LAKEWOOD — Columbine shortstop Michael Burns took off for home plate. The Rebels senior thought his hand got under the tag, though he did feel the catcher’s glove on his shoulder. It was a bang-bang play for sure.
“I thought I had the bag. The kid had a long motion going home. Maybe I got a bad jump, but I thought I had the bag,” Burns said.
The irony was that while Burns was tagged out on his attempt to steal home on Standley Lake pitcher Justin Seiwald in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Gators’ Matt Fujinami wasn’t tagged out a half-inning later. Fujinami’s gutsy call to challenge Rebels junior pitcher Tanner Degutis with two outs in the top of the sixth ignited a two-run rally and gave Standley Lake a 3-2 victory on April 27 at Keli McGregor Field at All-Star Park.
Columbine head coach Chuck Gillman thought Burns’ attempted steal of home, which he called for, was a close play, but it was only part of the reason the Rebels lost. Earlier in the inning, before Burns tripled with two outs, Landon Delosier was picked off first after reaching on a fielder’s choice. Standley Lake (8-6, 2-2 5A Jeffco League) took advantage of the opening by scoring the eventual game-winning run on Alec Jarhman’s RBI single up the middle.
That one inning ruined what was otherwise a sizzling varsity debut for Degutis, who allowed one run on one hit in the previous five innings. He baffled Standley Lake’s batters with off-speed pitches, finishing with four strikeouts and five walks.
“I was pretty nervous, but during warmups I kind of got rid of it, settled in, calmed myself down and breathed,” Degutis said.
“He did a great job,” Gillman said of Degurtis.
Columbine (7-9, 1-4) took a 2-0 lead in the second on Austin Anderson’s RBI double. He scored two batters later after Tyler Mohr’s infield single was misplayed. Standley Lake got a run back in the third before stunning the Rebels in the sixth.
Contact Michael Hicks at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.