The spring sports season always seems like a whirlwind, so it shouldn't come as a big surprise that the postseason is looming across the board.
A baseball season that began not quite two months ago is headed in the same direction. Only two weeks remain in the regular season for the bigger classifications, with Class 1A wrapping up the regular season this weekend.
Regional tournaments for 5A-3A are slated for May 12, with the state tournament getting rolling the following weekend (the 1A state championship game is the exception – that is set for May 17).
But before playoff seeding can be determined, there are still a number of crucial league games yet to be played. While some teams may have a firm grip on a conference crown, others league are still up-for-grabs. Here is a quick look at some key upcoming games, highlighting a handful of league races down the stretch across the state:Class 5A
Continental League: Mountain Vista (Highlands Ranch)
is the only undefeated team remaining in 5A, but nothing has been decided in the Continental League just yet. On Tuesday, Heritage (Littleton)
(12-2, 5-1) hosts Douglas County (Castle Rock)
(11-3, 4-1) for second place in the league standings. Both teams still have to face the Golden Eagles (15-0, 6-0) in the next week. Top-ranked Mountain Vista hosts No. 3 Heritage on Friday and visits No. 9 Douglas County on Monday. The Golden Eagles have slugged 25 home runs, and Jack Liffrig
and Sam Ireland
are each 7-0 on the mound. Heritage senior Riley Egloff
is 5-0 with a 1.58 ERA; Douglas County senior Lucas Degarmo
is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA and 53 strikeouts.Front Range League:
Is there any tighter race in the state right now? Three teams are tied for the league lead with 6-2 marks, and five more teams are within striking distance. Legacy (Broomfield)
(12-3, 6-2) and Broomfield
(9-4, 6-2) square off at 11 a.m. Saturday, though the Eagles have a big game with Monarch (Louisville)
(9-4-1, 5-2) on Tuesday first. The Coyotes already own victories over the Lightning and defending state champion Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins)
(7-7, 6-2). A Monarch victory over the Eagles would put the Coyotes in driver's seat with four games remaining.
Southwestern League: Fruita Monument
and Grand Junction
play twice in the next four days, and both teams could take control of the league title. The Wildcats (11-4, 4-0) have been on a roll as of late. Junior Zach Rush
is hitting .580, and senior Trey Morrill
is 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 53 strikeouts. Grand Junction (8-7, 3-1) opened the season with a six-game losing streak, but has won eight of its past nine games.
Pikes Peak League:
With league doubleheaders, momentum can shift in a hurry. Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado Springs)
and Palmer Ridge (Monument)
are both at 11-3 overall, but the Indians (8-1 in PPL) have a one-game lead on the Bears (7-2) at the moment. Those two teams play May 1 at Cheyenne Mountain and May 3 at Palmer Ridge. Bears senior Gabe Halaby
is batting .549 with 20 RBI.Tri-Valley League: Windsor
is 4A's only undefeated team, and the Wizards (14-0, 10-0) have proven they can hit and pitch with the best of them. Senior Ryan Jares
is 5-0 with a 0.23 ERA, having allowed one earned run in 30-plus innings. Windsor will need to get past Holy Family (Broomfield)
(10-3, 8-2) twice in three days this week to win the league crown though. Junior Jordan McFarland
is 2-0 with 0.73 ERA in 28.2 innings of work for the Tigers.
Denver Prep League:
Speaking of doubleheaders, the DPL might very well be decided by a doubleheader on May 7. Denver North
(9-2, 9-1) hosts Kennedy (Denver)
(10-3, 9-1) to see which team will potentially emerge with the Denver Prep title. Kennedy has a team ERA of 3.16 this season, led by senior Edwing Corrales
(4-1, 1.94 ERA, 69 strikeouts).
Colorado Springs Metro League: Canon City
(12-2, 4-0) has been a force in 4A this spring, and the Tigers can move another step closer to the league title with a victory over The Classical Academy (Colorado Springs)
(7-7, 4-1) on Tuesday. Canon City still has to face Elizabeth
and Woodland Park
as well, with both teams having one league loss. Junior Lincoln Andrews
is batting .585 and senior Shane Coffey
isn't far behind at .523.
South Central League: Pueblo West
(10-4, 5-1) has already edged Pueblo County
(10-5, 4-2) once this season. Those two teams meet again May 1, with the Cyclones looking to lock up the league title. Juniors Tyler Declusin
and Jayden Cordova
are both hitting above .500 for Pueblo West and have combined for 40 RBI and 37 runs scored.Class 4A/3A
Colorado 7 League: Fort Morgan
and Fort Lupton
are both 5-0 in league play with 10 victories overall on the season. The teams meet Wednesday for the league title. Fort Morgan (4A) has been paced by the torrid hitting of Trey McBride
(.605, 24 RBI, four home runs); 3A's Fort Lupton has ripped 16 triples, with John Howard
and Dustin Howard
combining for 11 of those with 18 stolen bases between them.Class 3A
Metro League: Faith Christian (Arvada)
(10-1, 5-0) hasn't dropped an in-state game this season, but the Eagles will be tested Saturday when they play host to Peak to Peak (Lafayette)
(10-2, 7-1) in a league doubleheader. Junior Michael Thorne
has been lights out on the mound for Faith Christian, going 4-0 with a 0.54 ERA and 45 strikeouts (to only three walks). Matt Bagnato
and Max Higdon
are both battling above .500 for the Pumas.
Top-ranked University (Greeley)
(13-1, 4-0) has dropped only one game, a one-run decision to No. 2 Lamar
on March 23. The Bulldogs are hoping to put away the league title May 1 when they visit Valley (Gilcrest)
(9-5, 4-0). University is hitting .452 as a team with six players having at least 20 hits. Senior Grayson Swanson
has five home runs and 33 RBI. Junior Tyler Kissler
leads Valley in runs (21) and RBI (19).
Tri-Peaks East League:
Speaking of Lamar, University repaid the favor by handing the Savages their only loss of the season to date as well. Second-ranked Lamar (15-1, 6-0) closes out the regular season against No. 4 La Junta
(11-3, 4-1) with two games this week. Lamar senior Dalton Chandler
has 55 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched, and Davin Jacobs
has five home runs 27 RBI.
Tri-Peaks West League: Buena Vista
(10-2, 5-0) is closing in on a league title, but has to get past Salida
(9-6, 4-2) in a doubleheader Saturday.
Western Slope League: Aspen
are each 5-0 in league play, and those two teams tangle Friday afternoon in Delta. The Skiers are 10-2 on the season but have six games remaining. Senior Jamison Fuentes
is 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA and 76 strikeouts for Aspen. Delta senior Jaspar Carmichael
has 27 hits and 24 runs scored.Class 2A
(13-1, 4-0) has a tough challenge with two games in two days this week with No. 4 Hotchkiss
(11-1, 4-0). Paonia's Jaden Miller
is batting .649 with four home runs and 30 runs driven in, and Kayden Seriani
is hitting .578 with seven home runs and 34 RBI. The Eagles have a 1.06 ERA as a team.
(12-1, 6-0) takes on No. 8 Calhan
(11-3, 5-1) twice in the next three days. The Panthers have a 1.47 team ERA, and junior Rodney Gregg
is 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA and 67 strikeouts.