WHEAT RIDGE — Nobody is perfect, including Green Mountain’s baseball team after suffering its first loss of the season last Saturday.
Despite the Rams (11-1, 3-1 in Class 4A Jeffco League) suffering its first setback of the season against defending 4A state champion Valor Christian, Green Mountain stayed at No. 5 in the CHSAANow.com 4A baseball rankings that were released Monday morning.
More importantly then holding steady in the state rankings, Green Mountain got back in the win column Monday with an 11-6 victory over conference rival Wheat Ridge (8-4, 2-2) on the Farmers’ home field.
“You never know how kids are going to respond to their first getting kicked in the teeth a little bit,” Green Mountain coach Brad Madden said. “They bounced back well against a really good Wheat Ridge baseball team.”
Green Mountain sealed the win with a 5-run top of the sixth inning after the Farmers had to go to their bullpen. Sophomore pitcher Aaron Arcilise came in with a 4-2 record and two saves, battled through five innings.
Wheat Ridge’s defense had its struggles with Arcilise on the hill. The Farmers had three errors in the first four innings.
“Arcilise wasn’t as sharp as he has been, but I bet we booted three pretty sure fired double-play balls,” Wheat Ridge coach Adam Miller said. “That led to multiple runs. We just couldn’t snap out of it.”
Green Mountain finished with a dozen hits. Eight of nine starters had hits. Dylan Jacob, Thomas Lyall and Sage Schaller combined for six hits and six RBI.
“We wanted to get to their bullpen as quick as possible,” said Green Mountain junior JD Wadleigh who picked up his fifth victory on the mound for the Rams. “We wanted to get to their thinner area of pitching.”
Luke Kuberski and Schaller both had 2-run singles in the big top of the sixth inning for the Rams. Senior Matthew Ramirez capped off the inning with an RBI triple to put Green Mountain up 11-4.
“You fight some mistakes with your young kids. You hope your seniors guys kind of leads the way. That really didn’t happen today,” Miller said. “Hopefully you have a short memory and we are back at it on Wednesday.”
A bright spot for the Farmers was senior Carlos Shippley. The second baseman went 4-for-4 and was just a home run short of the cycle. Shippley scored three times and knocked in three runs.
“He (Shippley) was great. Carlos competes, that’s the thing. He never gives in and competes to the last out. He has the right mindset,” Miller said. “If you give me 10 of Carlos I’d take them in a heartbeat.”
Wheat Ridge’s conference road doesn’t get any easier. The Farmers face rival Golden on Wednesday at Keli McGregor Field at All Star Park in Lakewood before hosting No. 4 Valor on Saturday, April 22.
Green Mountain is at Littleton (6-6, 3-1) on Wednesday before playing at All Star Park against Evergreen (7-6, 1-3) on Saturday, April 22.
“Littleton beat us last year so our goal on Wednesday is to beat them,” Jacob said. “We won’t take them lightly and do what we need to do.”
The Rams’ starting third baseman has a loaded schedule this week. Jacob was Green Mountain’s starter quarterback this fall in the football field, played basketball in the winter is now juggling baseball and swimming for the Rams this spring. Friday night he has prelims for the Jeffco Invite at Meyers Pool. On Saturday morning he’ll play at All Star Park against Evergreen and then head back to Meyers Pool for the finals of the Jeffco Invite.
“This is one of my busier weeks. It should be a lot of fun,” said Jacob, who will play football at Western State Colorado University next fall. “It keeps me out of trouble as I like to say. I’m always staying busy. It’s just great to grind with the two sports and put it all together.”
After the first seven 4A Jeffco League games, the eight teams will be split into two three-game, round-robin tournaments. The top four teams face each other to close out the regular season and the bottom four will play. Those games are scheduled for April 29, May 1 and 3.
The top two teams in the final 4A Jeffco standings earn automatic bids to the postseason. RPI points will determine the remainder of the 32-team playoff field. Valor, Green Mountain, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen and Golden were all within the top 32 in the 4A RPI standings heading into Monday’s league games.