The Baseball Demons left snowy Buena Vista last weekend and brought back a regional tournament championship from the balmier climes of the Eastern Plains at Swink.
Riding a Top 10 state ranking, Buena Vista smacked its way to 8-1 and 20-1 victories to advance to the state championship tournament for the second straight season.
“We ‘wound up getting into tournament’ because we were the 10th ranked team in the state and played a really tough schedule,” Buena Vista coach Greg Perrin said, noting eight of the Demons’ 10 losses were to teams now playing in the 2A or 3A state tournament.
Buena Vista halved its margin of victory over Centauri in the playoff opener, posting an 8-1 win after beating them 16-2 in mid-April.
Buena Vista scored on a sacrifice fly by Zandon Mitchell to score Caleb Camp, who reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the first inning.
Four straight batters reached to start the four-run fourth inning for the Demons.
Seth Moss and Danny Martin singled, Eli Evans reached on an infield error to load the bases before Connor Scott drew a walk to plate Moss.
Quinn Philips grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Martin. Two batters later, Jake Duncan singled to right to score Evans and Philips.
Martin, Moss, Duncan and Camp had two hits each. Duncan, Scott and Philips each drove in a pair of runs.
Camp allowed five hits and a run while striking out 13 with three walks before Mitchell threw three pitches to close out the game with the bases loaded.
Tied 1-1, Buena Vista sent 19 batters to the plate after Evans hit a one-out double to center. Philips singled on a bunt to the pitcher to load the bases and Reavis drew a full-count walk to break the tie and Camp drove home two more with a double to right field.
Four hit batters (of seven in the game), three walks, two doubles and two singles later, the Demons led 15-1.
Evans, Reavis and Camp led the 16 players on the scorecard with two hits each. Reavis scored four times on two hits, a walk and HBP and Camp scored three times.
Duncan worked all three innings to pick up the complete game win, allowing five hits and striking out five with no walks.
Peyton in Pueblo
Buena Vista (15-11) advances to play Peyton (24-1) at 10 a.m., Friday, at the Runyon Sports Complex in Pueblo.
The Panthers have run off 21 straight wins since a 10-6 loss at top-ranked Limon March 31.
“I believe if we play well we have good chance to win this weekend,” Perrin said. “Regardless, I’m incredibly proud of the guys, back to back regional champions and Final 8 teams are hard to come by. Only been done once before in school history, so it’s kind of a cool/big deal.
“I know guys will play their hearts out Friday, and I’ll be incredibly proud of them, regardless of outcome,” he said.