Taylor Rogers didn’t need much offense to get his first decision of the season.
Since it was rival Columbine, however, the more runs the merrier.
The Chatfield ace was dealing March 21 and the Chargers brought their lively bats for a 12-1 drubbing of the Rebels in the Class 5A Jefferson County League opener for both teams. Both teams moved to 4-1 on the season.
“We played a very complete game today,” Chatfield skipper Mike Yansak said.
Michael Camporeale kept his home run streak alive by belting his sixth in five games this season, a three-run mash to center field in the bottom of the first inning to give Rogers all the run support he would need.
Rogers, a University of Kentucky signee, gave up just four hits as he displayed excellent control and maintained good velocity. After giving up three runs and getting a no decision in Chatfield’s loss to Heritage, Rogers went five innings, allowed one walk and struck out eight on a perfect spring morning.
“I’m feeling more strength,” Rogers said. “I’m still behind a little bit.”
Rogers said he was pleased with his performance – one that he said got a little extra spice after the Chargers took offense to the Rebels’ pre-game warm-ups.
“I guess they were trying to intimidate us a little,” Rogers said. “They started stretching right where we were throwing. It kind of (ticked) me off.”
Bad idea. Almost as bad as throwing baseballs anywhere near Camporeale, who has homered in every game this season.
With Kevin Joyce on after he singled in leadoff batter Mark Shannon, Camporeale went down for a pitch from sophomore left-hander Bert Guzman and powdered it.
“I got that one right on the barrel,” Camporeale said. “It felt really good coming off my bat.”
Camporeale also doubled in the third inning to drive in a team-best three runs. Camporeale is batting .600 and has driven in 17 of Chatfield’s 38 runs.
“Hot, I guess. I’m seeing the ball really well. That’s all I can say,” the senior left fielder said, laughing. “I can’t describe it. A little bit of luck involved too, I guess.”
Shannon, Anthony Urbano, Camporeale and Joyce combined for eight hits and eight runs scored. Catcher Kyle Duley hit a two-run homer off reliever Colin Miller in the fourth and Rogers tripled in the third after getting a favorable ricochet off the fence in center field.
“We all came off that East game (March 17) pretty hot,” Joyce said. “We had all of our swings down and our whole lineup was hitting pretty well. I think we just hit this morning, tried to keep our groove and we found it in the first inning.”
That meant trouble for Guzman, who was tagged for eight runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two.
Guzman battled, though. He was down 3-0 after one inning, 5-1 after two and kept the Rebels within 6-1 after three innings. Chatfield, however, busted it open with six runs in the fourth.
“We got down a little and we started pressing,” Rebels coach Chuck Gillman said. “We had trouble hitting the ball.”
Hagen’s homer was the only hit for extra bases for Columbine. Junior designated hitter Austin Velasquez had two singles and Guzman one.
Columbine 010 00 1 4 0
Chatfield 321 6x 12 11 1
Columbine: Pedersen lf 2-0-0-0, Guzman sp-1b 3-0-1-0, Tanner ss 2-0-0-0, Hagen cf 2-1-1-1, Autenrieth c 2-0-0-0, Velasquez dh 2-0-2-0, Mohr 1b 0-0-0-0, Miller rp 0-0-0-0, Torres 3b 2-0-0-0, Sadaoui 2b 2-0-0-0, Morris rf 2-0-0-0. Totals 19-1-4-1.
Chatfield: Shannon cf 3-2-2-1, Joyce 2b 2-2-2-2, Camporeale lf 3-2-2-3, Ta. Rogers p 3-0-1-1, Ives cr 0-1-0-0, Duley c 2-1-1-2, Frank cr-rf 1-0-0-0, DeLeon 1b 2-0-0-1, Yost rf 1-1-0-0, Urbano 3b 2-2-2-0, Watson ss 1-1-1-0. Totals 20-12-11-10.
E – Camporeale. LOB – Columbine 4, Chatfield 1. SB – Pedersen, Guzman; Shannon 2. Caught stealing – Frank. SAC – Watson, DeLeon. 2B – Shannon, Camporeale. 3B – Ta. Rogers. HR – Hagen (solo in second); Camporeale (one on in first), Duley (one on in fourth).
Batteries – Guzman, Miller (4) and Autenrieth; Ta. Rogers and Duley. W – Ta. Rogers (1-0). L – Guzman (1-1). HBP – Duley (by Guzman in first). WP – Guzman. T – 1:13.