WESTMINSTER - This season has been a learning experience for the young Horizon baseball team, but on Monday the Hawks took a step in growth.
Horizon scored four consecutive runs to rally to a 4-3 win over rival Mountain Range to snap a two-game losing streak.
“They wanted this win really bad, it’s a good feeling for them to have,” Hawks’ coach Ralph Garcia said.
Garcia’s squad may be one of the younger teams in the Front Range League, with only two seniors and nine underclassmen. However, the Hawks have shown tremendous growth this season. After Monday’s victory Horizon (5-9 overall, 3-4 FRL) have already matched last season’s league wins.
“Last year we had a senior-dominated pitching staff,” Garcia said. “This year, we only have two seniors that are doing a great job. But we are young and they absorbing everything and lessons they learn right now can help them next year.”
The Hawks found them down early, as Mountain Range got on the board in the second inning after Andrew Taylor hit an RBI single.
The Mustangs added two more runs in the fourth after Jacob Walker and Aaron Griffith each hit RBI singles to push Mountain Range’s lead to 3-0.
The relentless Hawks answered in the fifth. Ayden Karraker hit an RBI single down the first base line to score Taylor Smith.
And in the sixth, JT Kretzel scored on Austin Gussman’s single to give Horizon the advantage.
Karraker and Dominik Castiglione also scored for the Hawks.
Mountain Range tried to answer; Walker led off the sixth with a double but was tagged out at the plate.
Andrew Wamsley had a double in the seventh, but was stranded at third after Horizon’s pitcher Tanner Heller got a strike out to seal the win.
Walker finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.
Noah Draper was dealt the loss for Mountain Range, but had seven strike outs and allowed only two earned runs on five hits.
The Mustangs have now dropped five in a row, and are 3-11 overall and 1-5 in the FRL.
The Hawks rebounded from tough losses to Greeley West (13-1) and Chatfield (11-2), but they weren’t about to lose to their rivals.
“I think every time you play your crosstown rival it’s big,” Hawks’ coach Ralph Garcia said. “Legacy and Mountain Range are the only crosstown rivals in our league and the kids get super amped to play them.”