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 (11-3, 9-0 4A PPAC) vs. Palmer Ridge (10-4, 8-2)
Where: Palmer Ridge High School
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Player to watch: Palmer Ridge’s Kurt Larson
Outlook: Palmer Ridge ace Kurt Larson (2.57 ERA) has been more than steadfast on the mound for Palmer Ridge this season. And on Saturday, he couldn’t have pitched much better, giving up just two runs and striking out 10 L-P batters in six innings of work. His offense gave him little help, however, and the Bears still lost to the Rangers in 2-1 fashion at Lewis-Palmer High School. Now, with the league title starting to slip away, Larson and the Bears will have to quash L-P on Tuesday, as well as get some help down the stretch from other league rivals, to win the PPAC. … Paul Tillotson is hitting .595 this season and has a 2.56 ERA for the Rangers, who have won eight in a row and don’t appear to be slowing down for the postseason. Tom McCabe’s bunch has outscored league opponents 84-19. The Rangers skipper told the Gazette’s Justin Shaw that the pressure is all on Palmer Ridge now. … “They have to beat us on Tuesday,” McCabe said. “It was big for us to win at home. Now when we go to Palmer Ridge I’ll stress to the boys to be nice and loose and try to execute our game plan.”
Girls’ golf: Lewis-Palmer vs. Palmer Ridge
Where: Country Club of Colorado
When: Monday, 8 a.m.
Player to watch: Cheyenne Mountain’s Kylee Sullivan and Air Academy’s Kelsey McKenna
Outlook: This could end up being one of the area’s best girls’ golf rivalries in recent memory — Sullivan, a junior, against sophomore sensation McKenna. On Saturday, Sullivan said she is starting to regain confidence in her swing after a high-ankle sprain and a recent bout of mononucleosis made for inconsistent recipe to start the year. “I’m feeling better now,” she repeated. And she’s not kidding. Last week, the Indians junior won her first tournament of the season at the Cougar Classic on Tuesday and then took third in a talent-crammed Lady Kadet Invitational on Saturday. … McKenna, meanwhile, has been nothing short of spectacular throughout the season. Behind her homecoming smile, the Kadets sophomore has come off a 16th-place finish at state a year ago with unrelenting determination this season (already winning two invites in four tries). Without hesitation, she said she hopes to win a state title … eventually. She said: “I want top 10 or a top-five finish this year.” … The 4A state tournament will also be at the Country Club of Colorado.
Girls’ soccer: TCA (5-6 overall, 4-0 3A Region 2) vs. ECA (11-0, 4-0)
Where: El Pomar Field
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m.
Player to watch: ECA’s Kaitlyn Bevel
Outlook: By the looks of it, TCA’s season was revitalized by a 3-1 win over rival Manitou Springs and a 10-0 throttling over CSCS last week. If that’s enough to beat undefeated ECA, however, remains to be seen. The Eagles have given up only seven goals in 10 games this season, while scoring nearly five per game themselves. Kaitlyn Bevel’s 15 goals and 10 assists have helped lead the way to ECA’s unblemished start to the year. … TCA freshman Hannah Burgo scored a pair of goals in the wins against Manitou Springs and CSCS. She now has a team-high 14 goals on the season for the Titans, who beat ECA 8-0 last year.
Baseball: TCA (11-2, 7-0) vs. Manitou Springs (6-5, 4-2)
Where: Manitou Springs High School
When: Saturday, 10 a.m. and noon.
Player to watch: TCA’s Peter Troupe
Outlook: Manitou Springs is a different team at home (4-1) than on the road (2-4). It’ll hope that comes to play when it faces league-rival TCA for what could end up being the league title on Saturday. The Mustangs are led by Travis Struble, who has two wins on the mound and is hitting .382 with 12 RBIs this season. … TCA has been the better team between the two so far, as it’s obvious now that TCA’s Peter Troupe and Kyle Jacobs are not only highlight-reel football players. Troupe is hitting .625 with 13 RBIs and 22 runs, and Jacobs is hitting for 15 RBIs and 12 runs. On the mound for TCA, Matt King has a 1.88 ERA in 22 1/3 innings this season. … TCA and Manitou Springs have combined to hit just one home run this season. Titans senior McKinnon Walker belted it earlier in the month in a 10-6 win against CSCS.
Girls’ lacrosse: Rampart (8-3 overall, 3-0 Southern League) vs. Air Academy (8-1, 4-0)
Where: Air Academy High School
When: Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.
Player to watch: Rampart’s Kelli Warmouth
Outlook: Rampart Kelli Warmouth remembers when she gave up the golf driver for a lacrosse stick three years ago. Its been good and has led to one of the area’s best girls’ lacrosse careers since. On Wednesday, however, Warmouth will try to accomplish something that has always slipped past her – a win against Air Academy. “I’m tired of getting beaten by a whole lot when we play them,” she said. … Led by MacEllen McDonough’s 25 goals and 10 assists the Kadets have won their past three games by double-digit margins. Rampart, meanwhile, has dropped its last two, including a 12-11 overtime loss to Dakota Ridge on Saturday. Read more about the game at Gazettepreps.com.
Brent W. New, The Gazette
Twitter: @brentwnew @gazettepreps