Every week, The Gazette staff will choose the five most intriguing events to keep an eye on. Here’s a glance at this week’s events.
Game of the Week
Baseball: Lewis-Palmer (8-3, 6-0 4A PPAC) vs. Palmer Ridge (8-3, 6-1)
Where: Palmer Ridge High School
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.
Player to watch: Lewis-Palmer’s Paul Tillotson
Outlook: Want ridiculous? Lewis-Palmer sophomore Paul Tillotson is 23 for 33 at the plate this season. In 10 games he has 13 RBIs, seven doubles and three home runs. Strangely enough, however, he’s only been walked four times all year. … Pitching, meanwhile, has been just as impressive for the Rangers, who still haven’t lost inside of the state borders in 2014. Junior-righty Colin Cicere (4-0) leads the staff with a 0.88 ERA to go along with 35 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched. … Palmer Ridge swept a two-game series over Vista Ridge after suffering its first league loss to Falcon a week ago. Jake Grubesic pitched four shutout innings and hit two triples in the series win. Carter Thorne, meanwhile, is hitting .472 with 14 RBIs and 14 runs scored. He’s on an eight-game hitting streak.
Girls’ soccer: Manitou Springs (6-2, 2-0 3A Region 2) vs. The Classical Academy (3-6, 2-0)
Where: The Classical Academy North Field
When: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Player to watch: Manitou Springs forward Kaity Vogel
Outlook: While the Manitou Springs Mustangs haven’t been the same team on the road (2-2) as they have been at home (4-0), they should bring a lot of confidence with them against host TCA. First of all, the Mustangs haven’t given up a goal since mid-March and have outscored their opponents 15-0 in the four games since. Secondly, junior Kaity Vogel has been one of the best players in 3A with 11 goals and eight assists on the year. … The Titans, on the other hand, have struggled — but, they are 2-0 at home. Freshman Hannah Burgo has eight of the Titans’ 23 goals this season, while no other player has more than two. … TCA beat Manitou Springs 1-0 in each of the last two seasons.
Baseball: Pine Creek (7-4 overall, 2-1 5A Metro League) vs. Doherty (4-7, 1-1)
Where: Pine Creek High School and Doherty High School
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m. at Pine Creek; Thursday, 4:30 at Doherty
Player to watch: Pine Creek’s Conner Deeds
Outlook: The Pine Creek Eagles are 6-1 inside Colorado’s borders. Their only in-state loss came in a 4-3 loss to Fountain-Fort Carson in the first game of the season. Since, the Eagles are 6-0 here, and 3-0 in one-run games. … Meanwhile, more questions than answers follow Doherty, which is coming off a split against Liberty last week. The Spartans rallied for five runs in the seventh inning to beat the Lancers 6-5 on the road Thursday before they were blanked at home 2-0 on Saturday. This has been the trend for them. The Spartans have scored 56 runs in 11 games, but have been held to two or fewer runs in five of them. … Pine Creek’s Conner Deeds has been exceptional out of the Eagles’ pen. The junior righty has a 2.26 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings.
Track and Field: Ray Campbell Invitational
Where: Fountain-Fort Carson High School
When: Saturday, 9 a.m.
Player to watch: Fountain-Fort Carson’s Jai’shawn Thompson
Outlook: Fountain-Fort Carson has dominated the sprints events – and that’s been without its fastest guy. Jai’shawn Thompson, who was the 5A state champion in the boys’ 200 last year, should return to full-strength Saturday after a nagging leg injury has kept him “cautious” and out through most of the first month of the season. “I’m just being careful so I don’t aggravate it,” he said at the Palmer Terror Invite. On the girls’ side of the team, Rajon O’Quinn is looking for a state title in high jump after finishing second in 5A last year. Other teams attending include Canon City, Cherokee Trial, CSCS, Doherty, Fountain Valley, Hinkley, James Irwin, Pueblo County, Sand Creek, Sierra and Woodland Park.
Baseball: Coronado (4-6 overall, 3-0 4A Metro) vs. Mesa Ridge (10-3, 3-0)
Where: Mesa Ridge High School
When: Friday, 4 p.m.
Player to watch: Coronado’s Carter Gerber
Outlook: First-year coach Ryan Sheets didn’t press the panic button after Coronado started the season 1-6, and it seems to be paying off. The returning 4A Metro champions have won their first three league games of the season by a 35-12 scoring margin. … Carter Gerber has eight of his 13 RBIs on the Cougars’ three-game winning streak. … Still, Mesa Ridge looks like the deepest and most well-rounded team in the league. The Grizzlies have outscored their league opponents 41-6 through three games and have scored 10-plus runs in six of their games this year. Friday should go a long way to deciding the league winner.
Brent W. New, The Gazette
Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps