|Dragons finish second at districts, qualify for regionals|
|Written by Kyle Arnoldy|
Every time it appeared as though the Holyoke baseball team was preparing to make a comeback in the 2A District 7 championship game, Yuma extended their lead just far enough to keep the Dragons at bay, as the top seeded Holyoke team fell 13-8 Saturday, May 11 in Akron.
Holyoke and Yuma had squared off twice during the regular season with Holyoke walking away from both games with a two-run victory, but Yuma was able to stifle the Holyoke offense just long enough to hold on for the win Saturday.
Holyoke 8, Yuma 13
The Dragons, who finished the regular season with a collective batting average of .422, recorded just two hits in the first four innings of play in the district championship. They had no issues making contact, but would often hit directly to the defense.
“We just didn’t have things going for us,” said coach John Zilla. “We were hitting the ball hard, but right at their kids. We just couldn’t put anything together.”
Meanwhile Yuma continued to hit the ball just out of reach of Holyoke infielders. Zilla commented on how frustrating it is for the team to work to eliminate errors, but have a series of softly hit balls fall in for singles.
Logan Zeiler crossed home on an Indian error in the fourth inning to put the Dragons on the board. After four innings, Yuma was clinging to a 3-1 lead.
The Indians capitalized on three walks to begin the fifth inning, scoring two on a single to cushion their lead.
Dragon catcher Jesus Hermosillo makes a good block behind the plate during the district championship
Holyoke reacted with a sense of urgency in the bottom of the fifth. Bradley Cumming smacked a line drive to left field for a single on the first at-bat of the inning and scored on the next at-bat as his older brother, Brett Cumming, tripled to deep center. Brett would score on a Jaydin Goldenstein sacrifice fly to left field to bring the Dragons back within two runs.
After a few singles and a walk, a Dragon error opened the door for three Indians to cross home plate in the sixth inning. Three more Yuma players would score, including one who was walked in, before the Dragons could stop the bleeding. Holyoke faced an 11-3 deficit heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
With two outs in the sixth, Trevor Dalton doubled to the right-center gap, scoring two Dragons. Dalton got caught trying to stretch the hit into a triple, ending the inning with HHS trailing 11-5.
A Yuma hit falls just past the outstretched glove of shortstop Logan Tharp during the district championship
With a walk and a hit batter to begin the seventh inning, an Indian double scored two more Yuma runs, extending the lead to 13-5.
Holyoke began the bottom of the seventh inning strong. Jaydin Goldenstein reached base on an infield single and Jesus Hermosillo doubled off the left-field fence. Tharp picked up an RBI on an infield single and Dylan Kotch knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Bradley Cumming kept the game alive with a single down the third-base line for another run but the comeback would fall short on the next at-bat as HHS fell 13-8.
Dalton threw the first three innings for Holyoke, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out one batter. Tharp took over in the fourth inning, allowing two runs to score before being taken out in the fifth.
Deyten Klein took over in the fifth inning and allowed four runs before leaving the game after hyperextending his leg in the sixth. Alfredo Santos finished out the game for the Dragons, allowing four runs on four hits.
Bradley Cumming led the Dragons with three hits in the game. Brett Cumming, Hermosillo and Tanner Smith each had two hits in the game as well.
The 2A field is now down to just 16 teams.
Holyoke enters the 2A Regional Baseball Tournament as the No. 12 team in the state and will compete in Region 2 of the bracket at Niwot High School.
HHS will face fifth-seeded Paonia in the first round, Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. Peyton, No. 13, will face fourth-seeded Lutheran Saturday at 10 a.m. and the winners will square off at 1 p.m.
Players in the Holyoke dugout watch in anticipation as Dragon batters try to mount a comeback in their game against Yuma last Saturday.
The winner will move on to the semifinal round of the state tournament bracket Saturday, May 25 at 12:30 p.m. at the All-Star Park in Lakewood.
“Hopefully we can go out there and make a strong showing for Holyoke and our league,” Zilla said. “We just have to be ready to swing the bat, put the ball in play and have no mental mistakes.”
Click here for Enterprise coverage on the first two district games.
Holyoke Enterprise May 16, 2013