Local briefs

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By Dan Johnson


Cougars fall in opening round

Evergreen’s baseball season went beyond May 3, although it wasn’t because of victory.

The Cougars’ Class 4A District 1 game was moved to May 4 as the field at host Cherokee Trail was not in good enough shape to play.

The extra day didn’t add to the drama in the end as the 17th-seeded Cougars were ousted by No. 16 Palisade 7-2.

Evergreen, which finished fourth in the Jefferson County League, ended its season 14-5, despite beginning the season 10-0.

Palisade, which finished second in the Western Slope League, was defeated 13-0 in the district championship match by the defending champions Cherokee Trail, which earned a berth in the eight-team, double-elimination state tournament.

Cherokee Trail (19-2) will play Conifer (14-7) in the opening game of the state tournament after the neighboring Lobos won the District 8 final over 2007 semifinalists Greeley West.

-Brian Forbes, Staff Writer

Evergreen Grizzlies win Golden Invitational Tournament

The Evergreen Grizzlies won its division championship on May 3 in the Golden Invitational baseball tournament, beating the Thornton Rebels to qualify for this year’s Colorado state junior league baseball playoffs.

The Grizzlies, a AAA division 9-year-old team in the Jefferson County Junior Baseball league, beat the Rebels - an all-tournament team from Adams County - 12-11. The victory came in the bottom of the final inning.

“Our kids really played their hearts out,” said Glen Ness, co-coach of the Grizzlies. “It had to be one of the most exciting games I have ever been part of, a true come-from-behind thriller.”

Golden Invitational tournament director Mark Huff, president of the Golden Baseball Association, echoed the sentiment.

“This was one of the best games I’ve seen in our Golden Invitational tournament,” he told players during a post-championship awards ceremony at Tony Grampsas Memorial Park. “Great teams, great enthusiasm. This is really what baseball is all about.”

Grizzlies pitcher Vincent Finelli threw a no hitter against the Rebels as the Grizzlies posted a shutout 9-0 victory in a preliminary round of the tournament. Coach Dan Luzadder said Finelli was two walks away from a perfect game.

The Evergreen Grizzlies, who are a half-game out of first place in AAA league play, are sponsored by American Family Insurance of Evergreen and Capital First Lending of Golden.