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Weiman, Rebels shine in spotlight

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Columbine stays unbeaten with a convincing home victory over top-10 foe Ralston Valley

By Michael Hicks

Blake Weiman saw the swarm of scouts standing behind home plate, radar guns in hand clocking every pitch. The Rebels senior left-hander was also aware they were at Columbine High School to take a peek at Ralston Valley starter Jordan Holloway and not necessarily him.

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“I wasn’t too worried. I’ll just do my thing, and if they like me, they like me. If not, they don’t,” said the University of Kansas recruit.
Weiman gave the scouts — from the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers — plenty of reason to keep an eye on him as he allowed just one run on two hits over five innings, walking four and striking out five. Meanwhile, Columbine’s batters gave him more than enough run support in a 10-4 battle of top-10 teams April 17 at Frank DeAngelis Field.
Weiman started just three games during the 2013 season because of a developing stress fracture between his L3 and L4 vertebrae. He didn’t pitch at all last summer, fall or winter. He’s not quite back to 100 percent, but some — maybe even Ralston Valley — might beg to differ.
Outside of a second-inning single to Jacob Knipp and a leadoff double to Jacob Gallegos in the third — Gallegos came in to score on Connor Roth’s sacrifice fly — Weiman was virtually flawless before turning the ball over to the bullpen. In six appearances this season, Weiman is 4-0 with a 0.88 earned-run average. He also has two saves.
“He’s an amazing kid because he’s coming off a tough injury,” Columbine head coach Chuck Gillman said.
Weiman’s teammates supported his cause. Leadoff hitter Michael Tait reached base four times and scored three runs, as did Donny Ortiz and Austin Anderson, and the Rebels blew open a 1-all game with three runs in the third inning and four more in the fourth. The big blow was Ortiz’s three-run homer that all but chased Holloway.
“I always have faith in my batters. They can hit, man,” Weiman said. “I’ve just got to go do my thing on my mound. They take care of what they take care of. If they don’t put up runs, then I need to shut (the other team) down.”
The way fifth-ranked Columbine (14-0, 3-0 5A Jeffco League), a 12-4 winner over Pomona on April 19, worked over Holloway, he didn’t have much to worry about. Ralston Valley’s starter allowed eight runs on nine hits in four innings. He walked three and struck out four.
In all, the Rebels had 12 hits, including four extra-base knocks. Tommy Gillman had two doubles, and Anderson had a sixth-inning RBI triple, but it all started with Tait’s penchant to get on base from the get-go that got Columbine’s offense off and running.
“I just kind of do my job as a leadoff to get on every time. It worked out today,” Tait said. “We try to support when he’s throwing. To put up 10 runs is pretty tough to do against Ralston Valley, but you know that Blake’s not going to give up 10 runs.”
The sixth-ranked Mustangs (11-2, 1-1), which bounced back to rout Standley Lake 22-3 three days later, made the game closer than it actually was by getting a two-run homer from Roth and a solo shot from Knipp in the seventh.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.