Eton senior Walker Martin blows bubbles during home games this season. (Jim Ridebom/staff photographer)
Seventeen local teams kicked off the high school baseball season in late March/early April.
Ten of those teams remained in contention when the postseason began with regional tournaments last weekend.
With the state tournaments for classes 3A and 4A approaching, there are only three local teams left alive. Relative rookie Severance, longtime contender College and his two-time Class 3A champion Eaton.
Here’s a look at what each team has in store for this weekend and beyond, with state tournaments starting this Friday and Saturday and ending June 3rd and 4th. prize.
Eaton Reds (3A)
The state has few, if any, prep baseball programs that match the illustrious history that Eaton enjoyed.
Nearly a year ago, the Reds won the 3A state championship for the second year in a row, breaking the record of 13 all-class state titles in the program’s illustrious history.
3A postseason top seed Eaton (25-0) faces No. 25 Peak to Peak (12-13) in the first round of the state tournament in Butch on Friday at 9 a.m. So there is no doubt that he will be even stronger this season. Greeley’s Butler Field.
Underdog Puma has been reeling for the past few days. Last weekend’s Region 8 tournament saw Peak to Peak beat 8th-seeded Region hosts Resurrection Christian 10-9, before finishing 9th in the Region finals at The Academy. We beat it 1-on-1.
The Reds have caused no such drama in regional tournaments.
Eaton defeated No. 32 Middle Park and No. 17 Roaring Fort in a 12-0 tie.
The Reds boast a powerful offensive team led by American home run king Walker Martin (batting average .639, RBI 72, HR 19, 9 doubles, 4 triples).
Peak to Peak’s solid offense is paced by senior Brady Bowman (.392 batting average, 31 RBI, 6 triples, 4 doubles).
Eaton’s pitching staff is as deep and dominant as the offense. Junior Mitch Haythorn is a staff ace with a 9-0 record, 103 strikeouts, 22 walks and an amazing 0.16 ERA. He took the mound and pitched 45 innings with just one earned run.
Sophomore AJ Green is the top hurler in the Pumas pitching staff. He pitched a team-best 49 1/3 innings, going 2-6 with a 3.26 ERA, 53 strikeouts and 47 walks.
The winner of this bout will advance to the second round on Friday at 2pm, where they will face No. 4 Cole Ridge (25-0) or No. 5 Montezuma Cortez (21-4).
Severance Silver Knights (4A)
In just three seasons in high school baseball, Severance has already established himself as an up-and-coming 4A contender.
They’re back in the eight-team state tournament for the third year in a row, and hope to advance even higher than they did a year ago when they were one of the final six teams.
The No. 6-seeded Silver Knights beat No. 27 Discovery Canyon 3-2 and No. 22 Thomas Jefferson 2-0 in last weekend’s Region 6 tournament to win the state tournament. Maintained the record for consecutive appearances.
Severance (19-6) is on a nine-game winning streak against No. 3 Cheyenne Mountain (20-4) in the first round of the state tournament on Friday at 9:30 a.m. at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. I will aim.
Cheyenne Mountain won two matches in two different ways in last weekend’s Region 3 tournament. The Red Tail Hawks beat No. 30 Devlin 12-0 in the first round and then beat No. 14 Falcons 5-3 in the regional finals.
Senior Mason Bright led Severance’s offense, batting . 543 with 37 RBIs, 11 doubles and 6 triples.
Sr. Jace Esslinger is the clear leader on Cheyenne Mountain’s offense. 557 with 47 RBIs, nine home runs, six doubles, and one triple. The number of home runs is 4A and tied for 3rd place.
Bright is also a solid supporter of the Silver Knights’ pitching staff. He went 10-3 in 64 innings with a 1.75 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 19 walks.
The Redtail Hawks appear to have no clear ace, but senior Max O’Neill is a marginal leader within the team’s rotation. He went 6-1 with a 2.81 ERA, 69 strikeouts and 22 walks in a team-best 42 1/3 innings.
The winner of this first round matchup will face No. 2 Pueblo County (22-3) or No. 10 Riverdale Ridge (21-4) in Round 2 on Friday at 2:30 pm at UCCS. will play against
University Bulldogs (3A)
After winning its fifth 3A state title in program history in 2019, the college continued to aggressively contend for the title, finishing second only to Eton a year ago.
Going into the final two weekends of the season, the Bulldogs look set to once again be the Reds’ biggest three-a competition.
The two perpetual contenders could meet in Round 3 at 2 p.m. Saturday at Butch Butler Field.
First, the second-seeded college (23-2) must beat No. 7-ranked Delta (20-5) in the first round at 11:30 a.m. Butch Butler Field. The winner of this bout will face No. 3 Bayfield (18-4) or No. 11 Colorado Academy (18-6) in Round 2 at Butch Butler Field on Friday at 2 p.m.
The Bulldogs dominated their Region 2 opponents last weekend, defeating No. 31 Jefferson Academy 10-0 and No. 15 Valley 15-0.
Delta defeated their Region 7 opponents in a similar fashion, defeating No. 26 Pagosa Springs 16-0 and No. 10 Sterling 14-3.
Dalton Yaste, a junior, leads the talented collegiate lineup with a .463 batting average, 35 RBIs, 10 doubles and a home run.
Delta has a very well-rounded lineup centered around a tied sophomore lead (.413 batting average, 26 RBI, 9 doubles, 1 triple, and 3 homers).
Senior Riggs Toll is the ace of the university staff. He has an 8-1 record with a 1.66 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 16 walks in 50 2/3 innings.
The Panthers’ pitching rotation is as balanced as their offense. Led by 1st year students. Landon Kennell is 9-2 in 49 2/3 innings with a 0.70 ERA, 82 strikeouts and seven walks.
Bobby Fernandez covers high school sports for the Greeley Tribune. Contact us at (970) 392-4478, email email@example.com or on Twitter @BobbyDFernandez.