DENVER — The hit parade came late, but happened when it really counted for Bear Creek on the baseball field Saturday afternoon.
The Bears cranked out six straight hits in a 4-run top of the seventh inning against D’Evelyn. The offensive outburst turned a 2-run deficit into a 2-run lead for Bear Creek (5-3-1 record) heading into the bottom half of the final inning at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School.
“It always starts with getting the first guy on,” Bear Creek coach Sean Hoorelbeke said of the Bears’ 4-run seventh inning that eventually led to a 6-4 road victory. “As a coach you would like to see that a little sooner. Guys stayed within themselves and got their pitch. Good things happened.”
George Martinez, Nate Madrid and Matt Zaccaro started the inning with three consecutive singles. Junior Isaiah Romero delivered the big blow for the Bears with his second double of the game with a 2-run shot over the centerfielder’s head to tie the game at 4-4.
Romero was an RBI machine knocking in four runs in the victory that ended a 2-game losing streak for Bear Creek.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve come from behind this year,” Romero said. “We almost feel more comfortable in this situation. We stay up in the dugout and stay positive.”
Zaccaro scored on a wild pitch after Romero’s double to give the Bears a 5-4 lead. Senior Adam Cholak added an insurance run with a hard single through the infield to drive in Romero to push the lead to 6-4.
Cholak, who surrendered a pair of runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning that gave D’Evelyn (4-5) the lead, got the final three outs on the hill to give the Bears the win.
Bear Creek had a 2-0 lead before D’Evelyn knocked in four unanswered runs with a pair in the fourth and sixth innings to grab the lead. The Bears’ bats went quiet in the middle innings to Hoorelbeke’s dismay.
“It’s frustrating for us to be sleepwalking through innings three, four and five,” Hoorelbeke admitted. “I am proud of the guys how they battled and came back against a good ball club over there.”
While Bear Creek’s starting pitcher Noah Wunder had a no-decision in five innings of work, Hoorelbeke was very pleased with Wunder’s first varsity start.
“You always like to see a young guy come out and see where he is at,” Hoorelbeke said of his sophomore pitcher. “He was on point today. He was hitting his spots and kept his pitch-count down. He did everything we could ask from a little young sophomore.”
D’Evelyn junior Evan Willis also got a no-decision despite working into the seventh inning. Willis gave up back-to-back hits to start the inning before leaving the mound.
The Jaguars’ top-half of the line-up produced all four of the D’Evelyn runs. Junior Pablo Rodriguez went 2-for-3. Seniors Andrew Helmreich and Tanner Robberson combined the score three runs for D’Evelyn.
“We took the lead, but you have to be able to finish,” D’Evelyn coach Dan Porreco said. “We couldn’t finish. It’s unfortunate. We have to close the deal.”
D’Evelyn couldn’t hang on to a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning against Ponderosa earlier in the week in a loss that ended a 2-game winning streak for the Jaguars.
Bear Creek and D’Evelyn both start their respective conference schedules in Class 5A Jeffco and 4A Jeffco this week. D’Evelyn gets going in league against Standley Lake on the Gators’ home field Monday, April 9. Bear Creek opens on the road against Arvada West on Tuesday, April 10.
“Last year in (5A) Jeffco we had a 4-way tie for first place,” Hoorelbeke said. “Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. Jeffco is so competitive every year.”