Saturday morning at Palmer Ridge High School the atmosphere was electric. Spring Baseball in Colorado making and breaking team's season long journey at the District playoffs.
A true pitchers dual, Junior Tyler Richardson took on the Palmer Ridge Bears giving fans on both sides a nail biting game.
Nothing special on both sides of the plate to mention. From the start this game was going to be determined by a single play.
Richardson competed mowing down 10 of Palmer Ridge's swingers. Allowing 2 hits in 6 innings, junior lefty located well. With runners on in the 3rd his command showed. Letting seniors Colin Steinke and Jake Speicher show off quick gloves in an inning ending twin killing in the 3rd inning.
Scoreless through 3 innings, the visiting League Champions took the lead capitalizing on Senior Kayne Wiedenbacher wearing leather on his backside. Working his way over and finally scoring on a big time RBI double by Junior Casey Berndt.
Sophomore Vincent Weber brought his best eyes drawing 3 walks on the day. Elizabeth was otherwise shutdown despite senior Gage Smith's late game single. Palmer Ridge shut down EHS' offence by striking out 14.
The Bears answered back in the 5th inning capitalizing by scoring their walked batsmen.
The final nail in the coffin came from a timely ground rule RBI double sealing the Cardinals fate.
Elizabeth wasn't going to lay down though. Getting two runners in scoring position with nobody out, the Home Team's closer went to work striking out 2.
With two outs, Senior 3rd baseman Wiedenbacher wasn't going to fold under the pressure. Deep in the count, #3 put a swing on an inside changeup. Running on contact EHS' runners trying to tie the game, were shut down as the ground ball to 1st base. Waiving off the pitcher, the 1st baseman sealed the Cardinals fate losing 1-2 ending their inaugural season under Coach Andrew Melton's leadership.
Melton had this to say about Elizabeth's season:
"I don't think a lot of people expected us to do what we did this season. At the end of the day, this team can hold their heads up high knowing that they are 2018 CSML Champs and one different pitch or different swing away from playing for a place in the final 8. For a team with so many seniors and returning Varsity players to buy into a new coaching staff philosophy and vision shows a lot of character and a bright future for the program. I am happy for the seniors to go out as champions and excited for the seasons to come."
The 2018 Elizabeth High School Cardinals finish their season with a record of 12-8. The Varsity, JV and C team banquet will be held on May 23rd celebrating all 3 team's achievements for the year at the EHS cafeteria. Players and their families are invited.
Please share a warm thank you to all the players, parents, fans the the booster club making this season possible.
EHS will be hosting tryouts for the 2018 Summer season on May 22nd.
If you're a player looking to take your game to the next level gearing up for next season, get your free Flow Zone analysis HERE to understand your Optimal Zone of Performance and work better under high pressure situations.