COLORADO SPRINGS — Stellar pitching from Pine Creek’s Riley Cornelio and Justin Olsen paved the way for a 7-0 victory over Cherry Creek on Tuesday night.
The game started as it ended: by a strikeout of Cherry Creek from the Pine Creek mound.
Cornelio started for fifth-ranked Pine Creek (2-0), and threw five innings for the win over the No. 2 Bruins (3-2). He allowed just two hits and collected an impressive nine strikeouts.
He was relieved by Olsen in the sixth, and also didn't allow a hit in his two innings, while striking out four. The duo combined for 13 strikeouts against a very strong Cherry Creek lineup.
"If you would've told me my pitchers would strike out 13 batters from Cherry Creek I would have never believed you," Pine Creek's coach Glenn Millhauser said. "They've been working really hard and Riley was just dominant this game, so to have a kid like him is really exciting."
Pine Creek took a 2-0 lead on Cherry Creek in the bottom of the first on a few singles and an error that allowed Cade Kleckner and Parker Gregory to score from first.
After the rough first inning, Cherry Creek's starting pitcher, Jack Moss, seemed to calm down and get in his groove. However, Pine Creek showed up with its bats.
From there, Pine Creek continued to add runs to the scoreboard every inning, which included a home run from Olsen, who sent the ball over the right field fence in the third inning.
"Pitching is definitely one of our biggest strengths," Millhauser said. "We have four guys that are extremely good and tough, so as long as we can support our pitchers with runs and play good defense, we're going to be a very tough team to beat."
As the top of the seventh inning started, Cherry Creek knew it had a tough wall to climb to get a runner on base, and the win. With pitching at the center, Olsen came out strong and got three-up, three-down to conclude the game and get his team the win.
"If you have pitching you're set," said a smiling Millhauser.
After Tuesday's big win over Cherry Creek and the performance from his pitchers, the coach is feeling confident about his team and the rest of the season.
"I'm feeling very excited right now and I'm very happy for my team," Millhauser said. "You don't beat Cherry Creek very often so it's very fun to do."
Pine Creek will host Doherty (2-4) on Wednesday and Cherry Creek will host Regis Jesuit (0-0) on Thursday.