Yuma baseball excites at the end

Yuma High School’s baseball team, which spent most of the spring on the wrong end of the final score, came tantalizingly close to advancing to the Class 2A quarterfinals.
It was a fun run in Fowler for the regional round, with the 27th-seed upsetting the host Grizzlies 8-7 in the day’s first game, last Saturday. They then nearly advanced to Pueblo this weekend, but ended up losing 3-2 to 11th-seed Del Norte in the regional final.

It still was a heck of a way for the young squad, which had lost 13 straight games before winning its regular-season finale, to close out the season.
Del Norte will play third-seed Denver Christian in the quarterfinals, Friday in Pueblo.
Holyoke is the only Lower Platte team to reach the 2A quarterfinals. The fifth-seed Dragons bet Las Animas an Crowley County last weekend, and now will play fourth-seed Buena Vista on Friday. Wray and Wiggins joined Yuma in bowing out in the regional round.
In 1A, the Lower Platte’s Haxtun and Akron made the semifinals, with Haxtun beating the Rams, then knocking off Flatirons Academy for the 1A championship, last week at All-Star Park in Lakewood.
Yuma’s bats came alive a bit in the former Indians’ upset win over Fowler, rapping out eight hits, including three doubles and one home run.
Yuma struck first when Brody Sheffield scored on Silas Baucke’s double in the first inning. Fowler pushed across three runs in the third, and it appeared the Grizzlies were on their way to the win — considering how Yuma’s season had gone in 2023.
However, it was Yuma that started pounding away over the next three frames.
Baucke’s monster home run to left in the third pulled Yuma to within one. The former Tribe then took the lead in the fifth when Marvin Duarte scored on Sheffield’s single,and. Angel Escobar and Sheffield scored on Reyli Trejo’s double.
Yuma pushed across three more in the sixth Hugo Montes scored on a Fowler error, Duarte scored on Escobar’s single, and Escobar scored on Sheffield’s bloop double down the rightfield line.
Yuma threatened but could not score in the seventh, but still led 8-3 heading into the home half.
However, sure enough, the former Indians did not make it easy on themselves.
Fowler pushed across four runs off of just one hit, two walks and two errors. The tying run was on third when Sheffield got the third out on a strikeout, sending the Yuma team and crowd into jubilation.
Trejo put in a solid three innings on the hill, striking out four, walking three and allowing three runs on four hits. Montes came for a strong three innings, allowing one run on one hit, striking out three and walking three. He was pulled with one out in the seventh as Fowler began to rally. Sheffield stepped into a difficult situation, but was able to weather the storm with the gutty strikeout to end the game.
Baucke hit a homer and a double, had two RBI and one run, Trejo a double among his two hits, with two RBI, Sheffield two hits, including a double, with two RBI and two runs, Escobar one hit, one RBI and two runs, Carson Lynch two runs, Montes one run, Jonathan Thomson one hit, and Jake Hagemeier one hit.
Del Norte beat Rangely 7-3 in the other regional semifinal, setting up the regional final with Yuma later in the day.
Yuma again struck first as Sheffield reached on an erro and eventually scored on a bases loaded walk. Yuma took a 2-0 lead in the third when Baucke launched a dinger to straight-away center.
Del Norte struck back with two runs in the home half off of one hit. The Tigers then took a 2-0 lead in the fourth without even getting a hit.
Yuma had its chances over its last four at-bats, including having runners on second and third in both the fourth and fifth, and got a runner on in the seventh before the game ended in on a groundout.

Yuma had six hits compared to one for Del Norte, and the Tigers had more errors, but Yuma could not push across the necessary runs in a great effort to end the season.
Baucke had two hits with a homer, one RBI and one run, Trejo two hits, Duarte one hit, Sheffield one run, Escobar a double and Lynch one RBI.
Sheffield went three innings on the bump, allowing just one hit, striking out seven and walking three. Trejo went two innings, allowing one run, striking out two and walking two. Baucke, who had not pitched for nearly a month due to an injury, came on in the sixth, striking out the side, but Yuma could not get the game to the bottom of the seventh.
The Yuma baseball squad finished 2023 with a 6-19 record, but had an exciting ending. Jake Hagemeier was the only senior still playing regularly by the end of the season. Ethan Gonzales lost much of his senior season to an injury.