Coal Ridge baseball knocked out of state tournament following bracket play

Taylor Cramer
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Coal Ridge High School sophomore Ben Simons attempts to tag out an opposing player during the Titans matchup against Montezuma-Cortez on Friday.
Clarissa Roberts/Courtesy photo

Following a 25-0 season that saw the Coal Ridge High baseball team earn the No. 4 seed in the Class 3A state playoffs, the team dropped two of three games during the course of the weekend to conclude its season.

In a matchup against No. 5 Montezuma-Cortez on Friday, the Titans tallied their first loss of the season following an 11-2 defeat. Watching the game slip away early, Montezuma-Cortez scored eight runs in the first three innings to maintain a lead that Coal Ridge didn’t recover from. 

Sophomore Ben Simons led Coal Ridge during Friday’s bout with two hits in three at bats.

Following a number of lightning delays throughout the course of the weekend, the Titans returned to the field Saturday in the tournament’s consolation bracket with another chance to keep their title hopes alive. In a matchup against No. 25-ranked Peak to Peak, Coal Ridge was able to re-spark the winning flame that saw them outscore opponents 313-59 during the course of their undefeated regular season.

Raking in eight runs in the first inning, senior Brandon Short and junior Logan Simpson led the titans with two hits each. Junior Alexis Serna found home plate twice during the matchup as the Titans advanced to the second round of consolation play following a 14-4 victory.

With play originally slated for Saturday afternoon but postponed till Sunday morning due to weather conditions, the Titans looked to keep the momentum in a win-or-go-home matchup against University.

Only tallying two hits throughout the course of the game, University’s pitching was too much for the Titans, who collected their second loss in three days in what ended in a 10-0 loss for Coal Ridge. 

University scored seven runs in the first three innings and never looked back, eliminating Coal Ridge from contention and putting an end to the school’s impressive season.

Finishing with a 26-2 record and only graduating senior Brandon Short, the Otero Junior College pledge knows what the team is capable of doing come next season.

“We’re a young team that was able to walk away with a lot of positives this year,” Short said. “We weren’t able to reach our end goal this year, but I know these guys are going to continue to grow and improve and they will be a dangerous team next season.”

With Serna, Simpson and Cameron Austin slated for their senior years, Coal Ridge will also be returning nine players who contributed as underclassmen this season as the team will look to make their third tournament appearance in three years.