5A baseball: Rocky Mountain punches ticket to championship game

(Brock Laue/CHSAANow.com)

DENVER — On Tuesday morning, Rocky Mountain continued down a path they have walked many times since claiming their first Class 5A baseball championship in 2007.

In a game that had six innings in the books by Monday evening at All-City Stadium, rain pushed the seventh frame into Tuesday at Metro State. Rocky Mountain led 4-3 after six and rode a walkoff in the bottom of the seventh to top Mountain Vista 5-4 in the 5A state tournament.

“It was weird sleeping last night,” Rocky's Jadon Uhrich said. “You’re three outs from the championship game. At the same time we knew we were playing a good team.”

Both were 2-0, looking for the driver’s seat in the highest classification heading into championship weekend. Mountain Vista struck first in the final inning, drawing back-to-back walks with no outs. Then, John Krysa grounded out but had an RBI to tie the game at 4-4.

Zach Paschke nearly gave the Golden Eagles the lead, but was thrown out at home in a close play. Cole Blatchford grounded out and Rocky Mountain pitcher Kalen Hammer escaped with no further damage done.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Lobos' John Sorensen drew a walk but pinch runner Sean Cornell was picked off at first base. Uhrich singled and Spencer Gendreau drew a walk. Mountain Vista had a chance of forcing an inning-ending double play as Trey Wagner grounded to the shortstop with one out.

The throw to first was wide though, allowing Uhrich to slide in for the winning run.

“I knew as soon as that ball was hitting the ground I was running,” the senior said. “The headfirst slide was pretty fun. I just had to enjoy that moment. That was a crazy last inning.”

The Lobos will be appearing in their eighth title game since 2007. They won four in a row from 2007-2010, while also claiming 5A in 2014. Cherokee Trail defeated Rocky Mountain 9-4 in last year’s final game. The powerhouse program from Fort Collins is the last unbeaten team remaining in 5A.

Rocky Mountain will face conference rival Broomfield at 10:00 a.m. on Friday at All-City Stadium to kick off championship weekend. The other game will be Mountain Vista vs. Cherry Creek at 12:30.

Win or lose against Broomfield and Rocky Mountain will still be in the championship game, needing only two victories to earn title No. 6. Everyone else will need three wins. A champion will be crowned on Saturday.

Cherry Creek has won eight baseball titles, the last coming in 2012. Broomfield has five championships, the last in 2012 in 4A. Mountain Vista has appeared in two championship games, losing to Columbine in 2006 and Rocky Mountain in 2009.