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Holly Wildcats Are District 4 Champions: Will Host Regional Tournament on Saturday

By Betsy Barnett

May 10, 2023

The Holly Wildcats’ Baseball program continues to standout in the 1A ranks as they won their third straight District 4 crown on Saturday getting the victory over an athletic and feisty Cheyenne Wells group, 10-7. In 2021 the Wildcats went on to win the state championship and in 2022 they lost that game in extra innings. That loss has the Wildcats hungry to get back to Denver to finish what they started last year.

The District 4 Tournament in Las Animas on Saturday saw four good teams come together in the semifinals and finals. The top-seeded Holly Wildcats (18-4) took care of business in the semifinals over Stratton (11-9) in a good warmup, 9-3.

The other semifinals game in Las Animas on Saturday pitted #2 Wiley (14-6) against #3 Cheyenne Wells (13-7). Post season play is a tricky thing and on this day Wiley, who had swept Cheyenne Wells in the regular season on April 21 in scores of 1-0 and 10-6, did not show up on Saturday allowing the Tigers to gain the advantage, 9-2.

That key win by the Tigers not only got them in the District Finals against Holly, but for the upcoming Regional Tournament it gave them a decent seed. In the finals on Saturday in Las Animas Holly finished the game strong scoring 2 and 4 runs in the bottom of the final two innings to secure the win.

In the District 4 semifinals against Wiley, the Tigers got their offense started in the second inning when Jonathan Reyna’s sac fly scored Bryson Hyle who pulled a walk to start the inning.

The Tigers then tallied four runs in the seventh inning. Paul Mitchek, Keaton Marriott, and Reyna powered the inning with RBIs.

Tiger senior Ty Scheler led things off on the pitcher’s mound as the right-hander surrendered just two runs on seven hits working through six innings, striking out nine.

Wiley ace Case Nelson got the nod for the Panthers. He would work through six innings giving up one earned run on two hits, striking out six. Senior righty Jace Parker threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.

Wiley would out-hit the Tigers 8 to 6 but committed 5 costly errors in the loss.

For the Tigers it was Reyna, Carson Noe, Alex Mitchek, Marriott, Bryson Hyle, and Blake Gilmore each managing one hit in the game.

Wiley’s Spencer Uhland went 3-for-4 at the plate pounding out all singles. Evan Larrick was 2-for-4 with an RBI double. Jace Parker added another RBI for Wiley. Shaine Winder added a triple.

In the District 4 championship game the base paths were crowded as both Holly and Cheyenne Wells produced strong offense in the high-scoring game. Holly would eventually come out on top, 10-7.

In the first inning, the Tigers got their offense rolling when Ty Scheler hit into a fielder’s choice that scored Bryson States, the lead-off batter had pulled a walk to begin the game.

Holly pulled away for good scoring three runs in the third inning. In that stanza Devin Eaton singled on the first pitch, scoring one run. Truman King then followed with another single, bringing two runs in.

The Tigers didn’t go down without a fight, however, as they would score four runs in the seventh inning. Alex Mitchek and Ty Scheler each walked to start the inning. With one out Hyle was hit by the pitch loading up the bases. Brennan Framel then pulled a walk bringing in Mitchek. Reyna walked as well scoring Scheler. Carson Noe’s sac fly scored Hyle.

Holly had a big inning in the sixth inning when they put four across. A single by Truman King and an error on a ball put in by Poncho Saeaz opened up the flood gates.

King got the start for Holly on the mound and went two innings allowing two runs and one hit and striking out four. It was a pitching by committee game as three more Wildcats appeared on the bump for Holly including Roque Torres (.2 innings), Julian Terrazas (2.1 innings), and Devin Eaton (2.0 innings) who closed the door on the Tigers.

For the Tigers it would be Alex Mitchek on the hill. The right-handed senior surrendered four runs on six hits over four innings, striking out one and walking one. Hyle came in relief for two innings out of the bullpen.

Alex Mitchek led Cheyenne Wells with three hits in three at-bats. The Tigers had 4 total hits.

King went 3-for-4 at the plate for Holly. The Wildcats scattered 7 hits around the field.

Five teams out of District 4 have qualified for the Regional/State bracket due to their RPI ranking. They include Holly, who will host a region, Cheyenne Wells, Wiley, Stratton, and McClave. Below is the schedule for the state tournament that begins Saturday, May 13th and will finish on Thursday, May 18.

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