GREENWOOD VILLAGE — Mountain Vista continued its perfect start to the 2017 season with an extra-inning upset win against Cherry Creek on Friday.
The Golden Eagles, now 3-0, beat the second-ranked Bruins 5-3 in eight innings.
"It's huge," Mountain Vista's Sam Ireland said of the win. "They are one of our bigger rivals, next to ThunderRidge. That game was so much fun. That was probably one of my best high school games and definitely the most fun one for me."
Ireland wiggled out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh after allowing the tying run to score. With the bases loaded and no one out, he struck out two and then forced a groundout to send the game to extra innings.
"It was intense," Sam Ireland said of the late-game situation. "'Don't let them hit it out,' is about all I could think."
In the eighth, Mountain Vista scored two runs on two Cherry Creek errors. The Golden Eagles then held the Bruins in the bottom half to secure the win.
The game started out as a pitchers' duel between Cherry Creek’s Sam Colehower and Mountain Vista’s Jack Liffrig, as the two battled and had it scoreless through four innings.
In the fifth, the Golden Eagles were able to break through to the score column as a bunt to Colehower was misfielded, causing a hurried throw that sailed high and allowed Zach Paschke to come around to score from first base. The Golden Eagles scored another run on a single from Ireland.
The sixth went by quietly, and then Cole Blatchford hit an opposite field bomb on a 3-2 pitch to extend Mountain Vista's lead to 3-0 in the seventh.
Liffrig trotted out in the seventh but Cherry Creek was not going to go down quietly. The Bruins put up two quick runs and Mountain Vista moved to its bullpen.
Ireland came in and immediately allowed a single and RBI to tie it. It was then, with the bases loaded and no one out, that Ireland struck out two and got the groundout to send it to the eighth.
"I was focused when I got (to the mound)," Ireland said about coming on to pitch after playing first base. "I knew I had the chance to go in and I couldn't let my guard down."
Mountain Vista will be back in action March 29 after spring break. Cherry Creek will face Regis Jesuit on the road next Tuesday as the Bruins hope to get back in the win column.