LAKEWOOD — Generosity doesn’t come often in Jeffco baseball.
So when Arvada West started crumbling in the third inning April 5 at All-Star Park, the Dakota Ridge Eagles were more than happy to bring the house down.
The Eagles hit up and down the lineup and made wild Wildcats starter Nick Capra pay with an eight-run third en route to a 17-3 pasting.
“We hit the ball all over the place,” Eagles starting pitcher Joey Jaramillo said. “It’s not always about home runs. It was about base hits this time.”
Fourteen base hits, actually, including five doubles – two by catcher J.C. Ochoa.
Dakota Ridge improved to 8-1 (2-0 in Class 5A Jeffco League play) by winning its seventh straight, its only blemish this season a loss to perennial powerhouse Cherry Creek.
Jaramillo (2-0 this season) threw just four of the five innings, allowing one run on four singles and a double and no walks. He was given a 5-0 lead before he threw his first pitch and was cruising with a 13-0 lead following the top of the third.
Third baseman Eric Cain led the Eagles with three hits and matched leadoff hitter Drew Phelan with a team-best three RBIs. Cain, Andrew Melton and courtesy runner/right fielder David McCulley each scored three runs.
The Eagles scored five runs on four hits in the first inning, but needed just three hits to do their damage in the third. Two defensive errors, wild pitches, passed balls and three hit batters – including Phelan with the bases loaded – saw the Wildcats (4-8, 1-1 Jeffco) fall to pieces.
Capra (1-2) was tagged for 12 runs on six hits. He walked three batters and struck out one.
“They gave us half of them,” Eagles skipper Jeff Legault said of the 17 runs. “But I’m proud of the way the guys are hitting the ball.”
Eight of the Eagles’ nine starting batters registered a hit.
“That’s what is so significant about our lineup, we don’t have any holes,” Cain said.
Cain knocked in the day’s first run following walks to Phelan and Melton. Cain went opposite field to score Phelan and was followed by a double by Ochoa, a single by designated hitter David Whitaker and a two-run double by shortstop Alex Ellison.
Even substitute bats got in on the act. McCulley singled in his only at-bat, as did Brian VanderVelde.
“I don’t even know what their record is, we don’t even look at them anymore because every team is good,” Cain said of the Wildcats. “They’re a team that can swing the bat in Jeffco, and you never know what’s going to happen.”
The only highlight for the Wildcats was a two-run homer by shortstop Luke Campbell off reliever Melton in the fifth inning.
Dakota Ridge 508 13 17 14 0
Arvada West 001 02 3 6 3
Dakota Ridge: Phelan cf 2-3-1-3, Fern ph 1-0-0-0, Melton 2b-rp 4-3-2-1, Cain 3b 5-2-3-3, Ochoa c 3-0-2-2, McCulley cr-rf 1-3-1-1, Jaramillo sp 0-0-0-0, Porter 2b 0-0-0-0, Whitaker dh 4-1-1-1, Ellison ss 2-2-1-2, Rosco rf 3-0-1-1, Brown 1b 3-1-1-1, VanderVelde 1b 1-0-1-0, Pritchett lf 2-1-0-0, Espinoza lf 1-1-0-0. Totals 32-17-14-15.
Arvada West: Shine c 0-0-0-0, Leary rp 0-0-0-0, Sammons rp 0-0-0-0, Steele dh 3-0-0-0, Capra sp-c 2-1-1-0, Campbell ss 3-2-2-2, Gorski 3b 2-0-2-1, Masden ph 1-0-0-0, DeLorenzo cf 2-0-0-0, Heagerty cr-rf 0-0-0-0, Ross 1b 2-0-0-0, Hill rf-cf 2-0-1-0, Harrison lf 2-0-0-0, Martinez 2b 1-0-0-0, Mestdagh 1-0-0-0. Totals 21-3-6-3.
E – Campbell (throw), Groski (catch), Shine (catch). LOB – Dakota Ridge 7, Arvada West 4. SB – Melton. 2B – Ochoa 2, Ellison, Phelan, Melton; Gorski. HR – Campbell, one on in fifth.
Batteries – Jaramillo, Melton (5) and Ochoa; Capra, Leary (3), Sammons (4) and Shine, Capra (4). W – Jaramillo (2-0). L – Capra (1-2). HBP – Ellison (by Capra in third), Pritchett (by Capra in third), Phelan (by Capra in third). WP – Capra 3, Leary. PB – Shine 3. T – 1:36.