Hotchkiss, Olathe fall in 3A state baseball tourney
The Hotchkiss and Olathe high school baseball teams hoped to be meeting in the Class 3A State Championship Series.
But not this way.
Instead of meeting in a winners’ bracket game, the Western Slope League rivals will meet in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Monday at Butch Butler Field in Greeley. The winner plays Lamar (17-6) at 2 p.m. Monday.
“We’ll be OK,” Hotchkiss coach Jason Yantzer said. “We beat both the guys they had. We have the edge by beating them in the doubleheader. We regrouped a bit ago.”
Holy Family defeated Hotchkiss 10-5 and Faith Christian defeated Olathe 6-0 in the first round Saturday in Greeley.
Holy Family (18-5) took advantage of a couple of lucky bounces and a couple of errors to build a 7-0 lead and hold on for the win.
“We got off to a slow start,” Yantzer said. “One ball took a bad hop out of the reach of our third basemen, then one bounced away from our first baseman and we hit a base runner stealing second base and the ball goes to center field.”
The Bulldogs (19-3) scored two runs in the third inning and three in the sixth to get within three runs, but Holy Family scored two in the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Faith Christian pitcher Daniel Graves limited the Pirates (13-9) to four hits and struck out six in six innings for the victory.
“We couldn’t get a hit with runners on base,” Olathe coach Darren Sofka said.
The Pirates had a chance to score in the fifth when Ben Kaylor doubled with a runner on base, but the runner stumbled rounding third base and didn’t score.
Faith Christian (20-2) scored one run in the top of the first inning when Colby Smith doubled home the leadoff batter, who reached on a bunt single.
The Eagles added two runs in the fifth with a back-to-back singles with two outs.
Willy Corey pitched well for Olathe (13-9), allowing six runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.
In other games in the tournament, Faith Christian defeated Holy Family 20-1 and will meet Eaton, a 13-9 winner over Lamar.
Lamar defeated Bennett 6-3 and Eaton defeated Florence 11-0 in the first round.