Terry Hensley has been coaching baseball a long time.
Twenty-seven years, in fact.
Safe to say, he’s seen a lot of games. Some good, some bad.
Evergreen’s game against Castle View on March 19 at Coors Field has vaulted close to the top of his favorites list.
In that game, the Cougars were down 3-0 in the sixth inning but rallied to win 4-3 on a sun-soaked March afternoon.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the high school level or college level. The way we won it, scoring four runs in the last two innings, it was one of the most exciting games in my 27 years.”
The Cougars have built a nice little March tradition of playing games at Coors Field. The game against Castle View marked the fifth straight year Evergreen has played a game on a major league field.
It’s clear the games played on that field hold special meaning for not only the players and coaches, but fans in attendance as well. During the Cougars’ March 23 game against rival Conifer, fans were heard discussing Tim Wulf’s home run over the center field fence at Coors Field a few years back.
“It makes everybody feel like they are a big leaguer for one day, and I extend that to the coaching staff,” Hensley said. “When you look up in the stands and get a feeling that people get to play this great game for money and get to play in facilities like that, it’s something I hope we continue to do for as many years as I’m here.”
The dramatic victory at Coors Field had a nice carryover into the March 23 showdown with rival Conifer.
While the Lobos are young at many positions, the game still means a lot to both communities.
Evergreen was punished for its slow start when Conifer hung three runs on the board in the top of the second inning. That got the Cougars’ attention and before long, they seized control and Ethan Murphy’s walk-off two-run home run in the fifth ended the Class 4A Jefferson County League contest 15-4.
Evergreen now prepares for its annual Spring Break trip to Arizona. Hensley, who’s been at Evergreen for seven years, is getting a good feeling about his veteran squad.
“I’m really happy with where we’re at right now,” Hensley said. “We’re hitting the ball well and getting good pitching. With the confidence we’re playing with, it doesn’t matter if we fall behind because we feel like we can come back.”
When the dust settles on this baseball season, the Cougars could very well look back on that March 19 afternoon at Coors Field and view it as a turning point in their season.
Coors Field may be the place where no star major league pitchers wants to play, but for the Cougars, it’s clearly become a field of dreams.
Dan Johnson is the sports editor for Evergreen Newspapers. Contact him at 303-933-2233, ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org