COLORADO SPRINGS — GO DAWGS!
It’s a phrase that has become synonymous with the Holy Family baseball team over the last few seasons, thanks to the Martinek family.
But the barking was somewhat silenced over the final few weeks of the regular season, when senior Davis Martinek was sidelined with multiple hand injuries.
And one of the big questions for the Tigers on their way down to Colorado Springs and the Class 4A double eliminations tournament, was how effective would Martinek be after a three week layoff from game action.
And while, Collin Kringlen will garner a majority of the accolades (and rightfully so with his eight hits and three home runs over the three games at UCCS’s Mountain Lion Field), Martinek’s seven hits and six RBIs from the nine-hole should not be overlooked.
On Saturday afternoon, facing elimination and Tri-Valley League foe Erie for the third time this season, Martinek (three hits) and Kringlen (four hits) crushed the orange and black Tigers 13-2 in five innings to advance to next weekend’s final four at Vibes Stadium.
“For him to have that layoff and then come back here and hit the way he did against this caliber of pitching is just phenomenal,” Holy Family coach Marc Cowell said. “It just goes to show how hard he works and how competitive he is.
“And for me, I’ve always wanted someone in the nine hole who can produce, because more often than not, people look at those eight and nine holes as positions in the line-up that are kind of throw away spots. And it is demoralizing when you do what our guys have done over this tournament.”
It was Martinek that got the offense going on Saturday. After a scoreless first inning against Erie starter Trey Rearick — whom they hit around pretty good in their first meeting — Matthew Delgado drew a lead-off walk and came around later on Martinek’s base hit.
“On my days off, I just kept working out with the team, conditioning with them and keeping my head up even though I wasn’t out there doing it,” Martinek said. “And then I would do some work on my own and I just felt like I had my entire team behind me. So coming back and playing just felt natural to me, like I never skipped a beat.”
Holy Family would break it open in the third inning. Kringlen, who belted two home runs on the first day, added another on Saturday, going opposite field off of Rearick to make it 3-0.
Then with two outs, Delgado walked, Emmanuel King had a ground rule double, Connor Cooney (eight hole hitter) singled to drive in two more runs and then Martinek delivered again with a run-scoring single to right field.
It was all in support of senior pitcher Jordon McFarland, who was insanely good. He pitched a complete game, going five innings and giving up just two earned runs on seven hits and striking out six while throwing just 75 pitches.
“It settled me down a lot,” said McFarland, of his first inning in which he threw just five pitches. “I knew they were going to come out and compete, and that just really helped me.
“The only goal I have when I go out there is to just throw strikes and let my defense do their work.”
Said Cowell of his senior hurler: “That is who Jordon is. Not a lot of flash and he can throw two or three pitches for strikes and just pounds (the zone) and challenges you and he keeps you off balance enough to where you can’t get a big inning off of him. That was classic Jordon on the mound today, which was perfect and what we wanted.”
The Tigers would have one more big inning in the fifth to bring the 10-run mercy rule into effect. Big RBI hits from Martinek, Zach Becker (a bases clearing single that traveled less than 200 feet), Kringlen and Callaway did the trick.
In all the Tigers, who will likely face top-seeded Pueblo West next Friday, scored 33 runs in the three games and will have to be sharp again next week to keep going. The Final Four will have two Tri-Valley teams remaining, as Fort Morgan advanced past Cheyenne Mountain on Saturday as well. Silver Creek and Pueblo West will also be in the mix.
HOLY FAMILY 13, ERIE 2
At Mountain Lion Field (UCCS)
Holy Family (22-6) 016 06 — 13 13 0
Erie (17-12) 000 20 — 2 7 2
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-bi) — Nick McGowan 3-0-0-0, Josh Baker 2-2-0-0, Zach Becker 4-1-1-3, Collin Kringlen 4-2-4-3, Jordon McFarland 0-0-0-0, Jacob Callaway 4-0-1-1, Matthew Delgado 2-3-1-0, Emmanuel King 3-1-1-0, Connor Cooney 2-2-2-2, Davis Martinek 3-2-3-3. Totals 27-13-13-12. 2B — King, Martinek, Kringlen, Callaway. HR — Kringlen (1 on in 3rd). SB — Delgado, Kringlen, Becker. CS — Cooney, McGowan.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McFarland 5-7-2-2-1-6.