AURORA — The Chatfield Chargers found out this past spring that losing baseball games – especially the close ones – can have profound consequences on playoff seeding and survival.
So after dropping two close games to Regis last week, the Chargers rebounded with two close victories over ThunderRidge as the postseason run for the summer looms.
“They’re definitely getting experience,” Chargers coach Mike Yansak said. “It’s a process and I think that my assessment right now would be that we have some pieces that could help formulate a potential spring challenger.”
The Chargers (23-13-2) swept ThunderRidge by scores of 8-5 and 5-3 on July 2, the latter in nine innings. Those wins were sweeter considering the Chargers lost 7-5 and 11-7 to Regis, with the latter coming in nine innings.
Under a blazing sun July 1, the Chargers lost the opener to the Raiders despite leading 3-2 and rallying to tie the game at 4 in the top of the sixth.
Garrett Yost pitched into the sixth inning and worked his way out of numerous jams to help strand nine Regis base runners. Rand Good pitched the final two outs.
“We have seven kids who have gone out and thrown really impressive pitching performances against varsity-level competition,” Yansak said. “But we haven’t had one kid who’s been able to do it consistently.”
Second baseman Zach Smith was 1-for-2 and drove in two runs and center fielder Connor Blevins was 2-for-3 with a RBI triple to deep center in the fourth inning.
Chatfield had three innings end under frustrating circumstances.
The Chargers had two on with one out in the first inning, only for Andrew Edwards to ground into a double play. Jake Alves led off the second with a double and moved to third with one out, only for Smith to line into a 1-5 double play.
And with two aboard in the sixth, Smith was picked off second base to end the inning.