Summit put up a tough fight against Golden in first round of the Class 4A state baseball tournament
Team will resume play on Saturday when it takes on No. 9 Lutheran High School in the consolation bracket
In its first 4A state baseball tournament appearance in school history, Summit was bound to be a little nervous.
With no prior experience in the eight-team state tournament, No. 12 Summit tried to muster its way to a win against No. 4 Golden High School on Friday, May 26, but failed to get the team’s bats going, which ultimately led to a 9-0 loss in the first round.
Even though the game took place at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, Summit served as the visiting team and took to plate first.
With Summit freshly in the batter’s box, it was not long before Golden Devils senior Laif Palmer started rocketing 90 mph fastballs past the plate. The fast pitches stunned Summit senior Cory Cooper and junior Carter Luetkens, causing both to walk back to the dugout after being struck out.
With Summit’s first two batters retired by Golden, senior Cassius Bradford put up a fight during his first at-bat.
Bradford fouled multiple balls off and brought the pitch count to three balls and two strikes before being called out on a pop fly.
Summit did not let the unproductive first half of the inning stop them from retiring Golden’s first three batters.
Summit senior Jack Schierholz made a catch in right field, Cooper made a spectacular throw from third to first base and Summit starting pitcher Zach Willms struck out the final Golden batter to advance the game to the second inning tied 0-0.
Summit started to find its groove in the second inning when freshman Sam Eldredge recorded the first hit for the Tigers with a bouncing ball up the middle of the field.
The hit started to warm up Summit’s bats and led to a second hit from Schierholz, who recorded a single off a line drive to center field.
Despite the hits, Summit was retired with two runners left on the bases after junior Mason Lukasiewicz was struck out by Palmer.
After failing to record a hit in the opening inning, Golden got the scoring going in the second. The team recorded three hits, and senior Xavier Nuss brought a run in with a hit that snuck past the glove of Cooper at third base.
Summit needed to get the run back in the top of the third inning. Palmer walked Cooper and Bradford, but they were eventually left stranded on base after Golden recorded a third out on a pop fly.
Up 1-0, Golden expanded its lead with powerful hits. The Devils recorded one hit before scoring its second run of the day off of a big hit to right field from Andrew Romero. The run resulted in Willms being substituted at the mound by senior Will Koll. Koll struck out the first batter he faced before Golden’s Braeden McCarroll recorded a fifth hit for the Devils.
Koll got the Tigers out of the inning with a second strike out. Golden left two runners on, but the Deveils pulled to a 2-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.
Golden continued to record hits and bring runs in during the bottom of the fourth inning.
With zero outs in the inning, Golden lengthened its lead when the team stole home plate after a pitch escaped past the reach of Bradford behind the plate.
Koll was then able to strike out a batter for Summit’s first out, but it did not stop Golden from building upon its lead. Golden scored another run before Noah Wicks sent a ball flying over the fence for a huge three-run home run. With crisp pitching from Koll, Summit eventually escaped the five-run inning from Golden.
Now trailing 7-0, Summit was in desperate need of runs. Cooper was able to foul several balls off, but that was as close as Summit got to recording a hit. To the frustration of Summit’s dugout, Palmer and the Golden infield retired three straight batters in order to bring the Devils back up to the plate.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Golden officially sealed the game when Wicks sent another hit up the center of the field. Golden recorded two runs in the fifth, which gave the team a big enough of a lead to successfully advance to the next round.
Summit fell to Golden 9-0 and concluded the game with four hits to the Devils’ 11.
“It just wasn’t our day,” Koll said. “We came out a little flat, and we faced a kid who was throwing mid 90s. When you come out flat and don’t play perfect, it is hard to win a game.”
Summit will drop to the consolation side of the bracket, which will start play on Saturday, May 27.
“We are not done yet,” Koll said. “I think we still have some fight left in us. I like our chances against Lutheran. If we play our game, I think we got them.”
Summit will face No. 9 Lutheran at 9:30 a.m. at Cheyenne Mountain High School. If Summit wins, it will advance to the next round in the consolation bracket. If the team loses, it will be eliminated from the 4A state baseball tournament.
Prior to Summit’s loss to Golden, Lutheran fell to No. 1 Holy Family by a score of 9-5.
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