The Chatfield Chargers are learning what it’s like to be the hunted.
Fresh off a solid victory over highly-touted Arapahoe, the Chargers could not keep up with Heritage on March 11 and suffered a wild 11-7 loss in 10 innings.
The Chargers (2-1) battled back from deficits of 2-0, 4-3 and 7-4 before the Eagles (2-2), who were winless entering the game, finally dropped the hammer with four runs in the top of the 10th.
“I think for the vast majority of the game they were after it harder than we were, to be honest,” Chargers skipper Mike Yansak said. “They were more consistently fired up.”
This is what happens to a team deep in pitching, loaded with seniors, the preseason No. 3 and made a name for itself last season by defeating perennial powerhouse Cherry Creek and advancing deep into the Class 5A Championship Series.
Everyone wants a piece of the Chargers now, and the Eagles certainly were dialed in.
The Chargers led with ace Taylor Rogers, who was working on a pitch count and lasted five innings. In just his second live action since basketball season ended, the Kentucky signee allowed three runs on seven hits – including two doubles and a triple – and struck out eight.
The senior threw some pitches he would probably like to have back, but he never appeared in trouble and was really sharp when he found some rhythm. But the fact that Eagles had a 2-0 lead on five hits after two innings against the left-hander seemed unusual, until you pondered the circumstances.
“Coming out of a winter sport like that you kind of expect that,” Yansak said. “It’s how it works.”
Michael Camporeale temporarily righted the ship in the bottom of the third when he crushed a ball over the wall in center field to put the Chargers up 3-2.
Second baseman Kevin Joyce also hit a three-run homer, but his came with two outs and a full count in the bottom of the seventh as the Chargers rallied to tie the game at 7.
Of the 16 hits the Chargers would get, only Joyce, Camporeale and leadoff batter Mark Shannon would record multiple hits.
The Chargers appeared on the verge of winning the game in the bottom of the seventh when Shannon, Joyce and Camporeale loaded the bases with one out and Heritage leading 4-3. Kyle Duley knocked in Shannon but the bases stayed loaded via an error.
Michael DeLeon hit into a fielder’s choice and the Eagles got the out at home, which kept the bases loaded for Trevor Frank with two outs. Frank popped up to first base to send the game into extra innings.
Shannon would take the loss for the Chargers.
Chatfield plays rival Columbine on March 21.
Heritage 110 101 030 4 11 15 5
Chatfield 003 000 130 0 7 16 2