Guzman leads Rebels to victory

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By Brian Forbes

NORTHGLENN — After a week spent playing some college-level teams, the Columbine Rebels finally got a chance to rest their arms late last week.

Bert Guzman was freshened up on June 20 and the Rebels followed the left-hander’s dominant performance to a 9-6 Legion A victory over Northglenn at Larry Walker Field.

“Bert threw one of his better games,” Rebels skipper Chuck Gillman said.

Guzman allowed one run in five innings and went to the bench with the Rebels holding a seemingly comfortable 6-1 lead. The Rebels extended their cushion to 9-1 before the Norse scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to make things interesting.

Ryan Cicchinelli was 3-for-5 at the plate for the Rebels with a bloop double, bloop single and a ripped triple to the wall in center field in the seventh inning. Eric Pedersen had two hits, including a nifty inside-the-park home run in the sixth inning, and Matt Robers picked up two hits and drove in a run for Columbine, which missed the Class 5A district playoffs last year for the first time since Gillman can recall.

Having defeated the Norse 12-11 earlier in the summer, the Rebels found themselves in a pitcher’s duel through four innings.

The Rebels led 1-0 after two innings thanks to Cicchinelli’s run-scoring single. The Norse tied things in the bottom of the fourth, but the Rebels answered big with a five-run fifth inning.

A fielding error allowed the Rebels to load the bases with two outs and set up Jake Fuller’s two-RBI single and Matt Trujillo’s run-scoring double to deep center field.

The Rebels ran the bases hard and heaped just enough pressure on the Norse to aid them in making several crucial errors.

“We’re always probably too much on the aggressive side,” Gillman said of running the bases. “Unless you’re playing someone that plays really, really great defense, you can’t get away with a lot more.”

Former Front Range Christian athlete Matt Roberts pitched a perfect sixth inning, thanks largely to a fantastic diving catch by Pedersen in center field. But the Norse chased Roberts in the seventh as the right-hander failed to record an out and was tagged for five runs.

Aaron Torres relieved Roberts and induced a double play and grounder to end the game.

“We’re much stronger on the mound than we were this spring,” Gillman said.

Columbine    010 052 1     9 11 1

Northglenn    000 010 5 6 9 3

 Columbine: Cicchinelli lf-2b-lf 5-0-3-2, Pedersen cf 5-1-2-1, Guzman sp-1b 1-2-1-0, Roberts dh-rp 4-1-2-1, Glader 2b 0-0-0-0, Velasquez rf 4-1-0-0, Fuller ss 3-1-1-2, Trujillo 3b 4-1-1-1, Torres 1b-lf-rp 4-0-1-0, Mohr c 2-2-0-0. Totals 32-9-11-7.

E – Cicchinelli. LOB – Columbine 7. SB – Mohr. 2-OUT RBI – Cicchinelli 2, Fuller 2, Pedersen, Trujillo. 2B – Cicchinelli, Trujillo. 3B – Cicchinelli. HR – Pedersen (solo inside the park in sixth).

Battery – Guzman, Roberts (6), Torres (7) and Mohr. W – Guzman. HBP – Guzman, Mohr. T – 2:28.