Cherry Creek won both ends of the May 11 district doubleheader, edging Castle View 6-3 and besting Ralston Valley 13-0 to advance to the next level of the state Class 5A playoffs.
Districts ended the season for both Castle View and Ralston Valley. Cherry Creek moves on the first round of the state playoffs May 17 against Grandview.
Before the May 11 games, Bruins coach Marc Johnson said he was concerned about the district playoffs.
Cherry Creek faced Castle View in the first game. The Sabercats came into the playoffs with an 8-11 record while the Bruins were 17-2.
“We are healthy but records don't mean a lot in the playoffs and we play the games because anything can happen,” he said. “Districts are challenging because one bad game and you go home.”
Shawn Wyss, Castle View coach, sent senior pitcher Alex Atwood to the mound. Atwood threw well early and the game was tied 1-1 going into the home half of the fourth inning.
However, the Bruins got the bats going and pushed five runs across the plate. Castle View tried to get a rally going in the sixth and scored twice but never got any closer.
Ben Dalke had a solo homer while teammates Tony Favilla and Tyler Solis each drove in a run.
Ralston Valley won its opener over Fort Collins 4-0 and faced the Bruins in the district finals.
Cherry Creek broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second and put the game out of reach with 11 runs in the bottom of the third inning. The scoring outbreak included a home run by Derik Beaupres. Dyllin Mucha and Jax Griffin each had two-run doubles.
Griffin was on the mound for Cherry Creek. He struck out four and gave up only four hits in five scoreless innings. He also helped his own cause as he had a home run, a double and led the team in RBIs with four.
The senior said he based all his pitches off his fastball.
“Today, as long as I got my fastball in the zone for strikes, I could throw other pitches to fool the hitters,” he said after the season. “That was my fifth home run and it helped strengthen my confidence as we go to state.”