Standley Lake baseball doubles up Wheat Ridge in 4A Jeffco action

Standley Lake junior Luke Root, right, slides into home before Wheat Ridge catcher Jack Hamilton can apply a tag during the Gators' 5-run fifth inning Wednesday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

WHEAT RIDGE — It was a first for Standley Lake senior Connor Peck on Wednesday.

“We have never beat Wheat Ridge in my four years here,” Peck said after the Gators took a 12-6 victory on the Farmers’ home baseball field. “It feels really great to beat Wheat Ridge finally. It’s a big win for us. We really needed this today.”

Standley Lake senior Connor Peck eyes the ball during his 3-run triple during the fifth inning Wednesday against Wheat Ridge. The Gators took a 12-6 victory on the Farmers' home field. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

The Gators (3-2, 3-2 in Class 4A Jeffco League) find themselves just one game in the loss column behind Evergreen (4-1), D’Evelyn (4-1) and Golden (3-1) for the conference lead midway through the league season.

Standley Lake has league losses to Evergreen and Green Mountain, but has a quality win over Golden. The Demons actually handed Evergreen its first conference loss Wednesday at All-Star Park in Lakewood.

“This team has so much talent. We just need something to bring it all together,” Standley Lake coach Jesse Lopez said. “ We are starting to find out who we are after facing some tough competition like Wheat Ridge, Golden and Evergreen.”

The Gators found several different ways to score against Wheat Ridge (2-5, 2-3). Standley Lake took advantage of control issues by the Farmer pitchers and had a number of bunts with runners at third that resulted in runs.

“We work really hard on the small ball,” Lopez said. “Everything we do is precision based, but it doesn’t work without the long game as well. They go hand-in-hand.”

Wheat Ridge took a 2-0 lead thanks to a 2-run home run by senior Scott Kingman in the bottom of the first inning, but Standley Lake answered with a 4-run bottom of the second.

The big inning for the Gators came in the top of the fifth. Standley Lake had a 5-run inning that was topped off with a 3-run triple by Peck.

Wheat Ridge senior Scott Kingman (8) is greeted at home plate by junior Devon Zurcher (10) after Kingman's 2-run home run in the bottom of the first inning. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)

“It felt great off the bat,” Peck said of the drive to deep right-center field that gave the Gators a commanding 10-4 lead. “That was a real big game-changer. We needed all those runs.”

On the hill, Lopez utilized four different pitchers. Junior lefty Logan Schmidt went the first three innings. Sophomore Ian Rasmussen threw the next three innings for the Gators. Senior Jakob Worm struck out a pair of batters in the seventh, but was pulled after a pair of walks. Sophomore Cannon Frost got the final out with a strikeout to close out the game.

“This year we have been so fortunate to have so much depth in our bullpen,” Lopez said. “This is really going to benefit us when we have back-to-back-to-back games. They did great. They threw strikes and the defense got out when they needed to.”

Wheat Ridge had some chances. The Farmers left a dozen runners on the bases, including leaving the bases loaded in each of the final three innings.

“Sooner or later we’ve got to get a big hit,” Wheat Ridge coach Adam Miller said. “We squared some ball up today, but they were hit right at guys.”

It was the third straight loss for the Farmers.

“We weren’t sharp,” Miller said. “We are in a bad stretch right now. We just aren’t very good right now. I hope that changes.”

Wheat Ridge returns to action Saturday with a big game against Evergreen before facing rival Golden on Tuesday next week.

“We’ve got to reel off four or five in a row or it’s ‘Goodnight, Irene’,” Miller said.

Standley Lake junior Logan Schmidt was one of four Gator pitchers that combined to get a big Class 4A Jeffco League victory over Wheat Ridge on Wednesday. (Dennis Pleuss/Jeffco Athletics)