The Dakota Ridge baseball team rounded out three days of play in the Kyle Blakeman tournament June 3 with a 6-5 extra-innings win against Wheat Ridge at Dakota Ridge High School. The Eagles concluded the tournament 4-1.
“I’m happy with (all) of them,” Dakota Ridge head coach Jeff Legault said. “It’s a new group and they are getting their confidence going in this tournament. Overall, every single person has done something to help us be 4-1 to this point.”
With their seniors now graduated, both teams rotated through pitchers looking to see how their new crop of seniors could perform.
The Farmers started rising senior Tyler Schill, a former Dakota Ridge player. But the Farmers were forced to bring in relief pitcher Nick Sawyer in the second inning after Schill missed the strike zone time and again.
The game was tied 5-all going into the eighth inning when the Farmers put their third relief pitcher of the game — junior Lane Wagner — on the mound, hoping to keep Dakota Ridge at bay long enough to bat again in the ninth. That, however, wasn’t in the cards.
With Dakota Ridge junior Josh Lucas on third, the Eagles sent senior Jack Kortaba to the plate for an intended suicide squeeze. That’s what they ended up with, scoring the game-winning run.
The run came as the result of an error when Wagner attempted to recover the bunt and toss it to Sawyer, who was manning first base. But Sawyer couldn’t keep hold of the ball long enough to make the play as Lucas crossed home plate.
“(We were) rough on defense,” Legault said. “We preach pitch to contact and we preach making the everyday play and I think we had seven errors, so not what we wanted to see on (our) defense. But when we executed they didn’t get the job done.”
“I think in spurts we hit the ball OK and we played pretty good defense up until that last inning,” Wheat Ridge head coach Adam Miller said. “But we have a lot of room to grow and you get better by playing good teams like this one.”