Motivated ‘Dogs: Palisade doesn’t fret over being in same bracket as No. 1 seed

Cody Krabbe has been a big part of Palisade’s success and the junior will get the ball today against Cheyenne Mountain.


Palisade vs. Cheyenne MTN.

Today, 12:30 p.m., Mountain View High School

Records: Palisade (14-5, 11-3); Cheyenne Mountain (14-5, 10-3)

League: Palisade won the Western Slope League; Cheyenne Mountain finished fourth in Colorado Springs Metro.

Seeds: Palisade No. 17; Cheyenne Mountain, No. 16.

Key Offensive Players: Palisade — Cole Cummins, So., (.476 BA, 11 SB, 13 BBs); Mike Seriani, Sr., (.456 BA, 26 RBI, 8 2B); Jordan Salazar, Sr., (.438 BA, 28 hits, 27 RBI). Cheyenne Mountain — Scott Bowen, Sr., (.368 BA, 24 RBI); Matt Lashlee, So., (32 hits, 6 2B, .478 BA) Brett Helton, Sr. (.383 BA, 6 2B)

Probable Starters: Palisade — Cody Krabbe, Jr., (4-4, 3.25 ERA, 60 Ks); Cheyenne Mountain — Matt Lashlee, So., (6-1, 6.48 ERA, 45 Ks)

Next Game: Winner faces the winner of No. 1 Mountain View vs. No. 32 Conifer at 3 p.m.

Fruita Monument vs. Regis

Today, 10 a.m., Regis High School

Records: Fruita Monument (11-7, 5-5); Regis (13-6, 9-2)

League: Fruita third in the Southwestern League; Regis first in the Continental League

Seeds: Fruita Monument No. 26; Regis No. 7

Key Offensive Players: Fruita Monument — Cody Rahmann, Sr., (.475 BA, 4 HR, 4 3B), Drew Bridges, So., (.354 BA, 21 RBI, 7 2B), Ryan Mixon, Sr., (.459 BA, 3 3B, 28 hits); Regis — Brodie Weiss, Fr., (.491 BA, 22 RBI, 27 hits), Logan Knox, Sr., (.357 BA, 4 HR, 12 RBI), Mitch Robinson, Jr., (.370 BA, 16 RBI, 4 HR)

Probable Starters: Fruita Monument — Rahmann, Sr., (3-2, 4.32, 40 Ks, 16 BBs); Regis — Luke Lowery, Sr., (3-2, 3.65 ERA, 26 Ks)

Next Game: Winner faces the winner of No. 10 Fort Collins vs. No. 23 Liberty at 3 p.m.

Grand Junction vs. Mtn. Vista

Sunday, 12:30 p.m., Ralston Valley High School

Record: Grand Junction (15-4, 8-2); Mountain Vista (10-9, 6-5)

League: Grand Junction second in Southwestern League; Mountain Vista seventh in Continental League.

Seeds: Grand Junction No. 11; Mountain Vista No. 22

Key Offensive Players: Grand Junction — Andy Willett, Jr., (.377 BA, 4 3B, 26 hits), Jayke Brock, Sr., (.273 BA, 15 RBI, 4 2B), Aaron Berk, Sr., (.283 BA, 17 RBI, 5 2B); Mountain Vista — Tommy Clothier, Jr., (.241 BA, 7 2B, 12 RBI), Michael Morales, Sr., (.296 BA, 9 RBI), Robert Kissner, Sr., (.469 BA, 14 RBI, 5 2B)

Probable Starters: Grand Junction — Steve Baldwin, So., (5-0, 1.68 ERA, 36 Ks); Mountain Vista — Tommy Strunc, Jr., (5-1, 3.76 ERA, 46 Ks)

Next Game: Winner faces the winner of No. 6 Ralston Valley vs. No. 27 Loveland at 3 p.m.

Palisade High School’s baseball team isn’t a group that needs extra motivation.

After winning the Western Slope League, the Bulldogs were given the No. 17 seed and take on No. 16 Cheyenne Mountain at 12:30 today in the District 1 tournament. With a win, Palisade hopes to square off with the No. 1 seed and host Mountain View.

“We were picked to finish third or fourth in the league, so I think we were always looking for respect,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said. “These guys have such a great never-say-die attitude.”

Palisade has a knack for making opposing teams pay for letting the Bulldogs hang around in games. You don’t have to look much further than the regular-season finale against Delta, when the Bulldogs erased an 8-2 deficit, scoring eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 10-8 victory.

“Our guys have been tough all year,” Moore said. “I’m most proud of their grit and willingness to battle to the last out.”

For a team that has never taken the easy way out, the state baseball committee might have done Palisade a favor by putting it in the same district as the top-seeded team in the state. The Bulldogs are focused on getting past Cheyenne Mountain, but can’t help but lick their chops at the chance to take on Mountain View, which has won 18 games this season.

“We aren’t intimidated by too much, and we want to see just how good these teams are,” Palisade shortstop Mike Seriani said. “Our team has a lot of heart, and we’ll never give up.”

Palisade finished the regular season 14-5, 11-3 in the WSL, the second time in three years the Bulldogs won the league.

“We have only three seniors but they’ve done a great job of bringing everyone together,” Moore said.

The Bulldogs’ three seniors are Seriani, who has a .456 batting average, Jordan Salazar, who has 27 RBI, and first baseman Drew Clinkenbeard, who has a 97.92 fielding percentage at first base.

Those three, along with sophomore Cole Cummins (.476 batting average, 11 stolen bases), and junior Cody Krabbe, the Bulldogs’ No. 1 pitcher this season, have turned Palisade into a well-rounded team.

Seriani, who has a 5-1 record on the mound, said the Bulldogs play well together on and off the field.

“It doesn’t end once we leave the field, we all get along off the field as well,” Seriani said. “On weekends we don’t go our separate ways, we’ll be here as a team playing home run derby or doing something.”

The team chemistry, mixed with the Bulldogs’ talent, should give them an opportunity to be competitive today.

“You have to win all the games to win the championship,” Moore said. “We are going to play one game at a time, and baseball is a funny game, so you never know.”


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