ARVADA -- Arvada West baseball might have just completed its most remarkable three-game stretch in the program’s rich history.
A grand slam by A-West senior Joe Rosenstein in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday lifted the unranked Wildcats to a 6-4 victory over the top-ranked team, Chatfield, in the CHSAANow.com Class 5A baseball poll.
The Wildcats (12-5, 6-0) not only are atop the 5A Jeffco League standings with two conference games remaining, but also scored three straight late-inning, come-from-behind victories against No. 3 Columbine (Monday), No. 8 Ralston Valley (Wednesday) and No. 1 Chatfield (Saturday) over the last six days.
“I didn’t know if we would go 3-0 this week, but after that first win Monday we were playing with momentum,” A-West coach Matt McDougal said after the Wildcats’ sixth straight victory.
It was Rosenstein’s time deliver the big hit for the Wildcats. Senior Nick Priola blasted a walk-off grand slam Wednesday against rival Ralston Valley in an 11-8 victory.
Chatfield senior pitcher Travis Schnoor was cruising for the most part Saturday. He had only given up two runs on four hits before Rosenstein’s line drive over the left field fence.
“He (Schmoor) was pitching me inside all day. I figured he was going to do it again,” Rosenstein said. “Sure enough, I just turned on it.”
A-West senior Justin Mulvaney was standing on third base when Rosenstein ripped the home run.
“I put my hands up. I knew it was gone,” Mulvaney said. “I was so excited. I knew right when he (Rosenstein) hit it I would be going in to pitch to close it.”
Mulvaney pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning, striking out the final two Chatfield batters to pick up the save. Senior John Badgett got the win on the mound for the Wildcats. He pitched the sixth inning after starter Brody Hagel-Pitt went five innings.
“We have a lot of confidence in our bullpen and turning it over to them,” McDougal said. “Justin’s goal was to lead the state in saves. I don’t know where he is at, but he is doing a great job.”
A-West’s only two other runs came in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Ethan Fleming had a two-run single to cut Chatfield’s lead to 3-2.
The Chargers’ big inning was the second. Back-to-back singles by junior Kyle Winkler and senior Jacob Falbo set the table. Chatfield (14-2, 3-2) took advantage of three walks and a wild pitch to plate a trio of runs.
“(A-West) is a good club,” Chatfield coach Brandon Stone said. “This is what Jefferson County baseball is. Top to bottom it’s a tough conference. You have to bring it every time you come out.”
A-West didn’t have the lead until Rosenstein’s grand slam.
“It would be nice to start off ahead and kind of keep a lead, but this is a little more exciting,” Mulvaney said with a smile. “I like those exciting games.”
Chatfield’s other run came in the top of the sixth when senior Matthew Jarecki scored on an A-West fielding error, giving the Chargers a 4-2 lead.
“We haven’t played great, but I think our kids believe they can win no matter what the score is,” McDougal said. “They are just sticking to it.”
A-West wraps up its regular season with a pair of road games next week. The Wildcats face rival Pomona on Monday before closing out their conference schedule at Lakewood on Wednesday. Both are scheduled for 4 p.m. starts.
“I knew we had it in us,” Rosenstein said of defeating Columbine, Ralston Valley and Chatfield. “We knew it was a tough week. We all came out and played as hard as we could.”
Chatfield has a trio of league games left, including a pair at All Star Park in Lakewood on Monday and Wednesday. The Chargers start the week against Standley Lake and return to All Star Park to face Ralston Valley on Wednesday. Both games are 3:30 p.m. starts.
“There is a lot to play for,” Stone said after the Chargers’ second straight loss following a 14-0 start to the season. “We are a resilient club. These guys fight and scrap. We’ll be back at it Monday.”
Chatfield ends its regular season at home against Bear Creek at 11 a.m. May 3.