CENTENNIAL- Columbine’s young pitching staff learned an old lesson March 21.
Seemingly up for the battle against Arapahoe, the Rebels watched the little things add up to big problems as the Warriors ran away with a 13-5 Class 5A nonleague victory.
Columbine (2-3), which has lost all its road games this season, battled back to take a 5-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by Curtis Cunningham and a run-scoring single by catcher Steve Autenrieth.
But the Warriors (3-1) answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning before blowing the game wide open with eight runs in the sixth.
“It doesn’t take long for the wheels to come off, does it?” Columbine coach Chuck Gillman said.
Reliever Conner Holzcamp took the loss for the Rebels after he came in for Scott Anundsen, who was making his first start since injuring his left ankle.
Anundsen gave up five runs in five innings, including a two-run homer to Warriors third baseman Dave Holland - after Anundsen hit catcher Justin Byrd - to tie the game 5-5 in the fifth.
Holzcamp walked the leadoff hitter to start the sixth inning. Two errors - one on a pickoff attempt at first - and another hit batter was nasty window dressing to an RBI single that had the Warriors up 7-5.
Brett Becker replaced Holzcamp, and the junior surrendered two singles and a double down the left-field line.
And with that, the Warriors were rolling.
Arapahoe banged out 14 hits to Columbine’s eight and got a complete-game effort from senior Ryan Whittemore.
Autenrieth and right fielder Cody Hagan had two hits apiece for the Rebels, who struck out six times.
The Warriors struck first with three runs in the third.
Anundsen gave up a leadoff home run to shortstop Troy Brewer and a run-scoring single to Holland.
Columbine answered in the top of the fourth by loading the bases on consecutive singles by Anundsen, Hagan and Autenrieth. Danny Spond hit into a run-scoring fielder’s choice, Hagan would score on an error and Kyler Brady hit a sacrifice fly to center.
Anundsen, who gave up a leadoff hit in the first four innings, put two Warriors aboard with no outs in the bottom of the fourth but escaped unharmed.
Cunningham blasted a shot into deep centerfield to key the two-run fifth inning.