Rock Canyon was sort of a forgotten, overlooked baseball team in the Continental League as five of the Jaguars' six losses this season were league setbacks.
But the Jaguars will be one of the eight teams that will start play May 19 in the Class 5A double-elimination state tournament.
Rock Canyon (16-6) captured the District 4 tournament played at Rock Canyon on May 13 with an 8-1 victory over Grandview and a 13-6 conquest of league opponent Heritage.
“Yeah, maybe we're a little bit overlooked,” Rock Canyon senior Matt Given said. “That's the same way it was in 2015 when we won the state championship. We were the underdogs. This is a team that could do it again. We are very talented and very team oriented.”
Givin and junior Wyatt Wendell were key players in Rock Canyon's two wins as they combined to go 9-for-12 at the plate with seven runs batted in. And both were starting pitchers.
In the win over Grandview, Givin pitched 5.1 innings, allowed four hits, one unearned run and struck out nine batters in addition to going 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI.
Wendell had a single, double and triple in three at-bats and drove in two runs.
Rock Canyon had 16 hits in notching the victory over Heritage.
Wendell pitched 3.2 innings, giving up five hits and two runs. He was 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI. Given went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and three RBIs.
Michael Keen also had a big game against Heritage going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and Logan O'Neill had two hits and three RBIs.
“The last league game (against Highlands Ranch) we had a big comeback win, which carried some momentum. Sometimes people don't realize that losing is a good lesson," Jaguars coach Tyler Munro said.
“It helps when you get a lead and also helps in our park when you have the wind and it becomes a true pitcher's park. And we got great defense.”