COLORADO SPRINGS — If you would have told Holy Family coach Marc Cowell that his Tigers would have scored 20 runs on Friday over the first two games of the Class 4A double elimination tournament at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs’ Mountain Lion Field, he would have been grinning ear to ear.
After all, it was the offense that had struggled for a majority of the season to post big numbers and the Tigers were living off of pitching and defense.
It was those two aspects, especially in the second game against Silver Creek that really let them down. After winning over Cheyenne Mountain — the team that eliminated them from the tournament last year — 13-4, the Tigers dropped a tough 11-7 decision to the Raptors.
“We came out here to win this game, don’t get me wrong. We also wanted to position ourselves just in case we didn’t win this game that we felt like we had the advantage going into that Game 3,” said Cowell, whose team will be back at it at noon on Saturday back at UCCS. “I think we’ve done that, because we have our No. 2 waiting and I expect us to be better on the mound tomorrow.”
Senior Jordan McFarland will get the ball tomorrow against either Erie or Golden on the turf at UCCS.
“We saved Jordan for this exact moment,” Collin Kringlen said. “I think we will be alright. We have some teams we know we can get through, they are good team but we know we can hang with them because we have beat them before.”
The Tigers bats were hot from the get-go against an erratic Michael Ellis of Cheyenne Mountain. The Indians No. 2 man was down 3-0 just five batters into the game and it was a Kringlen single that scored two ahead of Jacob Callaway’s sacrifice fly.
Kringlen would strike again in the third inning with the hardest hit ball of the day, a rocket over the right centerfield fence that carried at least 400 feet. The Tigers were up 5-1 at that point and were really never seriously threatened by the Indians.
In addition to Kringlen’s two hit game, so to Davis Martinek. The senior, who was playing his first game in three weeks after various hand injuries, went 2-for-4 in the opener with two RBIs.
Cowell rolled the dice with sophomore Izaak Siefken in Game 2, and while he showed flashes of what we can expect in the coming years, he never really settled in and departed after five innings, giving up eight runs (just four earned) on nine hits — including an opposite field blast in the fourth inning to Spencer Rich that broke the game open for the Raptors.
It was Rich that made the play of the game in the bottom half of the inning. Zach Becker crushed a ball that was destined for the fence in deep centerfield, but Rich got on his horse and made a diving grab that would ESPN highlight worthy.
“I know we can get back and hop right back on the horse,” said Kringlen, who belted his second home run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Tigers gave up five unearned runs — you can do the math on the difference in an 11-7 game — and just didn’t play clean baseball. The committed three errors, and all of them came on routine plays.
“We made mistakes and we made bad mistakes defensively and it wasn’t the field, it was us,” Cowell said. “And give Silver Creek credit, they made us pay for each and every one of them. That is what a good team is going to do.”
If there is a positive, it is that the offense was still clicking and there is a familiarity with the uniqueness of of the ballpark that they can carry into tomorrow.
“I loved how we hit today and that was the one part that I walked out of here and thought that is what we needed to do in the post season,” Cowell said. “So now we just have to get the other pieces together.
“Baseball is a crazy game and you just never know what you are going to get from game to game.”
Holy Family (21-5) 302 422 0 — 13 8 1
Cheyenne Mountain (21-5) 001 300 0 — 4 8 3
Holy Family hitting (ab-r-h-bi) — Nick McGowan 2-2-0-1, Josh Baker 2-2-0-0, Zach Becker 2-3-1-1, Collin Kringlen 4-1-2-4, Weston Siefken 0-0-0-0, Luke Knudsen 0-0-0-0, Jacob Callaway 3-0-1-1, AJ Perez 0-1-0-0, Matthew Delgado 3-1-0-0, Emmanuel King 4-1-1-0, Connor Cooney 3-1-1-1, Davis Martinek 4-1-2-2. Totals 27-13-8-10.
Holy Family pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — W. Siefken 3.2-7-4-3-3-1, Kringlen 3.1-1-0-0-3-5.
Silver Creek (25-2) 203 303 3 — 11 12 1
Holy Family (21-6) 040 011 1 — 7 9 3
Holy Family hitting — McGowan 4-0-2-1, Baker 1-0-0-2, Becker 3-0-0-1, Kringlen 4-2-2-1, I. Siefken 0-0-0-0, Callaway 4-0-0-0, Delgado 3-1-1-0, King 4-1-1-0, Cooney 4-1-1-0, Martinek 3-2-2-1. Totals 30-7-9-6.
Holy Family pitching — I. Siefken 5-9-8-4-0-3, Kringlen 1-3-3-3-2-1, Delgado 1-0-0-0-0-0.