Well-armed Chaffee baseball team advances to district final by beating Saxony Lutheran

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chaffee's offense has been held in check during the first two rounds of the Class 2 District 3 baseball tournament.

But the Red Devils' pitching has been lights out, which has them one win away from their second consecutive district title.

The second-seeded Red Devils notched their second straight tournament shutout, beating third-seeded host Saxony Lutheran 3-0 in Tuesday's semifinals.

Chaffee will face top-seeded Valle, the state's No. 1 ranked Class 2 squad, in today's 4 p.m. championship game.

"We've had good pitching all year," said freshman catcher Cody Payne, who also sees his share of mound duty and led Chaffee's offense with four hits.

Saxony Lutheran second baseman Spencer Sander takes the throw as Chaffee's Daniel Dooley steals the base during the fourth inning of their Class 2 District 3 semifinal game Tuesday at Saxony Lutheran. Chaffee won 3-0. (Fred Lynch)

The Red Devils (19-6) have needed all that pitching so far in the tournament, including Monday's 5-0 first-round win over Meadow Heights. They led just 2-0 after five innings.

"We feel very fortunate to have some very good pitching," Chaffee coach Brian Horrell said.

Junior left-hander Alex Davie notched the victory Tuesday, working the first five innings. He gave up two hits, struck out three and walked three.

Andrew Dooley, among only three Chaffee seniors, finished up and earned a save. He allowed one baserunner, on a single, while striking out three over the final two innings.

"Alex threw tremendous, but he got his pitch count over 100 and we felt that was enough," Horrell said. "Andrew came in and did a very good job."

Chaffee left fielder Andrew Terhune hauls in a Saxony Lutheran fly ball during the third inning of the Class 2 District 3 semifinal game Tuesday at Saxony Lutheran.

The work of Davie and Dooley was necessary for Chaffee to beat the Crusaders (14-7) for the third time this season.

"Playing Saxony three times is not easy," Horrell said. "We knew they'd be a good ballclub."

Chaffee scored runs in the third, fourth and six innings to hold off the Crusaders.

"It's tough to lose, but I was real proud of the guys," Saxony coach Paul Sander said. "Chaffee is a good ballclub."

The Red Devils used three consecutive one-out hits in the bottom of the third inning to break a scoreless tie.

Chaffee starter Alex Davie pitches to a Saxony Lutheran batter during the second inning of the Class 2 District 3 semifinal game Tuesday at Saxony Lutheran. (Fred Lynch)

Payne singled, went to second on sophomore shortstop Jared Walker's single and came in on junior DH Trevor Cannon's single.

Chaffee made it 2-0 with an unearned run in the fourth inning.

Junior center fielder Daniel Dooley struck out for what would have been the third out but reached first on a passed ball. He stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Payne's single.

The Red Devils again scored with two outs in the sixth inning. Junior second baseman Alex Crowe led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Andrew Dooley and came home on senior third baseman Jason Cicardi's single.

"We did a good job scratching out runs," Horrell said. "Any time you get opportunities you need to cash in."

Payne, Chaffee's leadoff batter, went 4 for 4 to spark the Red Devils' 10-hit attack.

"It feels good, especially in district play," Payne said.

Horrell said Payne has given Chaffee a big lift as a freshman.

"We felt we were going to throw him in the fire this year," Horrell said. "We had faith in him coming into the season. He's done what we thought he could and more."

Crowe and Walker both added two hits for Chaffee.

Junior left-hander Jon Winkler kept Saxony in the game. He struck out three and walked one in six innings.

"I threw as good as I could," Winkler said.

That was plenty good enough for Sander.

"Hats off to Jon Winkler. I thought he threw outstanding," Sander said. "A key hit here or there and you turn the game in a different direction."

Senior second baseman Spencer Sander had two hits for the Crusaders.

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WP -- Alex Davis. LP -- Jon Winkler. Multiple hits -- Chaffee: Cody Payne 4-4, Alex Crowe 2-3, Jared Walker 2-4. Records -- Saxony Lutheran 14-7, Chaffee 19-6.

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