was hoping to finish what he started Friday.
The senior right-hander from Highlands Ranch
was two outs from a complete-game victory against Grandview (Aurora)
in the opening round of the Class 5A state tournament when he finally faltered. Luckily for Burr and his teammates, Tony Audino
stepped in to save the day.
Audino worked out of a one-out, bases loaded jam to preserve a 5-3 victory for the seventh-seeded Falcons at Bishop Machebeuf High School.
With the win, Highlands Ranch advanced to take on defending champion Regis Jesuit (Aurora)
, and Audino tossed a complete game in a 4-3 victory against the Raiders. Senior Geordy Smith
hit a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh to win.
Highlands Ranch (17-6) will take on Continental League rival and fifth-seeded Legend (Parker)
(18-4) at 3 p.m. Saturday at All City Field in a matchup of the two remaining unbeatens in the double-elimination tournament.
"I would've liked to have finished the game, but luckily, Tony came in and closed it out for us," said Burr, who allowed just three hits and struck out 10. "I think it was a combination of fatigue and me overthrowing my pitches that caused me to lose command there in the seventh inning.
"But, a win is a win, especially in the state tournament, so I'm not complaining."
While Burr utilized his powerful fastball (clocked in the low-90s), he also mixed in more off-speed pitches to keep the Grandview bats at bay.
"You're just trying to keep (the hitter) off-balance," Burr said. "I have been struggling with my off-speed stuff all year, but was able to use it more (Friday) and my fastball felt really good. I was able to locate, especially on that low outside corner and knew that if I got in trouble I could go back to that spot."
It also didn't hurt the Arizona State recruit that the Falcons staked to a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Two of the runs came off the bat of center fielder Ben Hoffman
, who hit a two-run home run to left field.
"It makes pitching so much easier when you've got a lead like that," Burr said.
Hoffman said he was looking for the exact pitch he received from Grandview's Mike Tanner
"It was a middle-in fastball, just where I like it," Hoffman said. "I put a good swing on it and the ball just carried."Ben Hoffman
also went deep for Highlands Ranch, as he belted a solo home run to right-center field in the sixth inning to put the Falcons up 5-1. With two wins Friday, Highlands Ranch assured itself a spot in the final four next weekend, regardless of Saturday's outcome. Regis Jesuit 18, Dakota Ridge 5
In the first game of the day at Bishop Machebeuf, the approach at the plate for Regis against Dakota Ridge (Littleton)
was simple: If you don't see a pitch you can hit, don't swing.
The Raiders took pitch after pitch after pitch, drawing 11 walks in all against four different Eagles pitchers en route to the easy win. And, when the third-seeded Raiders did offer at a pitch, the results were good. They banged out 17 hits.
"We knew that their starting pitcher (A.J. Valerio
) had beaten Cherry Creek, so we really wanted to work the count, make him throw a lot of pitches," said Regis second baseman Max George
, who went 2-for-3 with a home run, triple, three walks and two RBI.
Aided by six first-inning walks, Regis jumped to a 6-0 lead. While Dakota Ridge did trim the deficit to 6-4 in the second, the Raiders pulled away, as they scored 12 runs over the next four innings to close it out in six.Peter Bayer
shook off the tough second inning and went the distance for Regis. He struck out nine and walked one.
"It feels good to start off (state) this way," George said. "Peter did a great job for us."
Regis will meet the winner of Pine Creek (Colorado Springs)
and Ralston Valley (Arvada)
at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bishop Machebeuf in an elimination game.Also, at the All City Field site, Legend emerged as the lone unbeaten team from the top part of the bracket.
The Titans (18-4) received a complete-game shutout from Tyler Honahan
in their opener, a 3-0 win against Ralston Valley, before beating top-seed Cherry Creek (Greenwood Village)
3-2. Legend also is assured a berth in the semifinals.
In its opener, Cherry Creek rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh against Pine Creek before winning in the eighth on a wild pitch in a 7-6 victory. The Bruins (20-3) will meet the winner of Grandview and Dakota Ridge at 12:30 p.m. at All City Field on Saturday.
Grandview and Dakota Ridge will play at 10 a.m. at All City Field.