LAKEWOOD — Chatfield’s Kevin Joyce was just trying to make contact. The Green Mountain Rams couldn’t stop getting hit.
Michael Camporeale was hobbled. The Rams were humbled April 22 as the Chargers frolicked to a 16-3 Class 5A Jefferson County League statement victory.
The six-inning victory did nothing to alter Chatfield’s disappointing third-place finish in league, but it did give the Rams their first in-state loss of the season and remind people the Chargers can play as advertised when they put their heads in the game.
“I was just doing anything I could to put the bat on the ball and make them make the plays,” said Joyce, who went 4-for-5 with a home run and double and drove in a team-best five runs.
“We just wanted to come out and make the statement that those two games we weren’t playing our baseball,” Joyce said of crucial losses to Dakota Ridge and Bear Creek. “We played like we can play, and it showed.”
It showed quickly.
Facing Green Mountain ace Mark Everman, the Chargers got home runs in the first three innings from Camporeale (who could barely run on a bad ankle), Joyce and Anthony Urbano, respectively, to build an 11-2 lead and chase the left-hander.
“It’s a great feeling when you can knock him out early,” said Shannon, who also doubled twice and scored four runs.
Taylor Rogers pitched the complete game and got stronger as the game progressed. He showed his best stuff from the third through the fifth innings as he struck out six straight and finished with 12 punch outs to improve to 5-2 this season on the mound.
Chatfield improved to 13-5, 7-2 in Jeffco, while the Rams dropped to 16-3, 8-1.
The district tournament pairings will be released April 29 with single-elimination games on May 2.
The running of the Rams could not have come at a better time for the Chargers, who found themselves giving more attention to the little things and talks about “not being selfish,” Joyce said.
“I know a lot of people were starting to wonder,” Chatfield coach Mike Yansak said. “Our guys were angry, but I don’t think they ever started doubting themselves much. They knew it was a time of making adjustments.”
Yansak blamed the two-game Jeffco funk on the natural ebb and flow of baseball momentum. It didn’t help that the Chargers started hot with convincing league victories and a strong showing in Arizona against some of the top competition in the nation.
“We’re playing great, and all the time I’m thinking, ‘This is too early to be playing this good,’” Yansak said.
Shortstop Jon Watson was 2-for-4 with a two-run ground-rule double to left field in the sixth inning, and left fielder Garrett Yost drove in two runs with a single in the second against the Rams.
Chatfield 345 014 16 13 1
Green Mtn. 021 000 3 7 2
Chatfield: Shannon cf 3-4-2-1, Joyce 2b 5-3-4-5, Camporeale dh 3-1-2-3, Ty. Rogers pr-dh 1-1-0-0, Tallman rf 0-0-0-0, Urbano 3b 2-2-1-3, Ta. Rogers p 2-0-0-0, Ives cr 0-0-0-0, Yost lf 3-0-1-2, Frank lf 1-1-1-0, Moisey c 2-0-0-0, Duley c 2-1-0-0, DeLeon 1b 2-1-0-0, Watson ss 4-2-2-2. Totals 30-16-13-16.
2B – Shannon 2, Watson, Joyce. HR – Camporeale, two on in first; Joyce, one on in second; Urbano, two on in third.