|Dragons 1-1 at Regionals; end season with 11-9 record|
|Written by April Peregoy|
An impressive showing was made by Holyoke High’s varsity baseball team at the regional tournament in Sterling on Friday, May 8, as the Dragons fought for a chance at the 2A state tournament championships.
After battling hard for the 11-10 victory against Division IV’s #1-ranked Resurrection Christian team, HHS lost some steam and was defeated by the Front Range Christian Falcons, 11-18.
The loss put an end to the Dragon baseball season, with the team attaining an 11-9 record.
Proud coach Kyle Bules said the following about his team and the 2009 season:
“We beat the number-one team in the state and that speaks volumes in and of itself. The kids worked very hard to get where they are and I am very proud of them. They came together as a team to accomplish a common goal and we could not have done it without that.”
He added, “I will say that this baseball team had their backs against the wall all season long and no matter how far behind we ever got, they never gave up. And that is why we had the success that we did.”
He also thanked the parents, community, staff and coaches for all their support of Dragon Baseball, saying, “It is greatly appreciated.”
Holyoke 11, Res. Christian 10
According to coach Bules, the Dragons were prepared for their first game of the day against the Resurrection Christian Cougars.
“I talked with numerous coaches in the state to see what we could do to beat them, and we worked on those very hard in practice,” he said. “We were able to execute both offensively and defensively against Resurrection. It was a very fun game to coach.”
Beating the Cougars, he added, “was the highlight of the season.”
But it wasn’t an easy win for the Dragons, who batted first as the visiting team.
Off to a slow start with both teams held scoreless in the first inning, Holyoke picked up the pace in the top of the second by scoring five runs. Austin Tharp’s double drove three of those runners across the plate. The Cougars picked up two runs in the bottom for a 5-2 second inning score.
HHS earned another run in the third, but Resurrection Christian added three more runs to its score, bringing the team within one point of the lead.
A home run hit by Logan Krueger in the top of the fourth was the only run mustered by Holyoke in the fourth, while the Cougars picked up two more to tie the game. The Dragon defense really pulled through in the bottom of the inning, catching a Cougar ball for the third out with the bases loaded.
With the Dragons unable to score in the fifth, Resurrection pushed ahead for the first time in the game, bringing the score to 7-8.
However, the opponent made some costly errors in the sixth, allowing Brent Vasa to bring home two runners on a single to center field. But the Cougars replied with two runs of their own to hold on to their one-point edge.
In the final inning, Brian DeBoer made it around the diamond to put up another run for Holyoke. Then Ryan Baumgartner hit a single that sent Austin Tharp across home plate to regain control of the scoreboard. After that, it was up to the defense to hold out for the win, which they did. Holding the Cougars scoreless in the seventh, HHS came out on top with a score of 11-10.
Tharp was the man of the game, pitching the entire seven innings and striking out 10. He also scored three runs, hit a double and had three RBIs.
Krueger was three for four at bat, scoring two runs, including one homer, and three RBIs.
Statistics provided to Max Preps by HHS coach
AB R H RBI
Reid Baumgartner 4 1 2 1
DeBoer 5 1 2 1
Tharp 4 2 2 3
Ryan Baumgartner 5 2 3 1
Krueger 4 2 3 3
Pelle 4 1 1 0
Gerk 4 0 0 0
Vasa 2 1 1 1
Price 3 1 0 0
Totals 35 11 14 10
HR - Krueger. 2B - Tharp. SB - Tharp, Ryan Baumgartner, Krueger.
Holyoke 0 5 1 1 0 2 2 —11
RCHS 0 2 3 2 1 2 0 —10
Holyoke 11, FR Christian 18
Holyoke Dragons were off to another strong start against the Front Range Christian Falcons in their second game of the day. Krueger hit a double to bring home two runners. He then crossed the plate himself, giving Holyoke a three-run advantage.
The Falcons put up two runs in the bottom of the first for a one-point game.
Things began heading south for the Dragons in the second inning, with the team unable to score. Then Front Range went to bat, blowing Holyoke’s pitchers out of the water for a devastating eight-run streak.
“I think we were a little tired in the second game and did not have the same intensity that we did against Resurrection Christian,” said coach Bules. “We gave up eight runs in the second inning and it was hard to make up that difference.”
Four runs were given up on a double and triple, followed by three home runs in a row for the Falcons. Krueger took the mound for his team to finish the inning, and remained there the rest of the game, but the damage had already been done.
Now facing a 3-10 deficit heading into the third, HHS attempted a comeback in the next two innings, scoring four runs and holding the Falcons to one for a score of 7-11. Helping the Dragons along was Brandon Price with a home run in the fourth.
Another blow from Front Range came in the fifth, however, as the defense held Holyoke to zero. The team then added three more runs to its lead, making the score 7-14.
One last push in the sixth by the Dragons brought them within four again, giving Holyoke fans some hope they could still pull through and win. It was Tharp who was mainly responsible for the surge, hitting a home run to push three Dragons across home plate.
The Falcons were quick to crush all hope though in the bottom of the inning when they scored the last four runs of the game and secured a seven-run win over Holyoke.
Despite the loss, coach Bules chose to focus on the positives, saying, “FR is a good hitting team.They beat the ball around the ballpark. It is not often that a team (Holyoke) scores 11 runs in the game and ends up losing. That tells you how good of a hitting team they were.”
Price started the game on the mound before being replaced by Tharp in the second inning. After only a few pitches however, it was Krueger who stepped up to finish the game. Price took the loss.
Krueger had two strikeouts, five bases on balls and three earned runs.
Hitting home runs were Tharp, Krueger and Price. Price also hit a triple and was three for three. Krueger hit two doubles and had two runs and five RBIs. DeBoer had a double as well, and was four for five at bat.
Statistics provided to Max Preps by HHS coach
AB R H RBI
Reid Baumgartner 4 0 0 0
DeBoer 5 3 4 0
Tharp 3 3 1 3
Ryan Baumgartner 4 0 2 2
Krueger 5 2 3 5
Pelle 3 0 0 0
Gerk 4 0 0 0
Vasa 4 0 0 0
Price 3 3 3 1
Totals 35 11 13 11
HR - Tharp, Krueger, Price. 3B - Price. 2B - DeBoer, Krueger (2). SB - DeBoer, Tharp.
Holyoke 3 0 1 3 0 4 0 —11
FRCHS 2 8 0 1 3 4 - —18