The baseball team at Cedaredge High School got the new season started out the right way and swept Rangely in a doubleheader last Saturday.
The Bruins cruised behind the pitching of Jacob Lewis and beat the Indians 15-1 in the first game, then came from behind and defeated the visitors 21-11 in the second contest.
"The kids showed a lot of resiliency today, which is a big thing," Bruins coach C.J. Cannell said. "That's something we've been talking about, that no matter what the score is, it's all about the approach and it's one at bat at a time. These kids really bought into that and now they've seen what happens when we all believe in one singular thing."
Cedaredge dominated the first game from start to finish, led by Lewis. The big Bruins right-hander had no problem with the Indians lineup.
"Jacob Lewis was lights out from the start. He was ready to go and he took the ball and kind of said, this is my game," Cannell said. "He did a really great job for us. At the plate, the kids just kept at it. The kids fought really hard today; you can't ask any more than that."
The second game featured a rough start for the home team. Bruins left-hander Chris Lindley started slow, issuing three walks in the frame. Catcher interference put another Indian on the bases. While Rangely only got two hits, both singles, they scored three unearned runs and led 5-0.
Cedaredge came right back in the bottom of the first. Four Bruins walked in the inning and Rangely allowed two unearned runs, both on passed balls, as Cedaredge trailed 5-3 after one.
Lindley settled down and got three ground ball outs in the top of the second, then Chase Meyers belted an RBI double and later stole home as the Bruins tied the game 5-5 after two.
After a scoreless third inning, Rangely struck for five more runs in the top of the fourth. Kiki Ruiz highlighted the outburst with his two-run homer that chased Lindley and brought on Brayden Blair to pitch for Cedaredge.
"Chris kind of struggled a little bit early for us, but you know he's an upperclassman for us and he kind of shook it off and then got back in the zone a little bit," Cannell said. "He got some tough breaks that were not his fault, and that kind of made us go to Brayden."
The Indians led 10-5, but it was all Cedaredge after that. Colton Hoerr smashed the big blow with his grand slam in the bottom of the fourth, part of an 11-run frame for the Bruins.
"I was having a pretty rough day at the plate," Hoerr said. "That was not expected."
The sophomore catcher said the younger Bruins get a lot of help from their teammates.
"The upperclassmen lead this team," Hoerr said. "Everyone looks up to them. This was a real good start for us. One of our goals is to have a winning record this year. I think we're going to do well this season."
Blair pitched well with the lead, allowing only one more Rangely run in the top of the fifth.
"Brayden did what we expected him to do, which was throw strikes and give us a chance to win," Cannell said. "Both of our pitchers combined gave us a great opportunity to win that second game."
All of the Bruins got chances to run the bases as four different Rangely pitchers issued a combined 14 walks in the contest, and Cedaredge prevailed 21-11 in five innings.
"We only graduated two seniors from last year. We're still young, we have a lot of juniors and sophomores on the team," Cannell said. "The thing about these guys is they buy into what we're doing. They all believe in the team philosophy and they're all about the team. There isn't a selfish guy.
"As far as the season, I think we're going to be competitive, especially in our league," he added. "We've got a good schedule, I think, and so we couldn't ask for better pieces of the puzzle to put a run on this thing."