WHEAT RIDGE — Wheat Ridge baseball coach Adam Miller would love to have newly named Chuck Griffith Jr. Field be the location for a Class 4A regional tournament May 18.
“We kind of control our own destiny which is where we want to be,” Miller said after the Farmers’ 6-1 victory over Evergreen improved Wheat Ridge to 5-0 in 4A Jeffco League play. “I’ve always said anytime we have one the league championship that usually leads to a state-bound team because you get to host and we’d get to play here. League championship is very important.”
The most important hit Tuesday was a two-run home run by Wheat Ridge junior Dominic Brock that highlighted a five-run bottom of the sixth inning by the Farmers.
“I ran into it at the right time to help out the team,” Bronk said of his two-run home run. “It was perfect timing and got the mojo going.”
Evergreen senior pitcher Paul Schreffler had given up just one run on three hits coming to the sixth inning. A lead-off single by sophomore Wes Miller, followed by the home run by Bronk, gave the Farmers their first lead of the game.
“We just couldn’t get a big shot,” Coach Miller said of the Farmers scoring just one run through the first five innings. “Wes came through and got on base for us. Dominic is as good as a hitter we’ve had in a long time.”
Wheat Ridge tacked on three more runs while sending 11 batters to the plate. After a pair of bunt singles, sophomore Scott Kingman delivered with a two-run single off Evergreen sophomore Nick Villims after Schreffler came out of the game.
Sophomore Rocco Tate pushed the lead to 6-1 with a long fly ball to centerfield scored the Farmers’ fifth run of the frame.
“That is as good of a game we’ve played in league in a while,” Coach Miller said. “That was good. It’s a good win for us.”
Wheat Ridge senior pitcher Aaron Arcilise was masterful again to pick up his sixth victory on the hill. Arcilise threw a complete game while striking out nine and walking just one.
“I just wanted to keep pounding the zone and not walking anybody, get the outs you can get,” Arcilise said. We didn’t want to give them scoring opportunities with free baserunners.”
Arcilise was touched up for three hits in the first inning, but limited the damage to just a single run on an RBI hit by Evergreen senior Bryce Pearson. It was the first loss for Schreffler, who had a 5-1 record last season with a 2.62 ERA for the Cougars during their run to the state tournament.
“He (Schreffler) is a great pitcher. He hits all his locations,” Bronk said. “We saw him enough times where everyone started picking him up and we executed perfectly.”
Evergreen (10-7, 4-3 in 4A Jeffco) will get another shot at conference-leading Wheat Ridge. The Cougars are scheduled to host the Farmers (9-4, 5-0) at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 25.
“It will be a good game,” Arcilise said of facing the Cougars’ on their home field Thursday. “I think we are all excited to play them again.”