Misch’s bat, glove leads Summit baseball sweep of Eagle Valley
Pair of victories are first at home in years for program
The Summit High School varsity baseball team won a home game for the first time in years, winning both games of a doubleheader versus Eagle Valley on Tuesday, May 18 at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area.
The home win was the first for any Tiger on the roster, mainly because the Tigers traditionally don’t play many home games in a typical earlier spring season unaffected by COVID-19. One of the preeminent silver linings to the Colorado High School Activities Association delaying and extending the high school baseball season in response to the pandemic was the benefit to the Tigers’ home schedule up above 9,000 feet.
Though gloomy clouds cloaking Buffalo Mountain beyond the centerfield fence appeared threatening, the doubleheader went off without a hitch and the Tigers won each contest in differing fashions.
Summit sealed the nightcap 3-2 on a game-winning fielding play by senior captain Zach Misch playing at shortstop. Misch earned the final out of the game by deftly catching a hard-hit line drive right to his spot at shortstop with the tying run on second base.
The play was the exclamation point on a day where Misch did just about everything for Summit. That included leading Summit’s 5-run, 2-out rally in the bottom of the second inning of the first game, breaking the game open from a 1-1 tie. Misch then added a home run to left-center field as an insurance run in a 3-of-4 showing from the plate in the 9-5 win.
“He was just seeing the ball great that first game,” Summit head coach Patrick Stehler said. “He had a tight, compact swing. He had an outstanding day at the plate. And Brecken Perlow with three hits on that first game as well was a standout guy. He was able to get out of the slump.”
Perlow burst out of his hitting slump after the third baseman made a gem down the third base line, reaching over the foul line fence to catch a ball outside of the diamond.
“We call it the ‘baseball gods,’” Stehler said. “If you make a good play in the field you’re bound to have a good plate appearance your next at bat.”
Summit’s offense outburst gave sophomore starting pitcher Will Koll and junior reliever KJ Slaugh the room they needed to throw the Tigers to a win.
Koll overcame walking four Devils batters to give up only one earned run on two Devils hits.
After Koll fanned a pair of hitters through three innings, Slaugh gave up 10 hits and four runs in four innings to deliver Summit to victory. Slaugh did so thanks to not giving up any walks and sending down batters in two timely strikeouts.
Stehler said Summit did a great job in the opening game with clutch hitting with two outs.
“It was just great how they continued to battle and work deep into counts,” Stehler said.
Will Koll sends a shot to left field during the Summit High School varsity baseball team’s pair of wins over Eagle Valley at the Frisco Peninsula Recreation Area in Frisco on Tuesday. | Photo by Joel Wexler / Rocky Mountain.Photography
Summit also battled in the field, making important outs in crucial places on the field, including sophomore catcher Cassius Bradford pouncing on a passed ball and lobbing it back to Koll who was covering home to keep the Devils off the board.
Summit didn’t pull away in the second game, but they didn’t need to thanks to junior starting pitcher Charlie Pedigo and junior reliever Jax Boyd’s pair of performances. Pedigo went a deep 5-and-a-third innings before Boyd closed it out.
Each pitcher racked up strikeouts while Misch at shortstop, senior captain Foster Krueger at first base and sophomore Jack Schierholz made several impressive fielding plays to ensure the win. The Tigers mustered enough runs off of clinical base running and timely steals to earn the win.
“Our entire staff is very, very proud of them,” Stehler said. “We also understand there’s some work that need to be done still, and we’ll do that tomorrow. But we’re glad to get two wins and hope it snowballs into more and more. Hopefully that will continue on Thursday with Rifle at home (at 3 p.m.)”
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