Hunt leads Ralston Valley baseball in race to 5A Jeffco title

Dennis Pleuss
Jeffco Public Schools
Posted 5/8/19

LITTLETON — Ralston Valley senior Calvin Hunt was a one-man wrecking crew on the baseball diamond May 2 at Dakota Ridge High School. Hunt pitched six innings, giving up just two runs on three hits. …

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Hunt leads Ralston Valley baseball in race to 5A Jeffco title

Posted

LITTLETON — Ralston Valley senior Calvin Hunt was a one-man wrecking crew on the baseball diamond May 2 at Dakota Ridge High School.

Hunt pitched six innings, giving up just two runs on three hits. He also helped himself out at the plate with a solo home run in the second inning and capped off Ralston Valley’s 8-2 win over Dakota Ridge with a two-run home run in the seventh inning.

“I could always hit for power, but I couldn’t hit it consistently,” said Hunt, who had just five plate appearances last season. “Lately I’ve been working on seeing it and putting a good swing on it. Otto Jones has really helped me out a lot with getting my hands through the baseball. Coach (Terry) Hensley is a great hitting coach. They have really progressed me to be a pretty good hitter.”

After an RBI single by senior Otto Jones scored senior AJ Jergensen to open up the scoring in the top of the first inning, Hunt went to work at the plate with a home run off Dakota Ridge ace pitcher Ryan Stohr in the second inning.

Hunt finished the game 2-for-2 from the plate with a hit-by-pitch and walk to go along with the two home runs.

Ralston Valley coach Brad Madden also liked what he saw from the mound from the Mustangs’ ace. Hunt improved his pitching record to 4-1 on the season and holds a 3.17 ERA.

“He (Hunt) did a great job,” Madden said. “He was around the zone all day and throwing both pitches for strikes. When he does that he is tough to beat.”

Dakota Ridge senior Zach Parker doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the third inning. The only other run came when Stohr walked and eventually scored on a passed ball.

“He (Hunt) did a great job with all of his pitches,” said Jones, the Mustangs’ catcher. “Then he swung the bat great too.”

Ralston Valley’s offense really got it going in the fourth inning putting up four runs. Seniors Jude Martinez, Jones and Trey Adams all drove in runs to give Hunt a five-run cushion.

Martinez relieved Hunt on the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning after Hunt extended the lead to 8-2 with his two-run blast. After a leadoff single by Parker, Martinez got a fly out and line-drive back to the pitcher turned into a double-play to end the game.

“This was a good show of who they are,” Madden said. “We didn’t play our best yesterday. The Chatfield kid pitched a heck of a game. This was a good bounce back against a very good team and a very good pitcher.”

Ralston Valley suffered a 7-4 loss to the Chargers on May 1. Heading into May 2 games Chatfield, Columbine, Dakota Ridge and Ralston Valley were all tied atop the conference with 4-1 league records.

Columbine (9-9, 6-2 in 5A Jeffco) won its sixth straight game May 2 with a dominating 12-1 win over rival Chatfield. Ralston Valley (12-7, 6-1) held a one-game heading into the final week of the regular season.

“It’s just a sprint with only eight (league) games in a good league,” Madden said. “We just want to keep getting better. If we do that things will fall like they should.”

Conference play wraps up Tuesday, May 7, to determine the league champ and lone automatic bid to the 5A postseason. The eight league champions in 5A are protected and the remainder of the 32-team field is determined by RPI standings.

Ralston Valley finished league play with Columbine on Tuesday, May 7, at All Star Park, after deadline for this paper.

The 5A Jeffco League will have round-robin games Saturday, May 11, to fill out their regular-season schedule. The teams 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9 will play at the highest seed site on May 11 with each team getting in two games that will be non-league games.

“The most important games of the year are doubleheaders in the regionals and we don’t play doubleheaders all year long,” Madden said of the round-robin formate to close the regular season on May 11. “It will give everyone the feel of playing two games in one day and how to prepare your body. I’m excited for that chance.”

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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