In their first home game of the season March 20, a make-up game from March 15, Westminster baseball couldn’t find the clutch hit in the 8-1 defeat to Smoky Hill. Despite ending the afternoon with …
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In their first home game of the season March 20, a make-up game from March 15, Westminster baseball couldn’t find the clutch hit in the 8-1 defeat to Smoky Hill.
Despite ending the afternoon with just one hit, the Wolves weren’t short of opportunities. Tallying nine walks, Westy had baserunners everywhere throughout, but 16 strikeouts for the Buffaloes pitching staff surrendered all hopes of Westminster winning their first game of the season.
“I tip my hat to them,” Westminster first-year manager Curt Sims said. “Those first two pitchers are brothers, and they pitch a lot alike. They threw hard, and when they really, really needed it, they made the pitch. Sometimes you just have to shorten up and make contact and everything changes, but we just couldn’t make that big hit.”
Facing senior Ayden Grimble first, the powerful righty pitched three innings of shut out ball. Walking seven men, Grimble buckled down when he needed to, stranding the bases loaded twice and recording eight strikeouts of his possible nine outs made. As well as the “wildly effective” pitching strategy of Grimble, Westy didn’t strike a single ball in play.
Next in line for SH, younger brother (junior) Liam Grimble allowed one hit while accounting for four strikeouts in 3+ innings. An inning apiece of no-hit ball from senior Mark Braun and junior Diego Velasquez (three strikeouts) closed the door on Westminster’s offense.
On the other side, Westminster showed off their potential ace in sophomore Jesus Mayo, who dazzled in his four innings thrown. Allowing two hits, one run (no earned runs) and six strikeouts, the right-hander kept his team in the ballgame. The only run given up was on a leadoff double by sophomore Preston Cooper who eventually came around to score on a Wolves’ error.
“He’s (Mayo) really good, has a high baseball IQ. He knows how to pitch, knows how to play,” Sims said. We just haven’t gotten to play enough to where he got tired. It would have been a pitchers battle all the way to the end, but he just got tired.”
In his relief, senior Ubaldo Chavez allowed two runs in the fifth (one earned) followed by an inning plus from lefty Demitri Gooding (1 ER). The top of the 7th unfortunately for Westy is when the Smoky Hill offense erupted. Scoring five times, three doubles and two walks outlined the Buffaloes scoring against the Wolves’ staff.
At the end of the day, however, the bats for the home team let them down last Wednesday. The lone hit came from senior CJ Jiron to lead off the fifth inning.
“I know these guys in the cages, and we have been practicing indoors and all of that, but what we will take is that we were really in that game. Jesus, Demitri and those guys over time will get into shape to throw 85 pitches instead of around 45 today. I think we can play with anyone and the hitting will come, some days it just doesn’t happen,” Sims said.
Wrapping up the week against cross-town foe Northglenn, the Wolves captured their first win of the season March 21, 10-2.
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