Arvada West gets tough test against defending 5A baseball champs

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 3/26/19

ARVADA — Mountain Vista coach Ron Quintana wouldn’t mind getting in a few more practices sometime in the near future. “We haven’t really practiced,” Quintana said after the Golden Eagles …

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Arvada West gets tough test against defending 5A baseball champs

Posted

ARVADA — Mountain Vista coach Ron Quintana wouldn’t mind getting in a few more practices sometime in the near future.

“We haven’t really practiced,” Quintana said after the Golden Eagles took a 10-7 road victory over Arvada West on March 19. “Can we get better? Yes. We just need practice.”

Top-ranked and defending Class 5A baseball state champion Mountain Vista already has seven games under their belts. The Golden Eagles squeezed in a pair of wins over Chatfield and Arapahoe during the opening week of the spring season.

Last week while the ‘Bomb Cyclone’ pretty much postponed every high school baseball game in the state from Wednesday through the weekend, Mountain Vista (5-2 record) was able to get in four games at the Scott Borus Classic Tournament in Arizona.

“Getting out there and just playing really helps the team,” Mountain Vista senior Grant Magill said. “Our Arizona trip is really where I think we find out what kind of team we actually are.”

Against A-West (1-2) the Golden Eagles actually trailed 6-5 after three innings. However, a 3-run top of the fifth inning allowed Mountain Vista to regain the lead. Magill was a hitting machine reaching base on all five plate appearances and drove in four runs.

“He (Magill) is seeing the ball good,” said Quintana of his starting catcher that is hitting well over .700 on the season with double-digit hits and RBIs already this season. “I don’t want to talk too much because I don’t want to jinx it.”

Mountain Vista hit the ball through most of the line-up against the Wildcats. Senior John Zakhem had a trio of hits which included a pair of doubles. The Golden Eagles cranked out a season-high dozen hits in the win.

“In the past games we haven’t been as aggressive,” Magill said. “In this game we came out ready to swing. I think that was the difference.”

Junior Carter Johnson picked up the victory on the mound pitching a pair of scoreless inning in the fourth and fifth. Sophomore Evan Magill picked up the save getting the final three outs for Mountain Vista.

“That is what we expect from him,” Quintana said of the younger Magill. “He has the mentality to be a closer and he has good stuff.”

A-West was coming off a shutout victory last week against Green Mountain and showed signs of what is possible this season. Junior Braden Thomson reached base on all four plate appearances while driving in a pair of runs.

The Wildcats took advantage of a trio of Mountain Vista errors in the bottom of the third inning to plate four runs while batting around, but A-West ended with four errors itself.

“We had only played one (previous) game and we are trying to figure out where we are at. We didn’t play perfect,” A-West coach Matt McDougal said. “When you play a team like that you can’t make mistakes.”

McDougal used a handful of pitchers — Kyle Tolly, Jay Lambert, Cole Doebele and Noah McCandless — in the loss. McCandless took the loss after pitching three and 2/3 innings.

“We are working on some stuff,” McDougal said of using four different pitchers in the first four innings. “We’ve got to be in the zone more. Too many walks. Walks hurt us.”

A-West heads down to Arizona for spring break this week to get in some non-league games before returning to acton in Colorado to start the month of April.

Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist for Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go online at CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.

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