The South Park baseball season may have had a slow start, but the Burro team has battled back in its latest stretch of games and now stands at 3-7 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
Having advanced on its record, South Park has vaulted to a number 4 ranking in the class 2A District 1 baseball standings seeded above the Del Norte Tigers (1-8, 0-3) and the Cripple Creek-Victor Pioneers (0-10, 0-6).
The team’s full might was put on display in a doubleheader sweep of the Pioneers April 14. Taking the first game in three innings (3-0, 15-0, 4-0), the Burros dominated the Pioneers 22-0.
While the Pioneers struggled to gain footing, the Burros highlighted with a team total of 15 hits (six doubles, one triple; and two home runs), 18 runners batted in (RBI) and 12 stolen bases.
Strong at the plate, TJ Peter led his team by hitting his first homerun of the season and finished with a team-high of six RBIs. In addition, the junior recorded a double and scored four runs, while also racking up nine put-outs from the field. With 10 games under his belt this season, Peter has already racked up 17 hits, 20 RBIs and 15 runs.
The slugger was not alone at bat, as teammate Collin Moore tallied his first homerun of the season and also urged forward with a double. In three hits, the junior was able to bat in three runners and added two stolen bases.
From the mound, freshman Michael Wishowski earned his second win of the season by striking out nine of the 10 batters faced with only one hit against him in 45 pitches.
On a high and ready for more, the Burros showed little mercy in the second game for a 19-3 (3-1, 5-0, 11-2) victory.
As with the first game, the Burros were able to capture an early lead and maintain a powerful hold with 19 hits (three doubles, two triples and one homerun), 16 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.
For the second game in a row, Peter stepped up to deliver a home run and added four RBIs to the charts. Batting continued with high-end success rates as sophomore Aron Susic swung in three RBIs and two doubles in three hits and junior Daigen Springer racked up a triple-play and three RBIs.
At the forefront, freshman Bobby Wallace earned his first win on the season by striking out five of the 14 batters faced. Having only pitched his third game of his high school career, the rookie threw for 53 pitches with only two hits and three runs against him.
Even as the Pioneers attempted to make something happen on their end, the fielding efforts of the Burros were too strong to overcome. In a team total of nine put-outs, Susic stepped up to own four and Springer followed with two in three innings. In addition, the team effort escalated as Wallace and Susic each registered an assist.
The first stop on the Burro schedule found them taking a 12-3 first-game loss to the Cotopaxi Pirates in an away non-conference game March 16. The second game in the doubleheader saw the Burros scoring two runs, but suffering 10 from the Pirates.
Moving down the list, the Burros faced the Antonito Trojans in an away non-conference doubleheader March 23. The first seven innings saw the Burros overpowering their hosting opponents and taking a season-first victory by a count of 10-5, but the Trojans shot back in the second game to turn in 12 runs, compared to the Burros three.
Taking on their first conference game, the Burros suffered back-to-back losses to the Center Vikings March 31 by a margin of 25-0 in the first game, but upped the stakes and charged their opponent with a tight 11-10 loss.
Finally, in their most recent encounter prior to facing the Pioneers, the Burros took a 24-3 first-game loss to the Sanford Indians April 7. The Burros then sought comfort and closed the gap to a 15-4 loss in the second faceoff.
Although the Burros lost seven players from last year’s team, the 2018 roster consists of an equal number of participants 14 team members. In the face of reconstruction under new head coach Bill Wishowski, South Park will move forward with seven returning athletes.
Ranging from all levels, the team is led by lone senior Austin Shifflett. The 2018 graduate has contributed to the overall effort with an up-to-date status of one hit and two RBIs.
At its strongest point, the Burros hold the advantage with a junior class of five, consisting of Collin Moore, TJ Peter, Joey Anderson, Daigen Springer and Austyn Patrick.
The squad has 31 hits, 35 RBIs and 36 runs. Returning experience finds a sophomore class of Aron Susic, Scarlett Caniglia, Brink Simpson,and Jacob Robineau.
The quad has presently given the team 11 hits, seven RBIs and 11 runs. Finally the Burro team has welcomed four freshmen to the bunch. Holding a solid foundation, the greenhorns have stepped up and proved themselves as they delivered 26 hits, 12 RBIs and 29 runs in 10 games.
Burro baseball will now look to the Sargent Farmers for their next conference doubleheader contest April 28. The number 1-ranked Farmers will take to the field holding a 13-2 overall and a 7-0 conference record after their most recent win over the Sanford Indians by a count of 18-7 in the first game and 19-3 in the second.