Season ends at Mountain Vista … again

It had a familiar ring to it. Mullen’s baseball season ended in a loss to Mountain Vista just as it did in 2018.

The Mustangs fell 12-1 in five innings on Saturday to the Highlands Ranch-based Golden Eagles and defending Class 5A champions in the first round of regionals. They gave up 10 runs in the fourth and fifth.

Mullen ended 13-11 under first-year head coach Nick Arcuri, its third in three years.

Alek Elges came home on Evan Malloy’s double in the first and that was it for Mustangs scoring. Mountain Vista grabbed the lead at 2-1 in the bottom half and stayed quiet until the fourth.

Senior Clay Burke earned the pitching decision. He transferred from Mullen after his sophomore season and is the son of former Cherry Creek star pitcher John Burke, who was the first amateur draft pick of the Colorado Rockies. The younger Burke allowed only three hits, struck out four and walked two.

Left-hander Will Miller took the loss for Mullen.

Stephan Loya and Michael Stanford had Mullen’s other hits.

Mountain Vista moved to 23-2 after beating Dakota Rudge 20-2 in a second game on Saturday. It has qualified for the Champion Series.

Mullen loses 10 seniors for 2020.

Elges ended as the Mustangs’ leading hitter at .394. Malloy was next at .386 and had 14 doubles.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Mustangs to face MV again in 1st round 

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen heads to Highlands Ranch to take on host and defending state champion Mountain Vista on Saturday in the Class 5A regionals.

The Mustangs will face the Golden Eagles in the first round for a second consecutive season.

Two victories are needed to advance to the Championship Series.

Below is the schedule with times, dates, sites and records for the big-school playoffs as well as a bit of information on the hosts:

 

REGION 1 (Saturday at Mountain Vista H.S.)

Game 1: No. 8 Mullen (13-10) vs. No. 1 Mountain Vista (21-2), 12:30 p.m.

 Game 2: No. 5 Castle View (14-9) vs. No. 4 Dakota Ridge (13-10), 10 a.m.

 Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m.

Mountain Vista, which has won 17 games in a row, is led by Minnesota signee, 2018 player of the year and all-around star Sam Ireland (.435, 11 doubles, five home runs, 31 runs batted in). The Golden Eagles also have 79 extra-base hits, including 22 homers.

 

REGION 2 (Saturday at Legend H.S.)

Game 1: No. 7 Fossil Ridge (13-10) vs. No. 2 Legend (14-9), 12:30 p.m.

 Game 2: No. 6 Fruita Monument (11-9) vs. No. 3 Rocky Mountain (15-7-1), 10 a.m.

 Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m.

Legend opened the season just 2-5, but has rallied nicely behind Justin Boyd, who’s batting .465 with 16 extra-base hits and 27 RBIs.

 

REGION 3 (Saturday at Windsor H.S.)

Game 1: No. 8 Denver South (15-8) vs. No. 1 Windsor (19-4), 10 a.m.

 Game 2: No. 5 Grandview (15-8) vs. No. 4 Ralston Valley (15-8), 11:30 a.m.

 Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 1 p.m.

Windsor has jumped to 5A and broadened the outlay of 5A. The Wizards’ top pitcher is Owen Lockner, who’s 7-1 with a 0.58 earned-run average and 77 strikeouts in 48 innings.

 

REGION 4 (Saturday at Douglas County H.S.)

Game 1: No. 7 Prairie View (15-7) vs. No. 2 Douglas County (15-7), 9:30 a.m.

Game 2: No. 6 Legacy (13-10) vs. No. 3 Grand Junction (14-9), noon

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 2:30 p.m.

Douglas County grabbed a host berth despite dropping its past four games and five-of-six. The Huskies and junior Case Williams (7-1, 1.53 ERA, 71 strikeouts in 45.2 innings) had been 12-1.

 

REGION 5 (Saturday at REGIS JESUIT H.S.)

Game 1: No. 5 Fort Collins (16-7) vs. No. 4 Chatfield (15-8), 9:30 a.m.

Game 2:  No. 8 Monarch (11-11) vs. No. 1 Regis Jesuit (18-5), noon

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 2:30 p.m.

Regis Jesuit, which also beta the Mustangs in nonleague, remains very dangerous with Caden Wagner (.468, nine homers, 36 RBIs) and about as deep of a pitching staff as there has been in years.

 

REGION 6 (Saturday at Pine Creek H.S.)

Game 1: No. 7 Broomfield (11-11) vs. No. 2 Pine Creek (16-7), 10 a.m.

Game 2:No. 6 Loveland (13-10) vs. No. 3 Chaparral (14-9), 12:30 p.m.

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 3 p.m.

Concerning Pine Creek (senior Riley Cornelio, 7-2, 89 strikeouts in 49 innings), it’s the same question – Is this the year the Colorado Springs Eagles, who have had talent and numbers in the past, break out against the high end of big schools?

 

REGION 7 (Saturday at Heritage H.S.)

Game 1: No. 5 Boulder (15-8) vs. No. 4 Rock Canyon (14-8), 10 a.m.

Game 2: No. 8 Mountain Range (12-11) vs. No. 1 Heritage (16-7), 1 p.m.

Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 4 p.m.

Fact is, Heritage has been one of the top teams all season with an experienced group that has balance and versatility as well as senior Eric McKnight, who leads the Eagles in hits at the plate (25) and strikeouts on the mound (48).

 

REGION 8 (Saturday at Cherry Creek H.S.)

Game 1: No. 6 ThunderRidge (11-12) vs. No. 3 Horizon (17-6), 9:30 a.m.

Game 2: No. 7 Valor Christian (11-11) vs. No. 2 Cherry Creek (17-6), noon

 Game 3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 2:30 p.m.

For nearly five decades, Cherry Creek is exactly 800-200 under fabled coach Marc Johnson, arguably The Godfather of the in-state game. The Bruins also can swing it, notably with Jack Moss, who’s batting .520 with 39 hits, 10 doubles and 27 RBIs.

 

 

Sloppy finale leads to 15-5 loss

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – Mullen is waiting for the Class 5A regional playoffs, but may have gotten an early taste of what they will be like on Tuesday.

Not that the Mustangs wanted it that way, but the taste was awfully bitter in a 15-5 regular-season-ending setback to host and what had been a struggling Cherokee Trial in the Centennial League. The Mustangs blew two leads, committed four errors in a rough fielding day, had to use three pitchers, walked eight, threw multiple wild pitches and gave up 15 runs while getting only eight outs.

“We let them get into our heads … bottom line,” Mullen head coach Nick Arcuri said. “And I just told them that that’s enough of the humility. They humbled you and you have to be better than that.”

The Cougars, who finished 5-18 overall and 4-10 in league, surprisingly made the Class 5A Championship Series a year ago, but have had trouble replacing their 13 seniors. Under second-year coach Steve Eaton, Cherokee Trail has dropped 17 of its past 20 games, but certainly rolled the Mustangs to cap 2019.

“That’s playoff baseball right there,” Arcuri said of the Cougars seeking some kind of satisfaction to their rough season. “This was (the Cougars’) playoff game.”

In dropping to 13-10, 6-8, Mullen started well enough, enjoying a three-run first inning, topped by Evan Malloy’s two-run double and a run-scoring single by Brennen Nolte. But all the Mustangs could follow with were an unearned run in the second and a sacrifice fly that broght in another score in the fourth by Alek Elges.

Meanwhile, the Cougars battered starter Matthew Tafoya and relievers Michael Stanford and Trevor Moore with a barrage that included stolen bases and bunts.

“But maybe we needed this,” Arcuri said. “That’s a possibility.”

It could be a jolt before playoff designations are released today. The seeding meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., Arcuri said, and he expects his team to be placed in the high 20s of the 32-team field.

“We have to be better,” he said of his team’s play.

Big-school regional rounds will be played on Satiurday at eight sites.

 

CHEROKEE TRAIL 15, MULLEN 5

Mullen 310 10 --  5  7  4

Cherokee Trail  008 34  --  15  11  3 

Mullen – Loya lf 2-1-1-0, Elges 2b 2-1-1-1, Vitry ss 3-1-0-0, Malloy c 3-0-1-2, Bradley cr 0-1-0-0, Stanford cf-p 3-0-1-0, Nolte 1b 2-0-1-1, Brickley rf 2-0-1-0, Moore 3b-p 3-1-1-0, Perri dh 1-0-0-0, M. Tafoya p 0-0-0-0, Brady cf 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-5-7-4.

Cherokee Trail – Cox lf 4-1-2-2, Angulo 2b 2-2-1-1, Rush rf 3-1-2-1, Freels 1b 3-2-1-1, Berger dh 2-3-2-1, Muniz cf 2-2-1-2, Simpson 3b 3-1-2-1, Hardman cr 0-1-0-0, Sloan p 2-1-0-1, Sandoval cr 0-1-0-0, Hommes ph 0-0-0-0, Nelson c 2-0-0-2, Matos ss 0-0-0-0. Totals 22-15-11-11-12.

E – Sloan, Matos, Nolte 2, Angulo, Moore, Loya. DP – Cherokee Trail. LOB – Mullen 6, Cherojee trail 7. SAC – Nelson, Perri, Muniz. SB – Berger, Simpson 3, Sandoval. Caught stealing – Angulo.  

2B – Nolte, Freels, Berger, Rush, Cox. 3B – Angulo.

Batteries – M. Tafoiya, Stanford (3), Moore (5) and Malloy; Sloan and Nelson. W – Sloan. L – M. Tafoya. WP – M. Tafoya 3. HBP – Simpson (by Stanford); Freels (by Stanford); Hommes (by Moore). SF – Elges, Nelson. T – 2:01.

 

Mayoral, Mustangs shine in home finale

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It guaranteed Mullen another season with a winning record, but the Mustangs, who played their final home game of the 2019 season, have plenty in front of them.

Monday’s 13-3 whipping of Highlands Ranch in five innings in nonleague pushed the Mustangs to 13-9 overall. They are 26th in Class 5A playoff qualifying (32 teams will advance to regionals to be announced in mid-week) and will wrap up the regular season today, 4:15 p.m., at Cherokee Trail in Aurora with an opportunity to finish at 7-7 and chance to finish as high as a tie for third place in the finale of the Centennial League.

Against the Continental’s Falcons, the Mustangs trailed 3-0 in the first inning, but responded with a five-spot as an answer and scored in all four innings. An 11-hit attack featured two safeties each by Alek Elges, Cameron Brickley and Evan Malloy. Both of Malloy’s hits were doubles and Brennen Nolte had one. Michael Stanford and Jack Vitry tripled. The Mustangs also benefitted from four Highlands Ranch errors.

Left-hander Jayden Mayoral earned the victory and settled in after the first inning. He was touched for eight hits and walked three, but struck out five and went the distance.

Mullen has won three of its past four games.

Regional pairings, which are expected to be dominated by Continental teams, are set to be released on Wednesday. At the top is Mountain Vista, the defending 5A state champion.

 

Mustangs split DH at Overland

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen split a doubleheader on Saturday at Overland in Aurora.

Competing at Tony Schenbeck Field at Utah Park, the Mustangs won the first game 12-5 and dropped the second 8-6.

The Centennial League split put the Mustangs at 12-9 overall, 6-7 in league, ads there are just two days remaining in the regular season.

In the opener, senior left-hander Will Miller went the distance. He allowed only six hits and walked only one in giving up five runs, but he struck out eight and stayed in command.

Offensively, Mullen trailed twice early, but plated three runs in each of the middle three innings. Cameron Brickley and Evan Malloy each drove in three runs. Malloy also had a home run and Brickley tripled. Michael Brady, Brennen Nolte, Stephan Loya and Malloy had doubles. Jack Vitry scored three times. Brickley and Nolte each had three of Mullen’s 18 hits.

In the second game, Overland (3-19, 1-13) plated two runs in the seventh to win it.

Both teams banged out 12 hits.

For Mullen, Nolte had two hits for three RBIs. Vitry tripled among his two hits, scored twice and had an RBI, and Loya had two doubles. Malloy and Nicki Perri also had doubles. Malloy added two hits as did Michael Stanford.

On the mound, Alek Elges, Wyatt Reynolds and Stanford combined to allow eight runs, seven earned, and struck out eight.

The Mustangs will take on Highlands Ranch at home at Bill Swift Field in nonleague on Monday, 4:15 p.m., then complete their regular season will a road game in Aurora at Cherokee Trail, 4:15 p.m., in league.

Regional pairings are to be released on Wednesday.

 

 

‘Stangs coming of age … finally

Smoky Hill and Mullen players come together after Saturday's game at Bill Swift Field.

 

Sound 4-3 home win vs. Smoky Hill caps an important week as

Mayoral's sharp on the hill and Nolte raps game-winning single

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

In capping a 2-1 week that involved close games and improved play, Mullen may have been able to shake off its season-long, up-and-down tendencies as it heads into final rounds of the regular season.

The Mustangs’ 4-3 decision of Smoky Hill at Bill Swift Field came with front-line pitching, timely hitting and sound defense, traits first-year head coach Nick Arcuri has been yearning to see, particularly after the listless 17-2 debacle against Grandview.

“I think we’re finally getting to where we need to be,” he said as Mullen moved to 11-8 overall, 5-6 in the Centennial League.

It started on the mound as left-hander Jayden Mayoral was terrific before running onto a bit of trouble in the seventh inning. He retired the first 13 Buffaloes before walking a batter and giving up a game-tying, two-run home run. Lifted after giving up two singles to start the seventh – Michael Stanford recorded the save – Mayoral upped his record to 4-2.

“Everything was going right,” Mayoral said. “That home run … I just let it go. But we’re playing well right now.”

Mustangs catcher Evan Malloy said Mayoral “didn’t miss his spots. He was hitting everything on the corners and his curveball was moving. He kept (the Buffs) on their heels all day.”

Arcuri allowed that Mayoral “has come a long way. He was maybe a reliever to start the year, maybe.”

At bat, Mullen used two of Smoky Hill’s five errors along with a walk, a stolen base and a double by Alek Elges to take a 2-0 lead in the third. In the sixth, the rest of the Buffs’ miscues as well as a bunt single by Stanford and a single to right field by Brennen Nolte decided it.

And defensively, while one of Mullen’s errors led to a run, Michael Brady, who came into left field when Stanford moved from center to pitch, connected on a crisp relay with third baseman Stephan Loya, who fired to Malloy to nail the potential tying run at the plate in a bang-bang play.

Stanford them fanned a Buff and got a grounder to Jack Vitry at shortstop to end it.

Smoky Hill head coach Bob Kennedy, whos eteam is 9-9, 6-5, said the five errors “obviously hurt, but Mullen did what it had to do to beat us.”

The Mustangs were upbeat afterward as “we’re playing looser now, having fun with it and not playing tight,” Malloy said.

Arcuri concurred: “We’re playing pretty good baseball right now.“

Mullen enters the final full week of the regular season with a home game in league against Overland on Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.; a make-up game at Cherokee Trail in Aurora on Thursday, 4:15 p.m.; and the league finale on Saturday at Overland, Tony Schenbeck Field at Utah Park in Aurora. However, forecasters are predicting weather problems, including rain, cold and snow, Tuesday through Thursday.

The Mustangs’ are slated for their 23rd regular-season game on May 13, 4L30 p.m., against Highlands Ranch in nonleague. Postseason parings are to be released on May 15.

 

MULLEN 4, SMOKY HILL 3

Smoky Hill 000 020 1  --  3  5  5

Mullen 002 002 x – 4  4  2

Smoky Hill – Kennedy cf 3-0-1-0, Ni. Ackerman ss 3-0-0-0, McKee 2b 3-0-0-0, Velasquez p 3-1-1-0, Grimble 3b 2-1-1-0, Pr. Cooper 1b 3-1-2-3, Kish lf 3-0-0-0, No. Ackerman rf 2-0-0-0, Fogo ph 1-0-0-0, Robles c 2-0-0-0. Totals 25-3-5-3.

Mullen – Loya 3b 3-1-0-0, Elges 2b 3-0-1-1, Naha lf-cf 2-0-0-0, Malloy c 3-0-0-0, Brady cr-lf 0-1-0-0, Stanford cf-p 3-1-1-0, Nolte dh 3-0-2-1, Vitry ss 3-0-0-0, Brickley rf 3-1-0-0, Perri 1b 1-0-0-0, Mayoral p 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-4-4-2.

E – McKee 2, Pr. Cooper, Velasquez 2, Malloy. LOB – Smoky Hill 2, Mullen 4. SB – Brickley, Kennedy.

2B – Elges. HR – Pr. Cooper, one on in fifth.

Batteries – Velasquez and Robles; Mayoral, Stanford (7) and Malloy. W – Mayoral. L – Velasquez. S – Stanford. T – 1:35.

 

 

Miller mows down Buffs, ‘Stangs win 3-1

It was a time for Will Miller to have his best game of the season and he delivered.

The Mullen senior pitched a gem on Thursday, leading the Mustangs to a 3-1 road victory at Smoky Hill in Aurora in the Centennial League. Bound for Cornell College, the left-hander went the distance in striking out 12 Buffaloes, walking just one and permitting three hits.

“My curveball all day,” Miller replied when asked what was working for him. “I threw it on any count. I had a lot of first-pitch curveballs and probably threw it 50-50 with my fastball. It was moving like there was no tomorrow and I had control of it.”

Control is good for the Mustangs, who improved to 10-7 overall, 4-5 in league, and were coming off a 17-2 whipping the past Saturday at home against Grandview, one that caused the Mustangs to take a look at themselves.

“We needed a win,” Miller said of his performance. “Our morale and confidence are back up. Guys are playing much looser and we’re actually playing our game now.”

All told, Miller threw 107 pitches and was around the plate all game. Offensively, Brennen Nolte had a double and two runs batted in. Alek Elges and Evan Malloy had singles. Malloy also walked twice. Jack Vitry, Malloy and Stephan Loya scored.

The Mustangs, who also had their scrimmage game at Coors Field on Wednesday, will have a make-up game at Grandview in Aurora on Friday, first pitch at 4:15 p.m., and a rematch with Smoky Hill at Bill Swift Field on Saturday, 11 a.m.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Grandview rocks Mullen 17-2

It wasn’t what they expected or wanted.

It also was difficult to take and watch, but Mullen’s 17-2 home loss in six innings on Saturday to Grandview in Centennial League play at Bill Swift Field was real and the Mustangs have to deal with it.

Their fourth loss in five games dropped them to 9-7 overall, 3-5 in league.

“I don’t have much to say,” an upset head coach Nick Arcuri said.

Mullen used three pitchers who were rocked for 16 hits and eight walks. The Wolves (8-8, 7-2) also blew it open by scoring 11 runs in the top of the sixth inning and sending 16 batters to the plate.

The Mustangs had only one hit through five innings and four of their safeties came an inning later by pinch-hitters who were able to plate the two runs and avoid the shutout. Cameron Brickley doubled to knock in a run and Jayden Mayoral singled in another run.

With another series of inclement weather looming Monday to Wednesday, Mullen’s upcoming three-game week could prove interesting – it is scheduled to be at Grandview in Aurora on Tuesday, 4:15 p.m., and have a home-and-away with Smoky Hill, Thursday in Aurora, 4:15 p.m., and Saturday at home, 11 a.m.

 

GRANDVIEW 17, MULLEN 2 6 inn.

Grandview 014 10(11)  – 17  16  2 

Mullen 000 002  –  2  5  2 

Grandview – Chapman ss 4-1-2-1, Bouschele ph 1-0-0-0, I. Smith rf 5-3-3-4, Castonguay c 3-1-1-0, Hamilton cr-ph 0-2-0-0, Goldy 3b 3-3-3-2, Martinez rf 3-1-1-2, Biaggi ph 1-2-1-2, Bollefer dh 3-0-0-1, A. Smith 2b 4-1-2-3, Vernikoff 1b 3-0-0-1, Dieck cr-ph 1-1-1-1, Lippold 2b 3-1-1-0, Woolums cr 0-1-0-0, Hojnowski p 0-0-0-0. Totals 34-17-16-17.

Mullen – Loya 3b 2-0-0-0, Elges 2b 1-0-0-0, Aragon ph 1-0-1-0, Vitry ss 2-0-0-0, Golenzer ph 1-1-0-0, Malloy c 2-0-0-0, Brickley ph 1-1-1-1, Stanford cf-p 2-0-0-0, Nolte dh 2-0-0-0, J. Tafoya ph 1-0-1-0, Perri 1b 3-0-0-0, Naha lf-cf 2-0-0-0, Brady rf 2-0-1-0, Bradley lf 0-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0, Reynolds p 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-2-5-2.

E – Chapman 2, Vitry 2. LOB – Grandview 11, Mullen 4. SAC – Chapman. SB – Lippold. CS -- Vernikoff.

2B – Brady, A. Smith. 3B – Biaggi, I. Smith. HR – Goldy, solo in 2nd.

Batteries – Hojnowski and Castonguay; Miller, Stanford (4), Reynolds (6) and Malloy. W – Hojnowksi (4-3). L – Miller (2-2). HBP – Loya (By Hojnowksi). WP – Miller. SF – Goldy.

 

Regis knocks down Mustangs

Photos by John Leyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

In the sequence above, Mullen SS Jack Vitry goes into full flight on a play at second base; below, Mustangs pitching struggled.

 

Mustangs held to 1 hit, have 4-game winning streak halted in 13-1 loss

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They longed to play well, they were flying high coming into Monday and their opponent was their longtime parochial-school rival that also is sitting near the top of the class.

However, the result was lopsided, they weren’t able to do much and there was no argument that they got waxed.

So what do the Mullen Mustangs do after a 13-1 home drubbing in five innings to Regis Jesuit at Bill Swift Field”

“You flush it and go,” Mustangs head coach Nick Arcuri said.

He pointed to two road matchups this week, Tuesday at Cherokee Trail and Saturday at Arapahoe, “when we have a chance to be 5-2 in (the Centennial) League.”

The Class 5A nonleague loss dropped Mullen to 8-4 overall and it was one in which not a lot went right. The Raiders, now 11-1 and with more than a half-dozen signees and commitments with others on the way, battered three Mustangs pitchers for 16 hits, scored in every inning, and belted three home runs, two of them no-doubters. They also took advantage of six walks, three wild pitches and three walks.

“It was tough,” Mullen senior catcher Brennen Nolte said, while icing a shoulder and hand that were beaten up from a challenging day behind the plate.

At the plate, Mullen had only one hit, by No. 2 hitter and starting pitcher Alek Elges. It was basically a swinging bunt. Raiders starter Alec Willis plunked the Mustangs’ Evan Malloy two batters later, then retired the ensuing 10 in succession. He struck out seven and walked none. Mullen’s only other base runner came via walk in the fifth against Raiders reliever Whitman Hamilton.

“This one didn’t mean that much,” Arcuri said, noting he had toyed with his pitching rotation with an eye toward matching up in league play. “We didn’t have the best approaches (at the plate) today. We didn’t do a lot of things well today. I don’t know if they got caught up in all of the type of this thing.”

The Mustangs and the Raiders met for the first time in the rivalry since March 31, 2010, when Regis Jesuit won 10-8. Plus, Mullen students in attendance were treated to free pizza.

“We just move on,” Arcuri said. “We’re fine, we’re good. We have t be ready to go (Tuesday).”

 

REGIS JESUIT 13, MULLEN 1, 5 inn.

Regis Jesuit 223  15  --  13  16  2

Mullen 100  00  --  1  1  0

Regis Jesuit – Padilla 2b 4-1-3-1, Stoughton ph 1-0-0-0, Macias cf 4-2-1-0, Wagner lf 4-1-2-4, O’Donnell dh 3-3-2-2, Perchiazzi 3b 3-2-3-1, Best c 3-1-3-4. Cushenbery cr 0-1-0-0, Parsons rf 4-0-1-0, Doubet lf 3-0-0-0, Thompsen c 2-2-1-1, Willis p 0-0-0-0, Hamilton p 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-13-16-13.

Mullen – Loya 2b-lf 2-0-0-0, Elges p-2b 2-0-1-0,  Naha cr 0-0-0-0, Vitry ss 2-0-0-0, Malloy 1b 1-0-0-0, Moore 3b 2-0-0-0, Nolte c 1-0-0-0, Aragon cr 0-0-0-0, Stanford cf 2-0-0-0, Brickley rf 2-0-0-0, J. Tafoya dh 2-0-0-0, Brady lf 0-0-0-0, M. Tafoya p 0-0-0-0, Reynolds p 0-0-0-0. Totals 16-1-1-0.

E – Best, Macias. LOB -- Regis Jesuit 8, Mullen 2. SB – Perchiazzi.  

2B – Wagner, Perchiazzi, Best. HR – O’Donnell, one on in 1st; Best, one on in 3rd; Wagner, one in in 5th

Batteries – Willis, Hamilton (5) and Best; Elges, M. Tafoya (3), Reynolds (5) and Nolte. W – Willis. L – Elges. HBP – Malloy (by Hamilton). WP – M. Tafoya 3. PB – Nolte 3. T – 1:46.

 

 

Malloy caps 7-6 league victory

Evan Malloy’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning on Saturday lifted Mullen to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory at home at Bill Swift Field against Cherokee Trail in the Centennial League.

It was Malloy’s third hit – as well as his second double -- and third run batted in as the Mustangs came back twice over the final two innings and scored six runs.

Mullen is 8-3 overall, 3-2 in league. Cherokee Trail, which made the Class 5A Championship Series a year ago is 4-6, 2-3.

Junior Jadin Tafoya had a two-run homer; Jack Vitry was 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI; Alek Elges singled and scored as did Michael Stanford and Stephan Loya; and Nick Perri added a safety.

Freshman Trevor Moore pitched the first six innings for the Mustangs and senior Jayden Mayoral, who was touched for three runs in the top of the seventh, earned the victory.

The Mustangs have earned four victories in succession and will host rival Regis Jesuit (10-1) of the Continental League on Monday, 4:30 p.m., as part of a three game-week, weather permitting – the Mustangs will be at Cherokee Trail on Tuesday, 4:15 p.m., and at Arapahoe on Saturday, 11 a.m., both in league.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Mullen outslugs Eaglecrest 14-10

Photos by John Leyba, Mullen SPorts Photographer

 

Mustangs also earn forfeit victory from Saturday, move to 7-3 overall, 2-2 in league

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

It was as if it took an eternity, like a Rockies game, and why not?

There were 24 runs, 24 hits, eight errors, six pitchers, two wild pitches, seven extra-base hits, two home runs,  three double plays, three passed balls and a pitcher who was injured on the mound over a seemingly longer 2 hours, 22 minutes.

Fittingly, Mullen’s 14-10 slugfest at Bill Swift Field in the Centennial League on Tuesday also came with another victory – Saturday’s 4-3 defeat at the Raptors was negated and a win was awarded to the Mustangs after it was determined Eaglecrest violated the mandatory pitch-count rule.

Pardon Mustangs coach Nick Arcuri for breathing a sigh of relief, although he has been here before many times.

“We fought through it, we did,” he said after Mullen improved to 7-3 overall, 2-2 in league. “The first inning, (the Raptors) put up those four (runs) and we looked like a three-ring circus out there. Other than that, I thought we played a pretty good baseball game.”

With all of the numbers in the game, Mustangs junior Jack Vitry had a few himself. He had two triples; a single; five runs batted in, including an RBI groundout; along with making two errors at shortstop; was slow on another grounder that allowed a Raptor to grab an infield hit; and turned in a terrific dive to snare a line drive that he turned into a double play.

“Baseball is crazy,” the 6-foot-1, 170-pounder admitted.

Still, Vitry said, “I mean, all in all, it was a team effort. For all of the stuff that happened, it came together for us. It all comes down to the team. It was a little rough out there, but if you make a mistake you have to know the team is behind you.”

As usual, Mullen received contributions throughout its lineup. In addition to Vitry, A.J. Naha had a double and scored twice. Evan Malloy had a home run and run-scoring single. Cameron Brickley reached base on an error and scored. Brennen Nolte singled twice and had an RBI, as did Michael Stanford. Freshman Trevor Moore homered. As for pinch-hitters, Jack Golenzer doubled and scored, and Jadin Tafoya had a two-run single.

On the mound, starter Matthew Tafoya and Jayden Mayoral were touched for five runs each and combined for seven walks, although Arcuri said he was pleased Tafoya settled in after the four-run first “and gave me four great innings.”

Plus, the coach said, “it was the first time in five games in which we didn’t walk the leadoff hitter in the seventh inning.”

Arcuri said with the Mustangs playing four games in six days it’s time for a day off and wait out the storm that is coming Wednesday.

 

MULLEN 14, EAGLECREST 10

Eaglecrest 400 015 0 – 10  8  4

Mullen – 300 722 x – 14 16 4

Eaglecrest – Freeman cf 3-3-3-0, Tisdale c-3b-1b 2-0-0-0, Weir-Costa cr 0-1-0-0, Morr ss 4-1-0-0, Garduno 3b-p 3-1-2-1, Yarmer 3b 0-0-0-0, Atteberry 1b-p 3-0-1-1, Macomber dh 3-1-1-1, Van Damme c 0-0-0-0, Lowe rf 2-1-0-1, Schmidt lf 3-1-0-0, Petrocco lf 0-0-0-0, Mason 2b 3-1-1-3, Cave p 0-0-0-0, Niccum p 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-10-8-7.

Mullen – Naha lf 3-2-1-0, Aragon ph 1-0-0-0, Elges 2b 3-3-3-0, Vitry ss 4-1-3-5, Malloy 3b 3-2-2-3, Brickley rf 4-1-0-0, Nolte c 4-0-2-1, Reynolds cr 0-1-0-0, Brady cr-ph 1-1-0-0, Stanford cf 3-0-2-1, Perri 1b 3-0-0-0, Golenzer 1b 1-1-1-0, Moore dh 2-2-1-1, J. Tafoya ph 1-0-1-2, M. Tafoya p 0-0-0-0, Mayoral p 0-0-0-0. Totals 33-14-16-13.

E – Tisdale 2, Mason, Lowe, Vitry 2, Brickley, Stanford. DP – Mullen 2, Eaglecrest. SB – Stanford. CS – Tisdale, Elges.

2B – Naha, Golenzer. 3B – Vitry 2, Mason. HR – Malloy, 1 on in 1st; Moore, solo in 5th.

Batteries – Cave, Niccum (5), Garduno (5), Atteberry (6) and Tisdale, Van Damme (6); M. Tafoyra, Mayoral (6) and Nolte. W – M. Tafoya. L – Cave. WP – Cave 2. HBP – Garduno (by M. Tafoya); Malloy (by Cave). PB – Nolte 3. T – 2:22.

 

Bruins beat Mustangs again late, this one 8-7

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – For the second consecutive meeting and over three days, Mullen couldn’t hold a lead against Cherry Creek.

On Tuesday, the host Mustangs at Bill Swift Field led the Bruins 9-7 entering the seventh inning only to surrender an epic, wild, 16-hit, 16-run inning to lose 23-9 at home.

On Thursday at Cherry Creek’s Tom McCollum Field, Mullen again led the Bruins 7-6, but were touched for two runs in an 8-7 walk-off loss.

Mullen is now 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the Centennial. The Bruins are 5-4, 2-0.

Once again, the Mustangs had enough offense to win and the contributions occurred throughout their batting order. They had 12 hits. Alek Elges, Cameron Brickley, Nick Perri, Evan Malloy and Jack Vitry each had two. Trevor More and A.J. Naha also hit safely. Malloy and Vitry each doubled twice and Malloy had three runs batted in. One of Brickley’s safeties was a triple and he drove home two. Brennen Nolte added an RBI and Vitry scored three times.

However, Mullen stranded nine runners and there were issues on the mound. Junior and starter Matthew Tafoya, in 4.1 innings, was tagged for six runs, five earned, along with eight hits and five walks. Senior Jayden Mayoral took another loss, this one in 1.2 innings in allowing five hits and a walk.

The Mustangs will be back at it on Saturday at Eaglecrest, first pitch at 11 a.m.

 

Wild 7th inning spells doom

Photos by John Leyba, Mullen Sports Photographer

No meeting could stop Mullen's stunning seventh inning at the hands of Cherry Creek on Tuesday, top; Jayden Mayoral, bottom, had a strong relief outing going before the Bruins went for 16 late runs to win 23-9 in a Centennial League opener. 

 

Mustangs ripped for 16 runs in the 7th, lose 23-9 in league to Creek

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Baseball remains a funny game.

The latest episode occurred Tuesday at Bill Swift Field.

Entering the final inning trailing by two runs, Cherry Creek suddenly erupted for 16 runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 23-9 victory over host Mullen to open the Centennial League.

Correct, the Mustangs were hit for 16 runs in the final inning. In addition, the Bruins had 16 hits in the seventh, batted around twice, sent 21 batters to the plate and had a player go 3-for-3 in the inning.

“I haven’t seen that,” Mullen coach Nick Arcuri said.

He has 42 years in the prep game. Cherry Creek boss Marc Johnson is in his 47th season leading the state’s largest school and he, too, was almost speechless.

“It was a pretty good seventh inning,” he said. “I was nervous. But all of a sudden everything we hit got through. We had to figure a way to tie it up, then everything went right.”

It kept going right when Bruins senior Alec Adolph led off the inning with a double. He came to bat a second time and singled. He also singled in his third at-bat.

“Never had a guy go 3-for-3 in an inning,” Johnson said. “Never have.”

The late collapse ruined what could have been a late victory for Mullen, which fought back from deficits of 1-0, 6-0, 6-2 and 7-2. The Mustangs also blew up for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead and left-handed reliever Jayden Mayoral, who came on in relief of starter Will Miller, was getting outs.

However, the Bruins battered Mayoral and three other relievers in the seventh. They could do nothing to stop it.

“It’s crazy, crazy stuff,” Arcuri said.

While Miller struggled early, Mullen came alive in the fifth and grabbed a chance to win. Jack Vitry singled twice. Trevor Moore, Cameron Brickley and A.J. Naha doubled. Alek Elges, Evan Malloy and Nick Perri contributed singles. Brennen Nolte knocked in a run on a groundout.

All of a sudden, Mullen had a 9-7 lead and Mayoral entered the seventh having retired 10-of-11 Bruins.

“You tip your hat to them and say, ‘Great job!’” Arcuri said. “We couldn’t get it done.”

As usual, multiple Mustangs offered contributions after returning from Arizona 3-0 in a tournament in the Phoenix area and Mullen gets another shot at the Bruins on Thursday in Greenwood Village.

“We’ll be fine,” Arcuri said.

 

Mustangs come up short at Dakota Ridge

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

LITTLETON – It was one of those good high-school baseball games, a tight, well-played matchup despite it being in late March, under threatening skies and cool conditions, and on grass that remained dormant.

But it was also one of those good high-school baseball games that left Mullen wondering what could have been. Missed opportunities, failure to execute and the inability to make a deciding play led to a one-run loss.

The Mustangs finally got to their second game on the season on Friday and it resulted in a 4-3 setback to host Dakota Ridge of Jefferson County in Class 5A nonleague.

Now 1-1, the Mustangs recently had their scrimmage against Horizon postponed as well as another matchup delayed, not to mention assorted practices negated by the recent blizzard.

But they also missed their chance to steal one before they leave next week for Phoenix and out-of-state competition over spring break.

“We had more than enough chances,” Mustangs had coach Nick Arcuri said. “We never got the hit when we needed it.”

They also didn’t execute a couple of pitches, getting burned on a two-run home run in the first inning and a run-scoring double in the third by the Eagles’ Ryan Stohr, as well as a difference-making double in the sixth by Mason Sauter.

At the plate, Mullen overcame a couple of oddities against the 3-1 Eagles – the Mustangs put their first six balls in play to shortstop, four grounders and two popups, and moved past a fourth inning in which they hit three consecutive fly balls to right field.

Along the way, they overcame two deficits. A double in the third by Cameron Brickley and an outfield error produced one run; singles by Trevor Moore, Brickley and Jadin Tafoya in addition to a groundout by Alek Elges produced another; and a double by Jack Vitry and a single by Brennen Nolte actually tied the game at 3 in the sixth.

However, Dakota’s Ridge’s final run was aided by a hanging pitch. Add in the Mustangs’ failure to keep the Dakota Ridge leadoff hitter off base early as well as leaving the bases loaded with scoring just one run in the fifth didn’t help.

“We’re not good enough to give runs away,” Arcuri said.    

Mullen will be in Arizona next week for three games against Oregon teams, return for a road game in Fort Collins against Fossil Ridge on Saturday, March 30, then will open Centennial league play on Tuesday, April 2, against Cherry Creek at home.

“(The Eagles) were ranked, so we’re fine,” Arcuri said. “I’m pleased. The kids competed and that’s all we can ask for.”

 

DAKOTA RIDGE 4, MULLEN 3

Mullen 001 011 0  --  3  6  2

Dakota Ridge 201 001 x  --  4  6  1

Mullen – Naha lf 3-0-0-0, Tafoya ph 1-0-1-0, Elges 2b 4-0-0-1, Stanford cf 3-0-0-0, Malloy 1b 3-0-0-0, Vitry ss 3-1-1-0, Nolte c 3-0-1-1, Moore 3b 3-1-1-0, Brickley rf 3-1-2-0, Perri dh 2-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0, Reynolds p 0-0-0-0, Mayoral p 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-3-6-2.

Dakota Ridge – Akerfelds 3b 1-2-1-0, Overlie lf 3-0-0-0, Stohr 1b 3-1-2-3, Biffinger c 3-0-0-0, Sansburn ss 3-0-0-0, Diaz dh-p 2-1-1-0, Meyers p 0-0-0-0, Sauter cf 3-0-2-1, Parker rf 3-0-0-0, Fox 2b 3-0-0-0. Totals 24-4-6-4.

E – Sauter, Vitry 2. LOB – Mullen 7, Dakota Ridge 5. SB – Akerfelds 3.

2B – Brickley, Stohr, Vitry, Sauter. HR – Stohr, one on in 1st.

Batteries – Miller, Reynolds (5), Mayoral (6) and Nolte; Meyers, Diaz (6) and Biffinger. W – Diaz. L – Reynolds. T – 1:44.

 

Opening act: Mustangs win by 10-run rule

LAKEWOOD – For openers, Mullen enjoyed a seven-run second inning on the way to a 10-0 defeat of Bear Creek on Tuesday in Class 5A nonleague.

The Mustangs banged out 10 hits, six for extra bases.

Brennen Nolte was 3-for-3 with two doubles, Cameron Brickley and Evan Malloy had bases-loaded doubles and freshman Trevor Moore had a home run in his first prep game.

Malloy and Moore each scored twice.

On the mound, starter and senior Will Miller went four innings and gave up only four hits. He struck out eight and walked none. Matthew Tafoya pitched a scoreless fifth inning.

The Mustangs are scheduled for two additional nonleaguers this week, on Thursday at 5A Dakota Ridge in Littleton, and the home opener on Saturday against the Front Range League’s Mountain Range before they head out of state, but they obviously won’t happen with the snow.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Spring ’19: 3rd coach in 3 years

Turnover continues for Mullen baseball at the top – the Mustangs have their third program leader in three years.

But it isn’t making Nick Arcuri blink. The new Mustangs head coach has 42 years in the game and seems convinced about this year’s group.

“I think we can play,” he said.

A program that was 18-22 over the past two seasons, including 8-12 a year ago, and been a first-round playoff victim from 2017-18, has made some necessary changes, notably in the weight room. Arcuri said no less than five Mustangs pitchers are throwing in the 80-plus miles per hour.

“We’re bigger, stronger and all-around better,” he said.

Jack Vitry, Evan Malloy, Brennen Nolte, Will Miller, Alec Elges, Michael Stanford, A.J. Naha and Trevor Moore are some of the names Mustangs followers will need to know as the season progresses.

The Mullen schedule also will include a trip to Phoenix before embarking on a Centennial League slate.

Arcuri will be looking for improvement.

“We have a shot,” he said.

--- Neil H. Devlin

 

Nick Arcuri takes over Mustangs baseball

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Remove the interim tag from Nick Arcuri.

The familiar figure on the Colorado schoolboy baseball scene has been named the new head coach of Mullen.

Arcuri had taken command the past few weeks since Jim Alexander was relieved.

“I’m pumped, yes, sir, I couldn’t be more excited,” Arcuri said.

Mustangs athletic director Vince Massey made the announcement, saying “it’s a good hire for us. Since he was named interim coach, Nick has done everything that a head coach should do to prepare for the regular season.

“He prepared the fall baseball schedule. He got the regular-season baseball schedule done. He has worked on the financial issues in the program. He has worked on building relationships with the booster club as well as with the kids. He’s going to do a great job for us.”

Arcuri will begin his 42nd season working in the game. He began at Sheridan, where he led a state title in 1984, then was at Denver South, Heritage, Regis University and Arvada before assisting with the Mustangs.

“This is a great place to coach,” he said.

A year ago, the Mustangs were 8-12 overall, 4-6 in the Centennial League for fifth place of the eight teams. They ended by losing their final seven games, one by forfeit due to a violation of the pitch-count rule, and lost in the first round of Class 5A regionals to Mountain Vista, the eventual state champion, by 17-2.

However, Arcuri said. “we have got an awesome group of kids coming back, six-to-seven seniors who played last year and were good players. They’ll be complemented with a host of kids from (the junior-varsity) team.”

Originally from Denver, Arcuri graduated from the Old St. Francis High, served in the U.S. Navy and was with Denver Police for 35 years, retiring as a detective. He still works for the city as a crash-report technician.

A proponent of high-schoolers competing in multiple sports, he said he wants “kids who play everything” and is working on assembling a staff.

“These kids are awesome, so is the administration and the facilities are great,” Arcuri said. “You can’t ask more as a head coach anywhere.”

 

Performance psychologist Dr. Perea to visit Mustangs

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

An interesting figure and contributor will visit the Mullen campus on Tuesday evening.

Dr. Rick Perea, a performance psychologist based in Denver, will be hosted by the Mustangs football, boys basketball and baseball teams on Tuesday (Aug. 7), 7 p.m., at the Rilko Center. According to assistant baseball coach Phil Stanford, Dr. Perea will be available to parents of all Mustangs student-athletes.

In working with organizations, teams and individuals at the high-school, college and professional levels, Dr. Perea notably has spent time with Apple, Google, Noodles & Co. and Denver Fire, in addition to top athletic stars.

A contributor to radio and television, including 104.3 The Fan as well as Broncos Country on Channel 9, he has drawn attention here and nationally. He worked with the Broncos, Rockies, Nuggets and Miami Dolphins.

Dr. Perea also played football collegiately and was an NFL free agent, and counts astronauts, surgeons and CEOs among his clientele.

 

 

Multiple Mustangs named all-league in spring

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Multiple Mullen Mustangs were named all-league for sopring sports.

Competing in the always demanding Centennial League, eight Mustangs made the league grade in baseball and girls soccer.

In baseball, Jake Barr and Brennen Nolte made first team and Evan Malloy, Michael Stanford and Reggie Parris were named to the second team.

Barr, a senior infielder-pitcher, batted .292 with a home run and 16 runs scored. On the mound, he won four games and had a 1.96 earned-run average.

Nolte, a junior catcher, was far and away Mullen’s best hitter, batting .477 with 31 hits, two homers and 19 runs batted in.

Malloy, a junior infielder, outfielder and pitcher, tied for the Mullen lead with four homers and batted .345. Stanford, another junior who saw time at designated hitter, the outfield, on the mound and at catcher, also rapped four homers and batted .389. Parris, a senior left-hander headed to the University of San Diego, started slowly after basketball, but made 11 appearances, struck out 16 in a game against Cherokee Trail and earned a save.

Mullen finished at 8-12 and lost in the first round of Class 5A regionals to undefeated Mountain Vista.

On the pitch, Brehm, the team captain and a defender, had a goal and an assist in being named first team. Her presence was felt in every game, regularly clearing in the Mullen end and rallying the Mustangs to a 6-7-4 finish overall, including taking out defending state champion D’Evelyn in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.

Two others at midfield made second team. Junior Kayla Wanna scored twice, had an assist and led Mullen in shots on goal with 19. And Anna Seaman, a freshman midfielder, led the team with five goals, six assists and 16 points, and was second with 11 shots on goal.

Season ends in 17-2 blowout to top-seeded Golden Eagles

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

HIGHLANDS RANCH -- It didn’t end well … then again, it usually ends well only for one team per sports season.

So Mullen’s 17-2 spanking by Mountain Vista in the Class 5A regionals on a cloudy, cooler Saturday wasn’t unforeseen, as the Mustangs entered the big-school postseason field and its elimination play as the No. 32 seed by a mere fraction of a percentage point and the Golden Eagles, in improving to 20-0, as No. 1.

The Mustangs, in dropping their seventh consecutive game and finishing 8-12 (its first losing mark since 2014), ran into arguably the state’s top group and couldn’t do much about it.

However, advancing to the playoffs despite their late-season fallout resonated with some players and they agreed that getting the opportunity to take a shot at the game’s top dog is always good.

“Yeah,” Mustangs senior left-hander Reggie Parris said, “there’s good and bad things to come from it ... maybe even being a higher seed for us, but at least we made it.”

Parris , headed to the University of San Diego, took the loss and was lifted in the third inning, but also didn’t receive a lot of help, a theme over the final weeks of the regular season. Plus, Mountain Vista was relentless with its power and speed.

“They’re pretty good,” Parris said. “They’re up there where they belong. They’re a good team, but, I mean, we did some things on our end that hampered us.”

Indeed, Mullen had a runner thrown out at the plate in the first inning; the Mustangs were guilty of two errors; they issued bases on balls twice with the bases loaded; a Mountain Vista courtesy runner scored twice and stole two bases in an inning; and Mullen had to use three pitchers in a nine-run fourth by the Golden Eagles.

Of the Mustangs’ four hits, junior Michael Stanford hit a solo home run in the fourth. Catcher Brennen Nolte, who hit the ball hard all season, had a single. So did Stanford and Jake Barr.

Mullen actually led 1-0 on a Barr being hit by a pitch, Nolte’s single and a Golden Eagles infield error.

However, Mountain Vista, the Continental League champion, never blinked. Player-of-the-year candidate Sam Ireland homered twice among 15 hits by the Eagles, seven that went for extra bases.

Plus, lefty Jack Liffrig was impressive going the distance, including a four-pitch second inning.

In addition, Golden Eagles shortstop Zach Paschke took away a hit in the hole at shortstop off the bat of the Mustangs’ Henry Haen and second baseman Drew Stahl robbed Nolte of another potential safety.

The Mustangs, who were fifth in the Centennial League, last won on April 21. For the year, they were outscored by an aggregate 136-118. They lose 10 seniors.

 

MOUNTAIN VISTA 17, MULLEN 2

Mullen  100 10 – 2 4 2

Mountain Vista 305 9x – 17 15 1

Mullen – Barr ss 2-0-1-0, Kamstra 2b 3-1-0-0, Nolte c 2-0-1-0, Elges cr 0-0-0-0, Malloy 3b 2-0-0-0, Stanford dh-p 2-1-2-1, Alexander rf 2-0-0-0, Coon lf 2-0-0-0, Haen 1b 2-0-0-0, Bielat cf 2-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0, Rhilinger p 0-0-0-0, Brickley p 0-0-0-0 . Totals 19-2-4-1.

Mountain Vista – Paschke ss 3-2-1-0, Stahl 2b 3-2-2-3, Ireland 3b 4-3-3-5, Magill c 4-0-2-1, Holton cr 0-2-0-0, Aragon lf 3-2-2-2, Zakham 4-2-3-3, Burke dh 4-1-1-0, Jamieson rf 1-2-0-0, Hoff cf 2-1-1-1, Lifrig p 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-17-15-15.

E – Ireland, Malloy 2. SB – Holton 2. LOB – Mullen 3, Mountain Vista 5.

2B – Aragon, Zakham 2, Burke, Magill. HR – Ireland (2), 1 on in first and 1 on in 3rd; Stanford, solo in 4th.

W – Liffrig, (9-0). L – Parris. Batteries – Parris, Stanford (3), Rhilinger (4), Brickley (4) and Nolte; Liffrig and Magill. HBP – Barr (by Liffrig); Hoff (by Stanford). WP – Liffrig, Stanford. T – 1:44.

In or out? Mustangs await fate

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Are they in?

Or are they out?

Mullen baseballers will be all ears on Wednesday morning. They will be hoping to land one of Class 5A’s 32 regional playoff berths.

On Tuesday, they had a chance to solidify a spot. They entered play at Broomfield No. 29 in the RPI and the host Eagles 28th.

However, Broomfield bashed the Mustangs 10-0 in five innings. According to listings on Tuesday night, Broomfield jumped to No. 25 and the Mustangs dipped to No. 32.

However, nothing will be official until pairings are released on Wednesday.

And the waiting continued …

As it was, the nonleague meeting on Tuesday between the two programs, a make-up from earlier scheduling, matched two teams entering on five-game losing streaks. Broomfield, a member of the Front Range League, snapped its skid to improve to 10-9. The Eagles were Colorado big-school runners-up a year ago to Rocky Mountain.

As for the Mustangs, they dropped their past six games, including a victory over Smoky Hill in the Centennial League Challenge, a regular season-ending gathering for the suburban-based loop, that was negated when it was reported that the Mustangs had used an ineligible player under the pitch-count rules.

As it is, Mullen is 8-11 and awaiting its fate.

“It was tough, for sure,” Mustangs senior Cole Elges said, referring to both the game and difficult stretch to ending to the regular season. “We were on the bubble for this game … as of now, I think the team has the whole mentality that we’re done, but we don’t know.”

Said senior Bryce Kamstra: “It was difficult, I don’t know what to say … we were, like, 10 or 11 (in the RPI) and then we fell and that has been tough to watch.”

Technically, the Mustangs haven’t won since April 21, when they beat Overland 14-1 to improve to 8-5.

Against Broomfield, the Mustangs had only one hit, a double by Forrest Coon in the fifth inning. They had only four baserunners, including two by walk and a hit batter.

Mullen starter Reggie Parris was touched for single runs in the first and second before the Eagles put up a four-spot in the third. Four more came in the fifth, including off two other Mullen pitchers.

Elges, like others, said he was holding out hope that Mullen would advance to the weekend’s regionals, to be played on Saturday.

“We’d like to play more,” he said.

 

BROOMFIELD 10, MULLEN 0, 5 inn.

Mullen 000 00  –  0  1  2

Broomfield 114 04  – 10  11  0

Mullen – Barr ss 3-0-0-0, Kamstra 2b 2-0-0-0, Nolte c 1-0-0-0, Bielat cr-cf 0-0-0-0, Malloy 3b-p-1b 2-0-0-0, Stanford dh 1-0-0-0, Brady 3b 0-0-0-0, Alexander rf 2-0-0-0, Coon lf 2-0-1-0, Haen 1b 2-0-0-0, Elges cf 1-0-0-0, Parris p, Tafoya p 0-0-0-0 . Totals 16-0-1-0.

Broomfield – Boh cf 3-1-1-1, Van De Pol lf 2-1-1-0, Morales 1b 3-1-1-0, Garner 3b 3-0-1-1, Macosko dh 2-2-1-1-0, Eiguren c 3-0-2-1, Harris ss 3-2-1-3, Goodwin rf 3-0-2-3, Conover 2b 1-0-0-0, May p 0-0-0-0. Totals 22-10-11-4.

E – C. Elges, Nolte. SB – Garner, De Vera. SAC – Van De Pol, Conover. LOB – Mullen 4, Broomfield 5.

2B – Eiguren, Coon, Morales. 3B – Van De Pol. HR – Harris, 2 on in 3rd.

W -- May. L – Parris. Batteries – Parris, Malloy (5), Tafoya (5) and Nolte; May and Eiguren. HBP – Boh (by {Parris);  Elges (by May). WP – Parris. T – 1:19.

 

'Stangs drop 3rd straight, fall to Arapahoe 3-2

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Very close, but not quite.

Mullen’s late rally came up just short on Saturday against Arapahoe. The Warriors took a 3-2 decision at Bill Swift Field in the opening round of the Centennial League Challenge, the regular-season-ending grouping for the primarily suburban-based loop.

The Mustangs fell to 8-8 with their third consecutive loss of the week -- they finished league play on Friday with a 7-4 setback to Grandview -- and were unable to back anther strong pitching performance by senior left-hander Reggie Parris.

“I shouldn’t have let up that last run,” Parris said of the Warriors (9-7) scratching out a score in the top of the seventh inning. “But I’ll live to pitch another day.”

Certainly,, he and the Mustangs will, but that was it for home games this season. They will have two more Challenge games and a nonleaguer up north to complete the regular season, but all of those as well as any Class 5A postseason games will be on the road.

As it was, both Parris and Arapahoe right-hander Tyler Banks, who also threw a complete game, generally were in charge throughout a matchup that remained close.

Parris, headed to San Diego, struck out seven and permitted only five hits, all singles. He was touched for two runs in the fifth on two singles and a couple of errors, one by his own doing. The Warriors, who also beat the Mustangs 7-5 at Bill Swift Field on April 3 in league, got another in the seventh on a walk, a wild pitch and a two-out single.

“There were some things out of my control, but I still should have done better,” Parris said.

Concerning Banks, he was firmly in command until the seventh. Of particular interest was his curveball, which kept the Mustangs off-balance. However, Mullen enjoyed improved at-bats in its last half-inning as Forrest Coon tripled, Banks tossed a couple of wild pitches and singles by Michael Brady and Jake Barr put the Mustangs within one as well as the equalizing and winning runs on base.

Banks ended it by getting Bryce Kamstra on a grounder on the line behind third base.

Mullen also had a chance to answer in the fifth on a hit batter and an infield error, but both runners were caught stealing, one at third.

“Both pitchers did a great job,” Mustangs head coach Jim Alexander said. “We just had a couple of high-school moments. I’m proud of our guys. We had a couple of base-running errors, but I’m not going to get on them for being aggressive. It didn’t work out for us today, but we will be ready for the next one.”

Brady, in the No. 9 spot in the order, had two hits. Brennan Nolte and Jackson Alexander also singled.

For Arapahoe, Zach Goodman, son of Rockies play-by-play man Drew Goodman, had two of his team’s five hits, walked twice and drove in the game’s first run.

The Mustangs will be at Smoky Hill in Aurora on Tuesday, May 1, 4:15 p.m., to continue the Challenge. It will end on Saturday, May 5, also in Aurora, at Grandview, 11 a.m. Their regular-season finale will be Tuesday, May 8, at Broomfield, the 2017 big-school runner-up. First pitch will be at 4 p.m.

 

ARAPAHOE 3, MULLEN 2

Arapahoe 000 020 1 – 3  5  2

Mullen 000 000  2  –  2  6  2

Arapahoe – DeClue cf 4-0-0-0, Goodman c 2-0-2-1, Wilson cr 0-2-0-0, Dryer lf 3-0-1-1, Nourse c 4-0-1-0, Scheidt 3b 3-0-0-0, Groth dh 3-0-0-0, Pruitt 2b 3-0-0-0, Garcia 1b 3-0-0-0, Jackson ss 3-1-1-0, Banks p 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-3-5-2.

Mullen – Barr ss 4-0-1-0, Kamstra 4 3-0-0-0, Nolte 1b 3-0-1-0, Malloy 3b 3-0-0-0, Stanford c 3-1-0-0, Alexander rf 3-0-1-0, Coon cf 2-1-1-1, Miller dh 3-0-0-0, Brady lf 3-0-2-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0.  Totals 27-2-6-1.

E – Pruitt, Malloy, Scheidt, Parris. DP – Arapahoe. CS – Coon, Miller. LOB – Arapahoe 7, Mullen 6.

3B – Coon.

W -- Banks. L -- Parris. Batteries – Banks and Goodman; Parris and Stanford.

HBP – Coon (by Banks). WP – Parris 5, Banks 2. T – 1:42.

Lakewood tames Mustangs 8-1 in nonleague

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They were knocked down a bit with a further dose of reality in a game of failure and it happens.

“That’s high-school baseball sometimes,” Mullen coach Jim Alexander saod.

The Mustangs got drilled 8-1 by Jefferson County’s Lakewood on Thursday at Bill Swift Field in Class 5A nonleague, taking a hit before finishing the regular Centennial League schedule with a game on Friday and heading into the climactic league’s Challenge series this weekend and into next week.

Mullen, which had won three consecutive games and four of its past five, fell to 8-6. The setback probably ended its hopes of hosting a regional site next month, but there is plenty of baseball to play.

(The Tigers’) pitcher did a great job today,” Alexander said. “We came out flat. And we didn’t play our best baseball.”

Huilty of four erros, the Mustangs fell behind almost immediately, managed only four hits and couldn’t bale out left-hander Will Miller, who was hit around a bit. Mullen also flew out seven times and stranded four runners.

“We lost an opportunity to move up,” Alexander said of potentially hosting a regional. “So now we’re (probably) on the road ... it’s all good. We want another shot at the good Centennial teams.”

First, the Mustangs will be at Grandview in Aurora on Friday, April 27, a make-up game that will complete their league round. They will host Arapahoe, which earlier downed them at home, on Saturday, 11 a.m., and follow it with road games at Smoky Hill on Tuesday, May 1, (4:15 p.m.) and at Eaglecrest on Saturday, May 5 (11 a.m.).

 

LAKEWOOD 8, MULLEN 1

Lakewood 302 201 0 – 8  8  0

Mullen 000 100  – 1  4  4

Lakewood – Pallatt lf 2-2-1-0, Baumgardt ss 4-2-2-1, Borjas cf 4-0-1-2, Beattie c 4-1-1-0, Smith cr 0-1-0-0, Dincola rf 4-1-0-0, Kehe p 3-0-0-0, Luba cr 0-1-0-0, Deidel dh 4-0-2-2, Salas 3b 4-0-0-0,  Roybal 2b 3-0-1-1, Schull 1b 0-0-0-0. Totals 32-8-8-6.

Mullen –Barr ss 2-0-0-0, Kamstra 2b 3-0-1-0, Nolte c 3-0-1-0, Bielat cr 0-1-0-0, Malloy 1b 3-0-0-0, Stanford dh 2-0-1-1, Brady cr 0-0-0-0, Alexander 3b 2-0-0-0, Coon rf 3-0-0-0, Elges cf 3-0-1-0, Brickley lf 3-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0. Totals 24-1-4-1.

E – Alexander 3, Miller. DP – Lakewood. LOB – Lakewood 6, Mullen 4. SAC – Kehe. SB – Pallatt 2, Stanford, Smith 2.

2B – Baumgardt, Stanford, Borjas. 3B – Baumgardt.

W -- Kehe. L -- Miller. Batteries – Kehe, Deidel (7) and Beattie; Miller, Stanford (4) and Nolte. WP – Kehe. T – 1:53

Barr, Malloy and Stanford homer in 14-1 win

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

“We’re not peaking yet,” Mullen coach Jim Alexander said on Monday.

No, but the Mustangs certainly seem to be working on it. Their 14-1 shellacking of visiting Overland in five innings at Bill Swift Field in the Centennial League was large in multiple ways.

For one, it boosted the Mustangs to 8-5 overall, 4-2 in league. For another, it was the Mustangs’ first 10-run-rule victory since winning one in Arizona the past month. For another, Mullen rapped three home runs. For another, it’s a big week, including the final league game at Grandview in Aurora on Tuesday.

And for still another, the Mustangs entered play No. 11 in the controversial RPI-playoff-qualifying format and are sitting fine … for the moment.

“They came out swinging today,” Alexander said of his hitters facing Overland (5-9, 1-4).

In all, the Mustangs banged out nine hits, led by homers off the bats of Jake Barr, Evan Malloy and Michael Stanford.

“It was a fastball right down the middle,” Barr said. “I wasn’t thinking home run, but turned on it.”

After Overland grabbed a 1-0 to open the game against Mustangs starter and winner Reggie Parris, who came on with his second consecutive big outing, Mullen plated four runs in the first, added one in the second and ran away with a nine-run rally in the third, all with two outs. Twelve hitters came to the plate.

Barr drove home three runs as did Malloy. Bryce Kamstra had two RBIs, so did Forrest Coon and Stanford.

“It’s just nice to see the team coming together and hitting the ball hard,” Barr said. “And we have a big game (on Tuesday at Grandview).”

Said Alexander: “We went from nobody (to this) … if they want to keep working, they could host a regional.”

First pitch in Aurora on Tuesday will be at 4:15 p.m. The Mustangs also will host Jefferson County’s Lakewood on Thursday, 4:15 p.m. They will find out about Saturday’s Centennial Challenge on Wednesday, Alexander said.

And the regular season will wrap up on May 8, when Mullen heads to Broomfield, 4 p.m.

 

MULLEN 14, OVERLAND 1

Overland 100  – 1  4  3

Mullen  419  0x – 14  9  0

Mullen – Barr ss 3-3-1-3, Kamstra 2b 2-1-1-2, Nolte c 4-01-1-1, Bielt cr-cf 0-1-0-0, Malloy lf 3-2-1-3, Brickley lf 0-0-0-0, Alexander 3b 2-2-0-0, Stanford dh 2-2-1-2, Coon rf 3-1-2-2, Miller rf 0-0-0-0, Haen 1b 2-1-1-0, Elges cf 1-1-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0. Brady p 0-0-0-0. Totals 22-14-9-13.

LOB – Mullen 4. CS – Haen.

2B – Coon, Nolte. HR – Barr, solo in 2nd; Malloy, 1 on in 3rd; Stanford, 1 on in 3rd.

W – Parris. L – Blanco. Batteries – Blanco, Crawford (4) and Rosado; Parris, Brady (5) and Nolte.

HBP – Barr (by Blanco); Elges (by Crawford). T – 1:15.

Reggie Parris blows away Cherokee Trail with 16 Ks

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

AURORA – Reggie Parris blew away Cherokee Trail on Tuesday … literally.

The senior left-hander, in the face of ridiculous wind that blew over a nearby portable toilet, virtually erased the top soil that was just put down on an adjacent field and was spread across the varsity diamond, backstop and spectators, and accounted for a double that very few actually saw bounce over the outfield fence, was stellar. He struck out 16 batters in a complete-game 8-3 decision of host Cherokee Trail in the Centennial League.

Headed to pitch for San Diego next season, Parris said he actually tried to use the wind to his advantage as Mullen improved to 7-5 overall, 3-2 in league.

“I think, with a little help from the wind, my ball had a little extra movement today,” Parris said after earning his first victory of the season. “I just tried to use It to my advantage,:

He did. He fanned every Cougar but one at least once, walked only one, gave up four hits, including a three-run home run in the fourth inning, and never blnked.

“It was a great outing by Reggie,” Mustangs head coach Jim Alexander said. “He really was in command and took control.”

Parris threw 99 pitches, said he never tired “and after the home run I got mad.” ZHe whiffed three of his last four hitters.

The Cougars, now 6-4, 2-2, never seriously challenged.

At the plate, Mullen again strung together hits in bunches and modified them with two two-run homers by catcher Brennen Nolte in the second and Evan Malloy in the fourth. In all, the Mustangs rapped 11 hits. Malloy and Michael Stanford contributed doubles with Malloy’s coming in the at-bat after Nolte’s homer. He apparently doubled to left-center field, although the only immediate reaction came by the Cherokee Trail left-fielder, who barely moved. After a couple of moments, Malloy stood on second base.

It was that kind of day, with players frequently taking extra time to wipe their eyes and employ sun glasses to block the dust and dirt that seemed to be flying constantly. Surprisingly, there were no errors, although two of the homers clearly were wind-aided near the Aurora Reservoir and a couple of high popups fell in for hits as they were blown away from fielders.

However, Mullen was able to look past the conditions with the victory and Alexander said it was fantastic “to continue to see us hit the ball and we put up runs in five of the seven innings against a good team.”

The Mustangs will be back at it on Wednesday, April 18, with a trip to Broomfield to take on the Eagles, who were Class 5A runners-up a year ago, in nonleague at 4 p.m.

 

MULLEN 8, CHEROKEE TRAIL 3

Mullen 131 210 0 – 8 11 0

Cherokee Trail 000 300 0 – 3 5 0

Mullen – Barr ss 3-1-0-1, Kamstra 2b 4-1-2-1, Nolte c 2-1-2-2, Brady cr 0-1-0-0, Malloy lf 4-1-2-3, Alexander 3b 4-0-0-0, Coon rf 4-1-2-0, Haen 1b 4-0-1-0, Stanford dh 2-1-1-0, Elges cf 3-1-1-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-8-11-7.

Cherokee Trail --  Barber cf 3-0-0-0, Chase ss 3-1-2-0, Bell lf 2-1-0-0, Hayen p 2-0-0-0, Johnson p 0-0-0-0, Gonzales ph 1-0-0-0, Matos 2b 3-0-0-0, Leisge 1b 3-1-1-3, Mackintosh 3b 3-0-1-0, Edwards rf 3-0-0-0, Kellogg c 3-0-1-0. Totals 26-3-5-3.

SAC – Stanford. DP – Cherokee Trail 2. LOB – Mullen 7, Cherokee Trail 3.

2B – Malloy, Stanford. HR –Nolte, 1 on in 2nd; Malloy, 1 on in 4th; Leisge, 2 on in 4th.

W – Parris. L – Hayen. Batteries – Parris and Nolte; Hayen, Johnson (5) and Kellogg. WP – Hayen 4. HBP – Nolte (by Hayen). T – 1:46.

Malloy, Mustangs hang on to beat Smoky 5-4

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

They had to hang on for the victory and it was big,

“They’re all big,” Mullen head coach Jim Alexander said after the Mustangs finally kept Smoky Hill at bay to take a 5-4 decision in Centennial League play on Saturday at Bill Swift Field.

Now back above .500 at 6-5 overall, the Mustangs also levelled their league mark at 2-2, which is vital as there is just one round and the rest of league matters and playoff seeding will be decided at what is termed as the Centennial League Challenge.

On a cold-and-windy day better suited for football, the Mustangs warmed up early by plating a single run in the first inning, made it 2-0 in the fourth, then took command with a three-spot in the fifth.

However, Smoky Hill (7-6, 1-3), ever-improving under coach Bob Kennedy, made it very interesting by scoring twice in both the sixth and seventh before leaving the tying and winning runs on base. Evan Malloy came on from left field in the seventh for the save. He was touched for a two-run single before inducing a fly ball to center field to end it.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” Malloy said. “It’s a big win in this league. There are no easy teams. You have to come out and play every day.”

Said coach Alexander: “(The Buffaloes) are a decent team and we got their best and we’re starting to get people’s top pitchers and I expect that.”

It was all Mullen until late. Smoky Hill’s four errors factored in almost immediately and followed singles by Mullen starter and winner Jake Barr and Brennen Nolte for a 1-0 lead in the first. The Mustangs made it 2-0 three innings later on another error, a sacrifice by Reggie Parris, a bloop, opposite-field double by first baseman Henry Haen and the Buffs’ third miscue.

Mullen’s three-run rally in the fifth came through singles by Nolte and Malloy, followed by a two-run double by Jackson Alexander, a single by Parris and Smoky Hill’s fourth boot of the game.

“I had been kind of dead at the plate and it really helped out,” said Jackson Alexander, who took extra hitting before the game. “It felt good winning.”

Junior left-hander Will Miller, who relieved Barr in the fifth, had control issues over the final two innings, walking four and giving up two runs in the sixth. He was charged with two more In the seventh before Malloy ended it.

Nolte had two hits for Mullen and Jackson Alexander scored twice.

Next up, Mullen will wrap two league games around a Wednesday nonleaguer (4 p.m.) against Broomfield, which was runner-up a year ago, The Mustangs will be in Aurora on Tuesday to meet Cherokee Trail, 4:15 p.m., and host Overland on Saturday, 11 a.m.

 

MULLEN 5, SMOKY HILL 4

Smoky Hill 000 002 2  --  4  5  4

Mullen    100 130 x  -- 5  8  2

Smoky Hill – McKee ss 3-1-1-0, Kennedy cf 3-1-0-0, McDermott 3b 3-0-0-0, Cooper dh 4-0-1-2, Grimble rf 4-1-1-0, Bailey lf 3-0-1-2, Sprinkle c 3-0-0-0, Bakersky 1b 3-0-0-0, Snyder 2b 3-0-0-0, Martin p 0-0-0-0, Velasquez p 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-5-4.

Mullen – Elges cf 3-0-0-0, Kamstra 2b 4-0-0-0, Barr p-ss 3-0-1-0, Brady cr 0-1-0-0, Nolte c 4-0-2-0, Coon cr 0-1-0-0, Malloy lf-p 4-1-1-0, Alexander 3b 3-2-1-2, Parris rf 2-0-1-0, Haen 1b 3-0-1-0, Perri dh3-0-1-0 , Vitry ss 0-0-0-0, Brickley lf 0-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-5-8-2.

E – Snyder, Alexander, Vitry, McDermott, McKee. SB – McDermott, Kennedy. CS – Bakersky, Snyder. SAC – Parris. DP – Mullen. LOB – Smoky Hill 7, Mullen 8.

2B – Perri, Haen, Alexander, Bailey.

W – Barr. L – Martin. S – Malloy. Batteries – Martin, Velasquez (4) and Sprinkle; Barr, Miller (5), Malloy (7) and Nolte. WP – Martin, Barr, Miller. PB – Sprinkle 2. HBP – Barr (by Velasquez). T – 1:46.

 

Mullen drops a wild one, 15-11 to Creek

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – For those who thought the grit and spice in the Mullen-Cherry Creek rivalry was lost long ago with the additions of new schools and switching formats of leagues, well, the latest entry probably quashed those accusations.

And the funny thing was that nearly all of the acrimony displayed on Tuesday at Tom McCollum Field wasn’t between Mustangs and Bruins coaches, players and fans. No, there they were shaking hands, wishing each other well and catching up after the game, a wild one won by Cherry Creek 15-11 in the Centennial League.

No, the points of contention afterward were directed at the umpiring, or rather the lack of it, many said, from the stands to the dugouts and to the playing field, and Mustangs coach Jim Alexander wasn’t afraid to state so.

“The (home-plate) umpire lost his poise,” he said. “I’ve never heard an umpire use the F-word in front of the fans.”

All told, Mullen had an assistant coach ejected; balls and strikes called were regularly and openly challenged; a series of calls on the bases were continually appealed; and exchanges between umpires and coaches superseded most bands of chatter.

“This was ugly,” Bruins coach Marc Johnson said, and he was referring to more than the play in the game.

However, numbers and, oddities – and baseballs – flew around the yard, so try to keep up. There was a lot happening.

For instance:

--- Mullen dropped to 5-5 overall, 1-2 in league. Cherry Creek is 8-3, 3-0.

--- The two teams combined for 26 runs, 24 hits (10 for extra bases), eight errors, 77 at-bats, two hit batters, two double plays, a handful of diving plays and used six pitchers.

--- The Mustangs plated six runs in the first inning and upped their margin to 7-0. They also benefitted from seven Cherry Creek errors and the Bruins failed to score on back-to-back doubles (the lead runner had to wait to see if the second ball would be caught). And yet, Mullen lost.

--- Mullen, which also stranded nine runners, five in the first two innings, batted around once; Cherry Creek batted around twice.

--- The Bruins had consecutive sacrifice flies in the fifth.

--- Cherry Creek’s Nathan Mitchell ripped a grand slam in the second.

--- Jack Moss, the Bruins starter, never made it out of the first inning.

 --- Mullen’s Cole Elges, Brennen Nolte and Evan Malloy were a combined 10-for-14 with five RBIs; for the Bruins, Tyler Schultz, Isaac Kron and Mitchell teamed for 7-for-9 with six RBIs and seven runs scored.

The actual game left most everyone yearning for more, notably Alexander.

“I wanted to keep playing and want to face them again,” the coach said. “Our guys want that.”

First opportunity, since league officials chose to pass on the traditional home-and-away format, will be near the end of the regular season, when the Centennial Challenge once again will be offered,

Mullen will be idle on Thursday, then resume play on Saturday at home at Bill Swift Field against Smoky Hill, in league. First pitch will be 11 a.m.

 

CHERRY CREEK 15, MULLEN 11

Mullen 611 201 0 – 11  11  1

Cherry Creek 044 070 x 16  13  7

Mullen – Elges cf 5-0-4-3, Kamstra 2b-p 5-1-1-0, Barr ss 5-1-0-0, Nolte c 5-0-3-1, Naja cr 0-2-0-0, Alexander 3b 4-1-0-0, Malloy lf 4-2-3-2, Coon rf 2-2-0-1, Haen 1b 3-1-0-1, Stanford dh 2-1-0-0, Brady 2b 1-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0, W. Miller p 0-0-0-0. Totals 36-11-11-7.

Cherry Creek – Martinez ss 4-1-0-0, O’Tremba cf 3-1-0-0, Dorighi c 3-2-1-0, Schultz rf 3-2-3-1, Moss p-1b 3-2-2-3, Kron lf 2-3-2-0, Mitchell 3b 4-2-2-5, E. Miller dh 4-1-2-2, Pelditz 3-1-1-1, Austin p 0-0-0-0, Lawrence p 0-0-0-0. Totals 29-15-13-11.

E – Martinez 3, E. Mitchell 2, Kron 2, Parris. DP – Cherry Creek, Mullen. SB – Dorighi. LOB – Mullen 9, Cherry Creek 4.    

2B – Kamstra, Schultz, Moss, E. Mitchell, Nolte, Kron. 3B – Elges, Kron. HR – Mitchell, grand slam in 2nd, Malloy, solo in 4th.

W – Lawrence. L – W. Miller. Batteries – Parris, W, Miller (5), Kamstra (5) and Nolte; Moss, Austin (1), Lawrence (5) and Dorighi. HBP – Stanford (by Austin); E. Miller (by W. Miller).  SF – Schultz, Moss. T – 2:35.

6-run sixth pushes Mustangs past Eaglecrest

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen got its first taste of above-.500 baseball in 2018 on Saturday afternoon.

And it’s sweet.

The Mustangs rallied for six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on Saturday to take a 7-3 victory over Eaglecrest in the Centennial League. That’s correct – the Mustangs had last at-bats while playing on the Raptors field in Centennial. Because Mullen was hosting its annual track-and-field meet at Brother Bernard Kinneavy Field at De La Salle Stadium, coach Jim Alexander felt it was prudent to avoid the 70-team, 1,800-athlete gathering and play elsewhere.

It proved enjoyable – Mullen improved to 5-4 overall, 1-1 in league.

Trailing 2-0, then 3-0 and 3-1 through five innings, Mullen starting pitcher Jake Barr, who went 6 innings, singled to give Mullen a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth it didn’t relinquish.

Mullen had seven hits, all singles. Barr had two, also scoring a run and plating another. Senior Reggie Parris did likewise. Evan Malloy, Brennen Nolte and Jackson Alexander also hit safely. Cole Elges, who also had two RBIs, Malloy, Michael Brady, Alex Elges and Forrest Coon scored runs.

Malloy pitched the seventh. Eaglecrest, which had won five straight games and been threatening to emerge under coach Tory Humphrey, is 6-3, 1-1. The Raptors had six hits (five singles), earned two walks and used four pitchers, but couldn’t overcome five errors.

Next for Mullen is a matchup on Tuesday, April 10, 4:15 p.m., against Cherry Creek at Tom McCollum Field in Greenwood Village. It will be a two-game week – Aurora’s Smoky Hill will be at the Mustangs’ Bill Swift Field on Saturday, 11 a.m., in league play.

Mustangs bash Bear Creek, level mark at 4-4

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Rate it as a confidence-builder.

Mullen’s 11-5 bashing of Jefferson County’s Bear Creek on Thursday at Bill Swift Field in nonleague was important in many ways, perhaps none larger than in the mental department.

“We had a tough loss the other day to Arapahoe,” Mullen junior left-hander Will Miller said of his team’s 7-5 setback on Tuesday. “It was rough.”

So rallying against the Bears (4-3-1) to level their mark at 4-4 was huge, as was overcoming an early deficit and turning in three double plays, a very unusual occurrence for a schoolboy team, especially one that has experienced assorted troubles catching and throwing the ball.

“I was just trying to keep the ball low and let us have a chance,” said Miller, who pitched six innings for the victory and mixed assorted-seam fastballs and a 12-to-6 curveball with a changeup.

Mullen grabbed a first-inning 1-0 lead only to have the Bears strike four times in the second on three hits and two Mustangs errors. However, Mullen retook the lead with its own rallies and never trailed again as it tightened up its defense and Miller kept Bear Creek in check.

Said Mustangs head coach Jim Alexander: “We came back after we gave them four runs and just kept our game plan the same. The boys executed, we extended innings, they were positive in the dugout and will did a great job; we didn’t get down after they put up their four-spot, The hitters had great approaches to extend innings and it worked out for us.”

The Mustangs won’t be hitting a lot of long balls, but have discovered stringing together hits can be just as effective.

Leadoff Cole Elges tripled in the first and came home on one of six Bear Creek errors. And after Miller wrapped 1-2-3 innings around Bear Creek’s early bunge, Mullen took command by going off for four- and five-run rallies.

In the third, Elges, Bryce Kamstra and Jackson Alexander singled and Bear Creek was guilty of two more errors. And in the fourth, Kamstra, Jake Barr, Brennen Nolte, Alexander and Evan Malloy each hit safely in addition to three more Bears errors.

In all, Kamstra and Alexander each had three hits among Mullen’s 14. Elges and Nolte added two apiece. Kamstra and Alexander each added two RBIs.

“It’s the type of team we are, we’re scrappy,” Miller said.

The Mustangs return to action on Saturday, 11 a.m., at Eaglecrest in Centennial in the Centennial League. Originally, they were going to host, but Mullen’s track-and-field meet, one of the largest and top gatherings each spring, also is on Saturday at home and coach Alexander was concerned about the traffic on campus and lack of convenience for those attending the game.

  

MULLEN 11, BEAR CREEK 5

Bear Creek   040 001 0 – 5  7  6

Mullen  104 510 x – 11  14  3

Bear Creek – Madrid c 3-0-1-1, Romero 1b 4-0-0-0, Zaccaro cf 2-1-0-0, Martinez lf 2-1-0-0, Reno 3b 3-1-1-1-, Leewaye dh 3-1-1-1, Cholak 3b 3-1-2-1, Nonnemachcr ss 3-0-0-0, Gutierrez ss 3-0-2-1, Villa p 0-0-0-0, Vargas p 0-0-0-0, Wunder p 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-5-7-5.

Mullen – Elges cf 4-2-2-0, Kamstra 2b 4-2-3-2, Barr ss 4-2-1-0, Nolte c 4-0-2-1, Stanford cr 0-2-0-0, Alexander 3b 4-1-3-2, Coon rf 4-0-0-0, Haen 1b 4-0-0-0, Malloy dh-p 4-2-3-0, Brickley lf 3-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0. Totals 35-11-14-5.

E – Gutierrez, Alexander, Haen, Nonnemacher, Alexander, Reno 2, Martinez 2. DP – Bear Creek, Mullen 3. LOB – Bear Creek 3, Mullen 5. SB – Martinez. Caught stealing -- Madrid 2.

2B – Malloy 2. 3B – Elges.

W -- Miller. L -- Villa. Batteries – Villa, Vargas (5), Wunder (6) and Madrid; Miller, (Malloy (7) and Nolte..

HBP – Zaccaro (by Miller); Leewaye (By White). WP – Villa, Malloy. Balk – Vargas. T – 1:51.

Mustangs come up short against Warriors, fall 7-5

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Most of the fireworks occurred late and Mullen couldn’t quite answer.

The Mustangs dropped their Centennial League opener at home to Arapahoe 7-5 on Tuesday, a back-and-forth battle at Bill Swift Field in which a combined 11 runs were scored over the final three innings.

“We had a couple of misplays that weren’t good enough to win the game,” Mustangs coach Jim Alexander said. “A couple things could have made a difference. We fought back great. Our pitchers competed, defense played pretty well. It was one of those games where if the ball bounces another way …”

The Mustangs, 3-4 overall and who went 2-1 in Arizona while on spring break last week, outhit the Warriors (5-3, 1-0) 12-10 and stranded eight runners. They plated three runs in the fifth and two more in the seventh being shut down by the second of two Arapahoe pitchers. The Warriors also turned in two key catches deep in the outfield to end innings.

Jake Barr and Bryce Kamstra each had three hits for the Mustangs. Kamstra doubled twice and Barr added another. They also scored twice and added RBIs. Brennen Nolte doubled twice among his three hits and knocked home three runs. Michael Brady, Henry Haen, Evan Malloy and Michael Stanford also hit safely.

Senior left-hander Reggie Parris started and took the loss, going five innings and surrendering six hits and four runs, three earned. Kamstra threw the final two innings and was touched for three runs, two earned.

“It was a good game,” Alexander said. “We just came up short in this one.”

Mullen will resume play on Thursday, when it welcomes Jefferson County’s Bear Creek in nonleague, 4:15 p.m., then return to the Centennial on Saturday at Eaglecrest, 11 a.m.

 

Mustangs respond, take out Legacy 1-0 in 10 innings

By Neil H., Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Whew!

Pardon the Mullen Mustangs’ collective sigh of relief. Their dramatic and long 1-0 victory over Broomfield’s Legacy on Wednesday at home at Bill Swift Field was as necessary as it was nail-biting.

“If we would have lost that game … “ Mullen starting pitcher Reggie Parris said before breaking it off.

Ultimately, a double by the Mustangs’ Cole Elges just over the out-stretched arms of Legacy center fielder Chase Esplin plated Michael Stanford with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning. It also stabilized Mullen’s confidence and avoided an 0-3 start.

Elges came to the plate with one out. Henry Haen had singled to open the bottom of the 10th and was erased when Stanford hit into a fielder’s choice at second base. Junior Michael Brady followed with a popup down the right-field line that wasn’t handled correctly to make it first and second.

In stepped Elges against Legacy reliever Josh Kelnhofer, a rare right-handed sidewinder on the prep level who had come on in the seventh. And Elges was ready.

“I was just focused on my last at-bat and what I did wrong,” he said. “I struck out and it’s the worst, the absolute worst (for a leadoff hitter). I knew what pitches he had, what was coming, so I was ready for it.”

Stanford said he stayed fairly close to the bag “in the chance it was caught. I could have gotten back (to try and tag up) and if it was dropped I would have scored. It was great and it was hard-fought.”

It was. Parris and Legacy starter Ryan Overboe owned the action, left-handers who were getting ti done. In particular, Parris, headed to San Diego next school year, was stellar, not allowing a hit over six innings and walking four. Only one of the outs he threw was close to turning into a hit. He made 67 pitches and said he was under a 70-pitch limit.

“I felt good,” he said after striking out eight.

In its opener, Legacy’s first hit came off Mullen reliever and winner Jake Barr, a high-chopper to third base. The Lightning also were the team that knocked Mullen from district rounds a year ago.

Overall, Mullen played cleanly after struggling in its first two games, including Barr’s sharp play in the hole at shortstop in the fifth as well as Forrest Coon’s diving catch in right-center field in the 10th with two outs that stranded two Lightning runners.

“We really needed that,” Elges said. “We just couldn’t execute and that was our problem up to this point, but we finally put it together to win a ball game.”

Haen, Elges and catcher Brennen Nolte each had two of Mullen’s eight hits. Jackson Alexander and Bryce Kamstra added singles.

The Mustangs can also level their record before heading to Arizona for tournament play next week during spring break. They are to meet Thornton’s Horizon in less than 24 hours, at 2:45 p.m., at Coors Field.

 

MULLEN 1, LEGACY 0, 10 innings

Legacy 000 000 000 0  --  0  4  2

Mullen 000 000 000 1  -- 1  8  0

Legacy – Kelnhofer 3b-p 5-0-1-0, Lyons 2b 4-0-1-0, Overboe p-1b 3-0-0-0, Wilmer cr 0-0-0-0, Smith rf 3-0-0-0, O’Brien c 4-0-0-0, Grierson lf 3-0-1-0, Labuda dh 4-0-0-0, Sehr 2b 0-0-0-0, Claridge 1b 3-0-1-0, Maestas cr-3b 1-0-0-0, Esplin cf 3-0-0-0. Totals 33-0-4-0.

Mullen – Elges cf 5-0-2-1, Kamstra 2b 4-0-1-0, Barr ss-p 4-0-0-0, Nolte c 4-0-2-0, Coon rf 3-0-0-0, Alexander 3b ,4-0-1-0, Haen 1b 4-0-2-0, Stanford lf 3-1-0-0, Malloy dh 3-0-0-0, Brady ss-p 1-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0. Totals 35-1-8-1.

E – Sehr 2. CS – Brady, Grierson. DP – Legacy. LOB – Legacy 8, Mullen 8.

2B – Lyons, Elges.

W – Barr. L – Kelnhofer. Batteries – Overboe, Kelnhofer (7) and O’Brien; Parris, Barr (7) and Nolte.

WP – Overboe 3. T – 2:31.

Mustangs fall to 0-2, spanked 18-5 by Ralston Valley

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Hit for three rallies, Mullen fell to Ralston Valley 18-5 on Saturday in Class 5A nonleague play in Arvada.

Now 0-2, Mullen was stung for six runs in the first inning, seven in the third and five more in the fourth. Jefferson County’s Ralston Valley needed only 4 and one-half innings to improve to 1-1.

Four Mullen pitchers gave up 16 hits, half of them for extra bases, including two home runs and two triples, and issued a whopping 10 walks. All 18 runs were earned.

For Mullen, juniors Brennen Nolte and Michael Stanford both homered. Nolte also singled, drove home three runs and scored twice. Jake Barr and Cameron Brickley both doubled and scored, and Henry Haen walked and scored a run.

Senior Matt Rhilinger took the loss.

Weather permitting, Mullen will be back at it on Tuesday, March 20, against Broomfield’s Legacy in nonleague. Bill Swift Field was still covered with snow on Monday.

In addition, Mullen is scheduled to have a Thursday game (2:45 p.m.) vs. Thornton’s Horizon at Coors Field, first pitch at 2:45 p.m. It’s also a nonleague game and will be Mullen’s final outing before heading to Arizona over spring break.

Mullen drops baseball opener at Mountain Range

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

WESTMINSTER – It was, as head coach Jim Alexander said, “like biting into a sour apple.”

Nor much was sweet about it. Mullen dropped its season opener and first game in command for Alexander 7-1 to host Mountain Range on Thursday. The nonleague matchup, which began on a dark, cold and windy late afternoon at Mustang Ballpark (not Mullen’s), came with issues that the new coach said he and his staff will have to address.

“It was a bad defensive game,” Alexander said.

It was. And it was from the first Mountain Range batter, who reached base on a Michael Brady error and scored. Another error, by right fielder Cole Elges, permitted another run as Mullen trailed 2-1 after an inning.

The visiting Mustangs’ third error, another botched play in the outfield (by Forest Coon) off a base hit, helped Mountain Range to a four-run fifth inning that all but put away the game.

“That shouldn’t have happened,” Alexander said.

Plus, Mullen, which grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, eventually turned silent at the plate. It generated only three hits, scored its only run off a Mountain Range error and stranded five runners. Mullen’s first six hitters in the order each reached base, but it wasn’t nearly enough and the timely hitting wasn’t there (Mountain Range banged out 10 hits).

“The (hitting) approach wasn’t good and we need to fix that,” the coach said.

On the mound, left-handed starter and loser Will Miller certainly competed, but didn’t receive enough offensive and defensive support. Reliever Jackson Alexander came on in the fifth and needed an out to escape from trouble, but didn’t get it, was hurt by one of the errors and gave way to Reggie Parris, who came on for some late work.

“Our pitching did all right, well enough to keep us in the game,” coach Alexander said, “but we have to do a better job with our approach to hitting.”

Mullen hitters frequently were behind in the count and missed an early chance against Mountain Range starter and winner Brayden Brooks was somewhat shaky in the first. In addition, the first two Mullen hitters reached base in the sixth, only to have the inning stall off a double play.

Bryce Kamstra doubled and Evan Malloy and Coon singled for Mullen.

Next up is another nonleague game, Saturday at Jefferson County’s Ralston Valley in Arvada, 11 a.m.

 

MOUNTAIN RANGE 7, MULLEN 1

Mullen 100 000 0 – 1 3 3

Mountain Range 210 040 x – 7 10- 2

Mullen – Brady 2b 3-1-0-0, Kamstra 3b 4-0-1-0, Barr ss 2-0-0-0, Malloy lf 3-0-1-0, Haen 1b 2-0-0-0, Coon cf 3-0-1-0, Nolte c 3-0-0-0, Stanford cr-ph 0-0-0-0, Elges rf 3-0-0-0, Salas dh 2-0-0-0, Miller p 0-0-0-0, Alexander p 0-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-1-3-0.

Mountain Range – Polson ss 4-1-1-1, Domenico dh 4-2-2-0, Hoffman rf 2-1-1-0, Trinkaus 1b 3-0-1-0, Simmons c 4-0-0-0, Courter 3b 3-1-1-1, Mee lf 2-2-1-1, Wolf 2b 2-0-2-1, Ortega 2-0-1-0, Brooks p 0-0-0-0, O’Hagan p 0-0-0-0, Brocklander p 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-7-10-4.

E – Wolf, Brady, Elges, Trinkaus, Coon. DP – Mullen, Mountain Range. LOB – Mullen 5, Mountain Range 8.

2B – Ortega. Kamstra.

W – Brooks (1-0). L – Miller (0-1). Batteries – Miller, Alexander (5), Parris (5) and Nolte; Brooks, O’Hagan (5),  Brocklander (7) and Simmons. WP – Brooks, Parris 2. PB – Nolte 2. HBP – Barr (by Brooks); Stanford (by Brocklander). SF – Hoffman. T – 1:58.  

Spring Preview: Baseball under new management

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

The new look at the top for Mullen baseball is Jim Alexander. As for the approach? It’s modified some, but certainly will contain a lot of the same principles and characteristics.

“We’re going to come out and these guys will have a good impact on the team,” Alexander said of both the coaching staff and players.

Alexander has assorted experience outside the prep game as well as working with Mustangs freshmen, sophomore and junior varsity. His excitement is considerable. Plus, his new coaching staff has a few interesting, well-known choices, such as Nick Arcuri and Phil Stanford, who each have served with the police department as well as in the dugout on various levels, and Mark Holzemer and Clint Zavaras, former Mustangs stars, state champions, major-leaguers and operators of Slammers, arguably Colorado’s top club program.

The Mustangs, 10-10 a year ago, including a first-round district-playoff loss at Legacy in Broomfield in the last year of a long run headed by former Metropolitan State coach Vince Porecco, return some pieces and Alexander plans to get the most out of them as well as develop younger talent to be ready as factors in what has turned into a very competitive Class 5A.

“We’ve got a pretty good returning group,” Alexander said.

At the top is senior Reggie Parris, a left-handed starting pitcher headed to San Diego.

“His leadership is needed and he’s a difference-maker,” Alexander said.

There’s also senior shortstop Jake Barr and senior catcher-infielder Stacio Salas. Jackson Alexander, a junior infielder; Bryce Kamstar, a senior pitcher-outfielder; and Ryan Malloy, utility, are others who Alexander said “are just trying to get into the lineup.”

Others of note include juniors Will Miller, outfielder-pitcher; Mike Stanford, catcher-outfielder; Jayden Mayoral, outfielder-pitcher; and Cameron Brickley, pitcher-outfielder.

As usual, pitching will dictate Mullen’s fortunes and Alexander said “we don’t have anyone who can throw 90 (mph), but we have a bunch of guys who will compete.”

Offensively, Mullen may be hard-pressed to increase its output of a year ago. The Mustangs had 92 RBIs (for 117 runs) in 20 games and only 53 return. Of 2017’s five home runs, playersn who accounted for four are back. The Centennial League doesn’t have any band-box yards, such as in Jefferson County, but the concern about run production is real.

“I still think we can compete with the top teams in the Centennial League,” Alexander said.

Of course, Cherry Creek will be the league team to chase – if not throughout the state – and the Mustangs would do well to be in the mix along with Cherokee Trail (under new leadership in coach Steve Eaton), Grandview (improved pitching) and emerging Eaglecrest. There are also Arapahoe, Overland and Smoky Hill to handle.

The Mustangs will open at Mountain Range in Westminster on March 15. They also will be in Phoenix for the Coach Bob Invitational Tournament at the end of the month before beginning Centennial play.

 

Former assistant Alexander now heads baseball

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

Mullen has hired former assistant Jim Alexander as baseball head coach.

Alexander has coached on all previous lower levels for the Mustangs and takes over for Vince Porreco, who resigned in late December to attend to family matters.  Mustangs athletic director Vince Massey confirmed the hire on Thursday.

“We are very excited to announce Jim Alexander as Mullen’s baseball head coach,” Massey said. “Jim is very familiar with our mission, our community and our athletes. This transition will be smooth and we are looking forward to the coming season!”  Said Alexander: “When Vince called me up and offered me the job, I couldn’t talk. I was choked up. I’m very thankful, very blessed, very humbled, very excited.”

His experience with the Mustangs -- from 2015-17 heading the freshman, sophomore and junior-varsity levels – could prove vital, Alexander said, especially with the school having to make such a late change after considerable tenure. Porreco had headed the program since 2007, coming over from Metro State.  And the first day of prep preseason practice for spring sports will be Feb. 26.

“Yes, coach Porreco was here a long time and he had a good program going,” Alexander said. “I’m thankful that the school has chosen me to go down and continue that path.  “I coach differently than coach Porreco, but we have the same finish line.”

The Mustangs were 10-10 a year ago and lost in the first round of the Class 5A districts, to host Legacy. The year before, they advanced to the state semifinals and played on the season’s final weekend. All told, Porreco’s teams were 140-96.  Alexander said he’s busily preparing for the season and looks forward to competing in the vaunted Centennial League.

“It’s a great league,” he said. “It’s going to be nothing but beneficial for Mullen to stay in that league and play the best. The competition is so high and so good in that league. Mullen’s in a good spot for that.”  A realtor, Alexander also has coached on various youth levels, with club teams and briefly with a prep team and college team in California. His uncle is Tom Haller, a former major-league catcher for 12 seasons and he has a son, Jackson, a senior, on the Mullen team.

“I’m humbled,” Alexander said. “Everybody wants to win and I will do the best I can to cross that finish every game.”

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Mullen’s Trey Sieradski standing up to cancer

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

“I’m going to kick cancer’s ass.”

So said Trey Sieradski without a trace of bragging or arrogance ... well, maybe some of both as well as hefty doses of defiance, determination, diligence, confidence and anything else that can keep his eyes clear while looking toward his future.

And he is. His scoreboard indicates Sieradski is in the lead against the dreaded disease and recently was given a report “that there was no sign of it.” Call it a major victory, although he realizes that he still has a long way to go with gobs of pain, vomiting, insomnia, no energy or hair, visits to doctors and hospitals and, well, at least a hint of doubt, as his problem can return.

But what else can he do?

It all began in mid-November as it turned into an unimaginable week. Sieradski suddenly had some kind of mass sticking out the left side of his neck. “I didn’t feel sick and the other side wasn’t enlarged,” Sieradski said. A lymph-node problem? A reaction because of a weird strain of the flu that was going around the state? So he received injections of antibiotics in both thighs, but by mid-week he found himself back with doctors – his mother, Cynthia, was sure it was significantly more serious and refused to accept any other explanation -- and a scan revealed what Sieradski said “was some sort of mass behind my nose.”

Then it was on to Children’s Hospital, where leukemia was discussed. Ultimately, a battery of tests and a biopsy revealed the cold, hard news – Sieradski had Stage 2 Burkitt lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that begins in immune cells and is recognized as the fastest-growing human tumor. It is rapidly fatal if not untreated.

It’s why, his mother said, “we were not going to sit around … I knew something was wrong.”

 And there was no hiding the news from Sieradski. “He wanted to know,” said Mike Sieradski, his father.

Undaunted, Sieradski said “I knew I was going to get through it. I just didn’t want to lose my hair.”

His number of surgeries mounted. His spinal fluid was checked as was his bone marrow and both tested negative. However, a port was put into his heart for chemotherapy and he initially was given three different kinds of chemo, then seven others.

“A sobering moment,” said his father.

And so began the vicious, seemingly endless cycle that cancer patients must endure – they get chemo, they feel awful for weeks, they may get a couple of days of feeling better, but then they have to return to the hospital and receive more chemo … and it keeps on going.

In Sieradski’s case, he has gone through four very tough rounds. Plus, he doesn’t play video games. He gets tired easily of watching television. And he can only sleep for so long. He’s quiet and usually is participating in an activity and it’s almost always out of the house. At Mullen, he played his beloved baseball and even was a lightweight wrestler, joining his older brother Chase, a senior.

The truth is, Sieradski said, and even in the face of cancer and all that comes with it, “I’m bored stiff and that’s the worst part.”

Said Cynthia Sieradski: “He was always doing something … he wants to be outside.”

He will be … and has been when he feels well enough during his small windows of reasonable nausea and strength. Sieradski will be part of a Children’s Hospital contingent that will visit spring training for the Colorado Rockies in Arizona.

And while it will take some time for him to actually play baseball, he’ll have ample opportunity to see it, maybe even participate in it during practice and when sitting in the dugout. He has been “adopted” by the Metropolitan State team. Rock Canyon softball coach Mike DeSimone, a friend of Mike Sieradski and active in community leadership and various volunteer pursuits, is an advisor to charitable efforts. In this case, through Friends of Jaclyn, DeSimone helped facilitate the move with the organization that began with a young cancer patient being befriended by a collegiate sports team. A few years, several sick and challenged children, and thousands of college athletes and teams later, Sieradski upped the count as he was recently signed with the Roadrunners baseball team at halftime of a MSU men’s basketball game. He is an honorary member of the team with all privileges, access and gear.

Ryan Strain, a former Cherry Creek Hugh School star who now is head coach of the Roadrunners, said “these 30-some guys on our team are now his friends and can help take his mind away from what’s going on with his cancer … just make him one of the guys. That’s what he wants, not to talk about his treatment; just talk about baseball. He loves playing. We’re not sure when he can play again, but he can just come out and hang out with us and be friends.”

To a man, the Roadrunners are committed. They will welcome him during games, practices, meetings, videos … they also are prepared for text chats, emailing and whatever else is available to boost Sieradski’s spirits.

“Honestly, it’s really inspiring to me,” said Beecher Strube, a senior pitcher. “My mon had cancer last year. It was cool for me to see just for our team that we go out of our way to make something special for that kid. We want to take this opportunity for him, but also to draw strength for him.”

Perspective for the Roadrunners will be readily available.

“Somebody said, ‘Wow, he has real problems,’” Strube recalled about a teammate speculating on going 0-for-4. “He’s dealing with problems way tougher than mine. He’s going through so much. Anything we can do to help him …”

Said Roadrunners senior right fielder Hunter Donaldson: “He seems like an awesome kid and this is a perfect fit. Everyone’s on board.”

A humble Sieradski said he’s very appreciative and looks forward to it. So are his parents who have been glued to their home and hospitals, and are extremely thankful for the thoughts, prayers, meals, errands, cleanings and whatever else has been offered, including a day at Mullen in which students wore hats to show support for his hair loss and sported T-shirts with #TeamUp4Trey.

There also is a GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/teamup4trey that has raised more than $40,000.

“We’ve been blessed with a lot of love and support by friends and family from afar,” Mike Sieradski said.

Cynthia Sieradski is convinced that “it helps to have your faith to lean on. I don’t know how people do this without it.”

Trey’s brother, Chase, who said he has his own way of release in dealing with his brother’s condition, admitted that he has his struggles in feeling for his brother.

“You know, it’s just weird,” he said. “I mean, it’s hard to wrap your head around it. For me, personally, I grew up with this kid. He’s my little brother. We did everything together as little kids. To think about him going through this, especially the type of kid he is and how active he is, I can’t wrap my head around it. It blows.”

Trey knows his condition wears on his family and friends. To be honest, he said, he’s incredibly tired of having anyone asking him how he is.

“I lie,” he said.

And as for assessing his last report, he said “they want to make sure everything is gone, just in case. I’ll still do the fifth round (of chemo).”

He and his family celebrated with Indian food. They spent a year in India.

After the fifth round, even if he’s cleared again, there will be at least another year of being checked regularly.

And don’t forget this is a teenager.

“I’m not done yet,” he said. “I don’t want to get too excited it. It still sucks.”

Vince Porreco steps down from Mullen baseball

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

A familiar figure in Mullen athletics has stepped down – longtime baseball coach Vince Porreco resigned on Wednesday.

Porreco relinquished control of the baseball program to attend to personal and family matters, he said on Friday, and called it a difficult decision.

“(Coaching baseball) has been a part of my life since I can remember, over 30 years coaching in college and high school,” Porreco said. “I’ll miss the game, miss the atmosphere, the development of young men to become men… you always want to prepare them for the game, but more for the game of life.”

Head coach of the Mustangs since 2007, Porreco had a 140-96 mark, including advancing to the Class 5A state semifinals in 2016. A year ago, they were 10-10, losing in the first round of big-school districts.

"Vince Porreco will be sorely missed," Mustangs athletic director Vince Massey said. "We truly appreciate his dedication and commitment to our student-athletes and our community over these past years.  We wish him luck in the future and want him to know he will always have a home here at Mullen."

Raised in Arvada, Porreco graduated from Regis Jesuit in 1981, where he was an all-state shortstop in addition to playing basketball and soccer. He played baseball for two years at Cochise Junior College in Arizona before having another two seasons competing for Wyoming’s Cowboys. He later played professionally in Italy.

An assistant with Wyoming, Porreco went on to Metro State, where he was head coach from 1993-2006 and won a school-record 355 games, including the RMAC Tournament Championship in 2002.

The Porrecos also qualify as one of Colorado’s more-interesting baseball families. In addition to Vince, brother Dan has been head coach at nearby D’Evelyn since it first fielded a team in 1995 and their faither, Dan Sr., has been a season-ticket holder for the Rockies since Day One. There also have been multiple grandkids and great-grandkids involved in the game.

Vince Porreco said he’ll also miss the Mullen community.

“It’s tough leaving something you actually built and are proud of,” he said.

 

 

Mustangs fall to Legacy in 5A districts

 

By Neil H. Devlin
Mullen Sports Information Specialist

BROOMFIELD -- An up-and-down baseball season for Mullen ended in up-and-down fashion on Saturday. The Mustangs dropped a 3-2 first-round decision to host  Legacy  in the Class 5A districts.

Mullen, one of four programs to make the final weekend of play in the double-elimination format a year ago, ended 10-10 and probably will have a bit of what-if wondering.

The potential tying run was left on third base.

“We had opportunities and we had opportunities to put them down and keep them down,” coach Vince Porreco said. “You know, baseball’s about timely hitting. You can only have five hits, but you can score five or six runs.”

The inability to put teams away, notably through a lack of offense, was a relevant constant.  “It kind of plagued us all year, some timely hitting,” Porreco said. “Otherwise our record would be better. This was one of the strongest teams and we just didn’t put it together. I think we could have made some noise like we did last year.”

 

All told, the Mustangs stranded seven runners, hit into two double plays – one with one out and the bases loaded in the first inning – and managed just six hits, five of them between starter and loser Joey Salvato and third baseman Rocco Porreco.

However, Salvato only allowed five hits and the Mustangs were guilty of four errors, one right before a two-run home run in the fourth inning by Legacy cleanup hitter D.J. Daugherty. Mullen responded to tie it in the top of the fifth on back-to-back doubles by Salvato and Porreco, but the Lightning responded in its half-inning on a single, a sacrifice, a wild pitch and a passed ball to retake the lead.

However, when the Mustangs got a break to open the seventh as pinch hitter Brennen Nolte was hit by a pitch and a courtesy runner made second on a sacrifice and third on a balk, Legacy reliever Josh Kelnhofer fanned Salvato and Porreco to end it.

“We had some tough breaks,” the younger Porreco said, “but that’s the way the ball rolls some times.”

 

Coach Porreco, who completed his 11th season in command of Mullen, said, “we weren’t able to push anything across, but that’s baseball. You have to play all seven innings. I’m proud of these kids. That’s why coach. I’m in it so they’re prepared for more than baseball when they leave Mullen. It’s about the relationships that you build with them. I’ve taken them as their second father, I’m with them a lot. It’s a year-long thing, they’re like my kids.”

Brighton beat Pine Creek 5-2 in the second game and Legacy took out brighton 12-5 to make next Friday’s beginning of the 5A Championship Series, double elimination.

  

LEGACY 3, MULLEN 2

Mullen 100 010 0 – 2 6 4

Legacy 000 210 x – 3 5 0

Mullen – M. Salvato 2b 3-0-0-0, J. Salvato p-ss 4-2-2-0, Porreco 3b 4-0-3-1, Barr ss 3-0-0-0, Haen dh 2-0-0-1, Salas c 3-0-1-0, Lobo-Lucio rf 3-0-0-0, Burke 1b 2-0-0-0, Bielat cf 1-0-0-0, Elges lf 0-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0, Nolte ph 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-2-6-2.

Legacy – Jo. Coogan lf 2-0-0-0, Deaville 2b 3-0-1-0, Smith rf 3-1-1-0, Daugherty 3b-2b 2-1-1-2, Overboe 1b 3-0-0-0, O’Connor 2-0-0-0, McAninch dh 2-0-1-0, Ja. Coogan c 2-0-0-0, Kelnhofer ss-p 2-0-1-0, Labuda cr 0-1-0-0, Chamberlain p 0-0-0-0. Totals 21-3-5-2.

E – Kelnhofer, J. Salvato, Salas, Barr. LOB – Mullen 7, Legacy 3. SAC – Jo. Coogan. DP – Legacy 2, Mullen. SB – Smith. CS – Deaville, Jo. Coogan, O’Connor. 2B – Salas, J. Salvato, Porreco. HR – Daugherty, one on in fourth.

Batteries – J. Salvato, Parris (6) and Salas; Chamberlain, Kelnhofer (6) and Ja. Coogan. W -- Chamberlain. L – J. Salvato. S – Kelnhofer. WP – Chamberlain, J. Salvato, Parris. PB – Salas. T – 2:08.

  

CLASS 5A RESULTS

 

Region 1 At Cherry Creek H.S.

Cherry Creek 9, Chatfield 2

ThunderRidge 6, Bear Creek 3

Cherry Creek 3, ThunderRidge 0

 

Region 2 at Legacy H.S.

Legacy 3, Mullen 2

Brighton 5, Pine Creek 2

Legacy 12, Brighton 5

 

Region 3 at Rocky Mountain H.S.

Rocky Mountain 16, Abraham Lincoln 0

Denver East 10, Denver East 3

Rocky Mountain 10, Denver East 3

 

Region 4 at Rock Canyon H.S.

Rock Canyon 8, Grandview 1

Heritage 5, Grand Junction 1

Rock Canyon 13, Heritage 6

 

Region 5 at Legend H.S.

Legend 10, Pomona 0

Central (G.J.) 3, Fairview 1

Legend 13, Central (G.J.) 3

 

Region 6 at Regis Jesuit H.S.

Regis Jesuit 4, Loveland 1

Broomfield 6, Arapahoe 4

Broomfield 14, Regis Jesuit 4

 

Region 7 at Mountain Vista H.S.

Mountain Vista 8, Coronado 2

Ralston Valley 4, Fruita Monument 2

Mountain Vista 2, Ralston Valley 0

 

Region 8 at Mountain Range H.S.

Dakota Ridge 5, Mountan Range 0

Highlands Ranch 17, Eaglecrest 7

Dakota Ridge 8, Highlands Ranch 3

 

Post Season Preview

By Neil H. Devlin

Mullen Sports Information Specialist

 

Familiarity and the unknown.

Is there anything else in elimination baseball at the end of a season?

Mullen has the opportunity for both on Saturday, when it will travel to Broomfield to begin the 2017 Class 5A playoffs. The Mustangs will take on host Legacy in Region 2. First pitch will be at 10 a.m. The Pine Creek-Brighton game will follow at 12:30 p.m., then the two winners will meet at 3 p.m. for the right to advance to the 5A Championship Series, which offers double-elimination play for eight survivors of the 32 big-school programs alive into this weekend.

The No. 25 seed, the Mustangs enter the playoffs 10-9 and feeling upbeat. They know they started the season slowly, but have shown various areas of improvement, and now’s the time to implement them.

 

“You know, we played better late and, obviously, we didn’t finish as well as we would have liked, but we have an opportunity to make some noise,” coach Vince Porreco said during Wednesday’s practice. “The seeding is the seeding. Anyone can be beaten on a given day. You only hope you’re peaking at the right time and getting hot at the right time.

“It’s great, one game at a time.”

 

And the one game will be against Legacy (14-5), which the Mustangs downed 5-4 on March 25 for their first victory of the season. They had started 0-3 and were outscored by a combined 32-7. (The other first-rounder should be interesting in that Pine Creek has regularly owned the Colorado Springs area and Brighton is trying to draw believers after walking through the East Metro Athletic Conference.)

By winning 10 of its final 16 games, Mullen, which made the final four a year ago, finally settled in and won five of its six regular-season games. “I think midseason on, we started pitching a lot better,” Porreco said. “The first half we were giving up half of our runs in the first two innings, then you had to battle back. And our hitting the last three to four games improved.”

 

The Mustangs have put up 24 runs over their most-recent 14 innings, which should matter in a regional group that arguably is themost-competitive of the eight.

“There’s a lot of talent in that bracket and I think we have our work cut out for us,” Mustangs senior shortstop Joey Salvato, who’s headed to Coastal Carolina, said. “And I think we’re an overlooked 25 seed.”

Said Mustangs senior corner infielder Rocco Porreco: “We’ve played Legacy already and we’ve got to be ready for (the Lightning) … we’re confident.”

 

Justice Lobo-Lucio heads Mullen in batting average (.349). Rocco Porreco tops the Mustangs in RBIs (16) with Jake Barr (15) right behind. Barr also has two of the Mustangs’ modest five home runs.

On the mound, sophomore Clayton Burke (4-4) and Reggie Parris (3-2) have accounted for most of the Mustangs’ decisions.

 

A season that began roughly now has the opportunity to finish strongly.

“All in all,” Salvato said, “we started off really bad. For sure, we’re confident, we can’t wait and we’re really excited.”

The younger Porreco added: “I think we’ve just grown together and that’s the most important part. We’re very excited and we got a taste of it last year.”

 

CLASS 5A SCHEDULE

Region 1 At Cherry Creek H.S.

Chatfield (9-10) vs. Cherry Creek (14-5), 10 a.m.

ThunderRidge (10-9) vs. Bear Creek (12-7), 12:30 p.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 2 at Legacy H.S.

Mullen (10-9) vs. Legacy (14-5), 10 a.m.

Pine Creek (13-6) vs. Brighton (16-3), 12:30 p.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 3 at Rocky Mountain H.S.

Abraham Lincoln (12-7) vs. Rocky Mountain (14-5), 10 a.m.

Denver East (13-6) vs. Douglas County (12-7), 12:30 a.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 4 at Rock Canyon H.S.

Grandview (9-10) vs. Rock Canyon (13-6), 12:30 p.m.

Grand Junction (11-8) vs. Heritage (12-7), 10 a.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 5 at Legend H.S.

Pomona (10-9) vs. Legend (14-5), 10 a.m.

Fairview (12-7) vs. Central (G.J.) (12-7), 12:30 p.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 6 at Regis Jesuit H.S.

Loveland (10-9) vs. Regis Jesuit (14-5), 12:30 p.m.

Arapahoe (11-8) vs. Broomfield (14-5), 10 a.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 7 at Mountain Vista H.S.

Coronado (13-6) vs. Mountain Vista (14-5), 12:30 p.m.

Ralston Valley (11-8) vs. Fruita Monument (13-6), 10 a.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

 

Region 8 at Mountain Range H.S.

Dakota Ridge (10-9) vs. Mountain Range (16-3), 10 a.m.

Highlands Ranch (10-9) vs. Eaglecrest (15-4), 12:30 p.m.

Winners, 3 p.m.

Baseball Roundup

 

By Neil H. Devlin

It was something with almost a little bit of everything.

After 2 hours, 58 minutes, along with a combined two interference calls that went against the host, four hit batters, only one extra-base hit, 15 runs, five errors, six pitchers, two double plays, 16 stranded runners, two bases loaded walks and a balk in what amounted to a game in the first Centennial League season-ending tournament, Mullen ultimately outlasted Grandview.

The Mustangs handled the Wolves 11-4 on Thursday in Southeastern Aurora in the so-called Centennial Challenge and improved to 9-9 overall by scoring all of their runs over the final three innings. Sitting at No. 30 in the Class 5A RPI – 32 teams will play in next week’s districts – before Thursday’s first pitch, it probably was a must-have victory. They will meet Overland at Bill Swift Fied on Saturday in what will be another need-to-win situation, if potentially only for improved seeding.

But Thursday’s entertainment on a pleasant spring day following the mix of snow, sleet, rain and cold couldn’t be missed.  “It was crazy,” Mullen senior Rocco Porreco said.  It was. Basically, the Mustangs fell behind 3-0, rallied to take a 5-3 lead, then tacked on more as Grandview, now 8-10, aided the cause by imploding a bit. Either way, Mullen will take it. Gladly. Responding to a three-run deficit with a five-run fifth inning wiped out any notion of being deflated.

“Yeah, it was a big turning point for us,” coach Vince Porreco said, “and for us, we needed that because the last three or four games we weren’t hitting.”The Mustangs had scored just a combined 10 runs over their previous four games, including getting shut out on Tuesday against Arapahoe.  “Then we started playing some small ball,” coach Porreco said, “and it got contagious. Hitting is contagious …it just built up for us.”

Grandview starter and loser Preston Ederhoff didn’t allow a Mustangs hit through four innings and retired 12 of 13 hitters. However, Mullen broke out in a big way. A walk to Stacio Salas, a balk, a single by Henry Haen, a wild pitch, a run-scoring single by Cole Elges, the first of two Grandview errors, a bunt single by Joey Salvato and an RBI safety by Marcus Salvato tied it at 3. Rocco Porreco followed with a two-run single to give Mullen the lead it never relinquished.

“It was definitely pretty big,” the first baseman said, “but it didn’t start with me. It started with the guys ahead of me getting on base. We just got the job done. ”Mullen tacked on two more in the sixth, topped by an error, a wild pitch and an RBI single by Jake Bielat. Four more followed an inning later, notably with Bielat’s two-run single that all but put it out of reach.

“This one and Saturday’s are the big ones,” coach Porreco said. “You can’t rely on anyone else.” Mullen starter Clayton Burke, a sophomore, only got roughed up briefly through five innings and was strong in his final outing in protecting the lead. “I got into a few situations, but my infielders got me out of it,” he said. “The bats got going. I knew we’d get it done.” Reggie Parris pitched the last two innings for the Mustangs and survived three walks and two singles. Bielat and Hahn each had two hits.Coach Porreco, in wondering how he could state it correctly and realistically, is convinced that “this team, depending on where we’re at (in the district seeding), will be much better than where we’re at.”

In other words, the Mustangs will get a lower seed, but it may not necessarily reflect their current level of play.  As for Thursday’s victory, it was an enjoyable outing. “It was lots of fun to play in,” the younger Porreco said.

MULLEN 11, GRANDVIEW 4

Mullen 000 052 4 – 11 9 3

Grandview 003 001 0 – 4 5 2

Mullen – J. Salvato ss 5-1-1-0, M. Salvato 2b 3-0-1-1, Porreco 1b 3-1-1-2, Barr 3b 4-1-1-0, Salas c 2-0-0-0, Karr cr 0-1-0-0, Lobo-Lucio rf 3-2-0-1, Haen dh 3-2-2-1, Stone cr 0-1-0-0, Elges 2b 4-1-1-1, Bielat cf 4-1-2-3, Burke p 0-0-0-0, Parris p 0-0-0-0. Totals 31-11-9-9.

Grandview – Vanzee 3b 3-1-1-1, Gipson lf 3-0-0-0, Hays c 3-1-2-2, Crader dh 4-0-0-0, Mandrell 1b 3-0-0-0, Armitage rf 2-0-1-0, Laflam cf 4-0-1-0, 3-0-1-0, Stang ph 1-0-0-0, Miller ss 3-0-0-0, Goldy ph 1-0-0-0, Smith 2b 1-2-0-0, Ederhoff p 0-0-0-0, Foegen p 0-0-0-0, Vigil p 0-0-0-0, Walker p 0-0-0-0.

E – J. Salvato, Burke 2, Miller 2. DP – Mullen, Grandview. LOB – Mullen 5, Grandview 11. SB – Hays, Smith 2. CS -- Mandrell. 2B -- Vanzee.

Batteries – Burke, Parris (6) and Salas; Ederhoff, Foegen (5), Vigil (6), Walker (7) and Hays. W -- Burke. L -- Ederhoff. HBP – Smith (by Burke), Armitage (by Burke), Porreco (by Vigil), Salas (by Vigil). PB – Salas 2. WP – Burke, Ederhoff, Foegen. Balk – Ederhoff. T – 2:58.

 

 

Lasallian Education Logo

© 2015 Mullen High School. All rights reserved.