Valor Christian almost slugged its way into the Class 4A state championship baseball picture.
The Eagles scored 45 runs in going 3-1 in the first four games of the double-elimination tournament, but then all Valor could do most of the game against Mountain View was pop up in an 8-5 loss May 25 at All-City Stadium.
Valor, which had edged Mountain View 21-18 earlier in the tournament, finished the season 17-9 while the Mountain Lions went out to edge Pueblo West for the state title.
Matt Fontneau pitched seven innings for the Eagles and was touched for seven of the Mountain Lions' eight runs in the first three frames. He only allowed five hits, but five Valor errors didn't give him much support.
Valor actually outhit Mountain View, collecting seven hits, with junior AJ Cecil belting a three-run homer in the second inning, which tied the game at 4-all. Cecil also hit a solo homer in the seventh inning.
Jarrod Klug went the distance as Mountain View's starting pitcher, and for the most part kept the potent Eagles bats from doing too much damage.
“The kid pitched well against us,” said Valor coach Keith Wahl. “Obviously he did a wonderful job inducing a lot of pop ups. We were in the air far too often, far more often than we are usually. What can I do but tip my hat to him?”
In Valor's 12-10 win over Durango on May 24 at All-Star Park in Lakewood, senior second baseman Daniel Lund cracked two home runs.
Twelve of the 18 players on the Valor state tournament roster were underclassmen.
“This team overcame more adversity than any team I've ever had and I'm really proud of them,” said Wahl. “We just needed to overcome a little bit more against Mountain View. We have a lot of kids coming back.”
Lutheran second in Class AA tourney
Lutheran moved into the Class 2A state baseball championship game with a 4-3 win over top-seeded Rye May 25 at All-Star Park in Lakewood, only to find a nemesis waiting.
Denver Christian held the Lions to four hits and blanked Lutheran 5-0 in the championship game.
It was Lutheran's third loss of the season to Denver Christian. The Lions lost 7-4 on April 27 and Denver Christian beat Lutheran 8-2 in a district title game May 11.
Lutheran finished the season with a 17-8 record.