from an 8-1 deficit to win, 10-8.
Though the team celebrated its hard earned victory, players were a bit surprised they had to work so hard for the win. Peak to Peak was not considered to be threat after winning only three games this season. In comparison, Middle Park entered the game strong after sweeping a doubleheader against a tough Kent Denver team the previous Saturday.
“I believe we made the cardinal sin of looking past Peak to Peak to anticipate our doubleheader with Holy Family that was set for Friday,” said Coach James Newberry. “As coaches, we have to bear the fault. It was our players who didn’t panic, pulled together and won the game against Peak to Peak.”
As Tuesday’s game opened, Peak to Peak built up a huge lead in the first couple of innings. In the opening inning, they racked up three runs from errors and walks, and then five more runs in the second inning.
“We came into the game unprepared and were not making the plays we needed,” Newberry said. “It was a team effort in the wrong direction.”
While Peak to Peak put eight runs up on the scoreboard, Middle Park could muster only one of its own. That single run was earned in the bottom of the first inning by Ian Sutton who singled, stole second and third bases, and then scored on an error by the shortstop on a hit by Justen Strang.
Shocked to find themselves so far behind on the scoreboard, the Panthers finally rallied in the third inning.
Middle Park’s pitching settled down to hold Peak to Peak and the team’s batters started connecting with the ball to earn another four runs.
The third-inning rally began with Chad Sprague doubling and then being driven in to score by a single batted by P.J. Cross. Brian Moore followed with a single, then stole second base as Cross raced to third.
Alex Morrow kept the rally going by belting a single that drove in Cross, and then stole second base. Sutton was up next and blasted a double that earned two RBIs as Moore and Morrow raced home to score.
Neither team scored in the fourth inning, but things changed in a big way at the bottom of the fifth. The Panthers’ first batter Jordan Reynolds made a powerful swing, connected with the ball and sent it sailing over the outfield fence for his second home run of the season.
After the excitement of that homer, it looked as if Middle Park was stalling after the next two batters made outs. However, the Panthers refused to quit and Morrow proved it by blasting the ball deep into the outfield for a triple. Sutton quickly joined him on base with a walk, followed by stealing second base.
With two men on, Strang stepped to the plate, took aim and rocketed the ball over the outfield fence for a three-run homer that put Middle Park into the lead by one run. Then, for insurance, the Panthers added one more run after Mike Stefanski batted a single that drove in Mike Zieff who had gotten on with a single and stolen second base.
“It was quite a comeback for us after being down 8-1 to finally win it 10-8,” Newberry said.
The Panthers will be playing their final regular season game at home this Tuesday, April 29. They will be hosting Clear Creek’s Golddiggers in a 4 p.m. game.
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Middle Park High School baseball players have faced some blowout wins and losses alike this season, yet the group showed their stuff this week in one of their closest games yet.