Falcons hang tough in loss to Cougars

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By Brian Forbes

Dave Sherman is the first to admit his Front Range Christian Falcons are keeping a steady hand and their feet on the ground.

As for the victories, they’ve worked out pretty well so far.

“Enough to win a lot of these games throughout the year,” the Falcons’ first-year skipper said.

Ranked No. 10 in The Denver Post’s Class 2A poll, the Falcons wrapped up a postponed District 4 game April 24 against second-ranked Resurrection Christian at Clement Park with a good feeling.

Without a downpour of rain, the Falcons looked pretty solid, despite the 10-5 defeat. After falling behind 9-4 to the Cougars in two innings the week previous, the Falcons got to dry off, collect themselves and buckle down against the 2007 state semifinalists.

“We have really worked hard on fundamentals and playing good defense,” Sherman said.

The hardest part about the Cougars was right-handed ace Tyler Lohr, who throws in the mid-80s and had great movement on his curveball. Lohr, who also hit a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning off Falcons starter John Ross, chewed away at the corners of the strike zone and seemed to get good calls low and away.

The Falcons managed just five hits – all singles.

The Falcons (11-3, 5-3) made no excuses about the earlier weather, but certainly fared much better in the dry conditions.

Ross didn’t blow anyone’s doors off, but the lanky right-hander showed good location and gave the Cougars fit with his pseudo-slider.

“It’s more of a side-armed curve, but it does some weird things sometimes,” Ross said.

The pitch was the first thing Cougars coach Tad Carls had on his list of compliments for the Falcons. Another accolade was the improvement in a Front Range Christian squad the Cougars dismantled 20-2 earlier in the season.

Michael Fast, Ben Nutsch, Ross, Taylor Bigandt and Jalen LeDoux-Hayes collected the this for the Falcons. LeDoux-Hayes drove in two runs and scored twice, including the Falcons’ lone run in the bottom of the fourth after he reached base via an error.

LeDoux-Hayes advanced to second on poor pickoff attempt by Lohr and moved to third on Fast’s hit to left field.

Nutsch delivered a nice run-scoring sacrifice fly to right field, but LeDoux-Hayes did one better with a great slide at home to avoid the tag.

Besides the home run to center field, Ross largely stayed out of trouble. He gave up nine hits for the game, but just three hits in the final five innings.