ARVADA — Ralston Valley has gotten out of the gates in a hurry to start the spring baseball season.
The Mustangs improved to 2-0 on the season with a 14-4 victory over Grandview on Monday. The home victory came on the heels of a 3-0 shutout victory Saturday where senior Joey Steiskal threw a complete-game, no-hitter against Lincoln.
“Three games in four days. We are going to have more games than (outdoor) practices,” Ralston Valley coach Brad Madden said as the Mustangs are back on the field Tuesday against Brighton. “Anytime you have a senior team you want to just get yourself going. It feels like these guys have been waiting a lot time to get this season going.”
Ralston Valley’s offense really got cracking in the bottom of the third inning against Grandview to help out Mustangs’ starting pitcher Calvin Hunt, who gave up four runs in the first two innings.
The Wolves held a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom half of the third thanks to a two-run home run by senior Jayden Martinez and two-run double by junior Isaac Smith. However, the Mustangs trampled over Grandview’s pitchers in the third.
“It was great. We really want to get the bats going,” Ralston Valley senior Otto Jones said. “We want to help Calvin because he always tries his best out there. Just try to get the ball in play and sometimes you get the barrel on it. In this park the ball really flies.”
Jones started the 10-run third inning with a single. He belted a two-run home run later in the inning that pushed Ralston Valley’s lead to 10-4. When the dust finally cleared, the Mustangs belted 11 hits and sent 15 batters to the plate.
“It was up and down the line-up and then we scored six runs with two outs,” Madden said of the third inning. “One of the things we have talked about a lot is when we have guys in scoring position we have to drive them in. No matter how many outs you can’t give up on an inning. They did that today.”
Seniors AJ Jergensen, Trey Adams and Jones all had home runs. The Mustangs 1 through 6 hole hitters combined for 15 of 16 hits for Ralston Valley.
Ralston Valley finished off the game with a bases-loaded single by senior Owen Grimm that scored Adams to induce the 10-rule mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth inning with no outs.
“I don’t care who is hitting up there. We are confident in every single guy. We know we are going to pick each other up,” Jergensen said of the Mustangs’ line-up.
It was a good sign that Hunt regrouped after a few bumps in the opening innings on the mound. Hunt walked three batters of which all scored. The hard-throwing righty got into a grove facing the minimum nine batters in the final three innings.
Hunt finished with eight strikeouts to get the complete-game victory.
“Calvin is great,” Otto said. “He is always a competitor and never gives up on himself. He holds himself to the highest standard.”
Madden was happy to see Hunt hold his emotions in check to cruise through the final three innings.
With another snowstorm expected to roll into the Denver Metro Area on Wednesday, Ralston Valley moved its home game against Brighton up a day to Tuesday in attempt to get another game in before the snow hits.
“It’s been an interesting year so far weather wise,” Jergensen said. “We are just trying to take advantage of these raw experiences and getting our chemistry going. It’s been great so far.”