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Evergreen puts on a hitting clinic

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The Cougars push across nine early runs, rolls past Conifer

By Michael Hicks

The Evergreen Cougars put on a hitting clinic May 4 against rival Conifer. And every time the Lobos answered, Evergreen answered right back.
The home-standing Cougars scored four runs or more in four consecutive innings, capping the game with a Joe Danni game-ending RBI single in the fifth inning for a 17-7 win. And it’s wasn’t just one individual — it was a collective effort for the Cougars, as all nine guys contributed in some form or another.
Jake Englehart, Josh Bellatti and Lute Moss each had three hits. In all, Evergreen finished with 18 hits.
“The whole team’s hitting has just really picked up,” said Englehart, who scored four of Evergreen’s runs. Sean Imes and Moss each scored three times.
Against Conifer it took an inning to get warmed up. But once Evergreen did, there was no cooling off. The Cougars (13-5, 9-4 4A Jeffco League), who later in the day defeated Alameda 6-1, scored five runs in the second — three on a Moss bases-clearing double — and four runs in the next three innings to end the game in five innings courtesy of the 10-run mercy rule. Overall, the Cougars have scored 35 runs in two victories over Conifer this season. Evergreen beat Conifer 18-3 at Lakewood’s All-Star Park on April 25.
“The first inning when we didn’t score any, it was kind of a wake-up call,” Englehart said.
Conifer retired the side in the first despite allowing a leadoff single to EHS’ Daniel Gibbins. He was picked off moments later.
“I think they came out a little more pumped up than we did, but I think we came out in the second inning and showed what we could do,” Moss said. “It really worked out for us for the rest of the game.”
The Cougars chased Conifer starter Clay Wagenhals after one-plus innings. He allowed five runs on four hits while walking two. Jack Drumright picked up the win for Evergreen after scattering six hits over four innings. He allowed three runs, walked one and struck out two.
Conifer, in spite of falling behind 9-0 going into the fourth inning, didn’t quit. The Lobos scored three times in the fourth — with two of those runs coming on an A.J. Jenks-Kline double — and another four in the fifth – two on a Greg DeRonde single. But they had no answer for Evergreen’s hitters. That said, those two run-producing innings provided some encouragement for Conifer (6-9-1, 5-7).
“If we keep the energy up, it’s not going to happen again,” Jenks-Kline said.
DeRonde, Taylor Vigil and Jeff Walsh finished with two hits each for the Lobos, who dropped a 16-5 decision to Green Mountain later in the afternoon.

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.