Last year, when Mesa Ridge chalked up 12 overall victories and finished second place in the 4A Colorado Springs Metro League regular season, it didn’t mean anything other than a moral victory.
Especially when the Grizzlies lost to Widefield in the second round of the 4A CSML baseball tournament. That defeat, against a team they had beaten during the regular season, essentially cost them a spot in the playoffs because the league tournament was valued more than the regular season.
Partially because of that, the CSML restructured its thinking to put more weight on regular season play. Now, the Grizzlies, who wrapped up the league title on Friday with a win over Coronado, are already guaranteed a playoff spot when districts open next month.
The league tournament, which starts at the end of next week, will just be a chance for the teams to get in a few more games before 4A postseason rolls around.
The top three teams in the 4A CSML qualify for district play.
The Grizzlies could have the pieces in place to make a decent postseason run.
“We can make it deep in playoffs if we hit like we can,” said ace Jake Grotelueschen, who threw a complete game and struck out 10 in the win over Coronado on Friday. “And if our pitchers throw strikes, get out of the inning fast, our bats will handle it.”