Tribe No. 11 in initial RPI
The weekly obsession begins for fans of Colorado high school baseball teams.
The first Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) for spring team sports were released this past Tuesday morning. In 2A baseball, the seven district champions will qualify for the 16-team regional, with the remaining nine determined by RPI.
Therefore, every game, league and non-league, is critical to a team’s postseason chances.
Yuma High School’s baseball team currently is 6-2 overall and in Lower Platte Activities Association play. The Indians are two games behind Sedgwick County, which is 6-0 in league play and swept the Indians two weeks ago
Yuma no doubt would like to get another shot at Sedgwick County in the District 2 Tournament in May, but realistically second place in the LPAA in the regular season probably is the best the Indians can do. Piling up wins will keep the Indians headed in that direction, and also strengthen their RPI in case they have to fall back on that after district.
Yuma’s debut in the 2A RPI was at No. 11. They will have plenty of opportunities to move up the ladder as they play some of the teams ahead of them — No. 2 Limon, No. 6 Haxtun and No. 7 Burlington. They already have played No. 4 Sedgwick County.
Wiggins, which the Indians swept last Saturday, is right behind them at No. 12, but the rest of the LPAA is way down the standings, with Holyoke at No. 27, Merino No. 31, Wray No. 32, and Akron at No. 37. Yuma already has played Merino and Wray.
The Indians are back in action Saturday when they host the Caliche Buffaloes for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. It is their only action this week.
Yuma improved to 6-2 with an 11-1, 11-1 sweep of previously-undefeated Wiggins, last Saturday in frigid conditions at the Yuma diamond. Sedgwick County swept Akron last Friday to stay in first at 6-0 in league play. Haxtun, which had been swept by Wiggins early last week, turned around and took two from Holyoke on Friday, improving to 4-2 in LPAA play. Holyoke also was swept by Caliche last week, dropping to 4-4 in the league. Wray and Caliche split a pair last Saturday, leaving Wray 1-5 in the LPAA. Merino and Akron enter this week winless.
Caliche drops to 1A for the postseason, but games against the Buffaloes still count in the league standings. The Buffs currently sit at 3-3 in league play.
Besides Yuma hosting Caliche on Saturday, other league games include Sedgwick Country traveling to Holyoke, Haxtun at Akron, and Merino at Wiggins.
An effort was made to try to move last Saturday’s Wiggins double dip to Friday afternoon, when there was little wind and the temperature was in the 60s. However, it did not work out, so the teams met Saturday, when the temperature was in the 30s and the “feels like” temperature in the 20s.
It worked all right for the Tribe as it cruised to the sweep. Both games were called after the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule, much to the appreciation of all the fans who braved the frigid conditions, as well as the players and coaches.
Saturday’s results carried on a tradition of Yuma playing well in cold conditions.
A rundown between third base and home prevented a Wiggins run from scoring in the first inning, and another Tigers out also came on a rundown between first and second, rendering one single and two walks meaningless for Wiggins.
A walk and a single led to one run for Yuma in the home half, as Gianni Trejo scored on Weathers’ single.
Wiggins’ Bryce Ford hit a lead-off homer in the second, followed by a walk.
However, Yuma pitcher Paul Brophy settled in after that, erasing the walk with another nasty pick-off move that erased that runner, then retired the next 11 batters to close out the game.
The lefty went the full five innings for the win, improving to 3-1 on the season. He allowed one run on two hits, striking out nine and walking three.
The Yuma bats came alive in the home half of the second. A single and a walk set up Trejo’s two-run triple to left, scoring Cayden Lynch and Chase McCreath. Trejo scored on an error at third, Manny Tena scored on Giovanni Rodriguez’s single to left, and Weathers scored on Brophy’s sacrifice fly to left.
Leading 6-1, Yuma plated two more runs in the third. Tena’s triple to right-center scored Trejo, who had singled, and Tena came home on Weathers’ double.
Conner McCoy, playing in his first game of the season, doubled in the fourth and scored on Lynch’s single. Two more runs came in the fifth as Trejo singled and scored on Weathers’ double, and Weathers came home with the game-ending run on an infield single by Wells.
Yuma rapped out 12 runs, including five for extra bases.
Weathers had two doubles while going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs. Trejo was 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and four runs, Lynch 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run, Tena hit a triple with one RBI and two runs, McCoy hit a double and scored a run, Rodriguez one hit and one RBI, Wells one hit and one RBI, Brophy one RBI, and McCreath one run.
The nightcap was much of the same as the Indians gradually built their lead, again scoring 11 runs on 12 hits. There were only two for extra bases, both doubles.
Trejo led off the home half of the first with a single, followed by Tena driving him in with a single. Yuma pushed across three more on three hits in the second. Wells scored on Lynch’s single, Lynch scored on Trejo’s single, and Trejo scored on Tena’s single.
Wiggins scored its only run in the top of the third.
However, Brophy doubled and scored on Wells’ single in the home half for a 5-1 lead.
The Indians then broke it open in fourth, scoring six runs on five hits. Tena, Rodriguez and Brophy each drove in a run with a single, and McCoy capped it with a bases-loaded double, scoring three runs.
Wiggins threatened to force Yuma to bat again as the Tigers got a runner to second in the top of the fifth. However, the runner was left stranded as a flyout to shallow center ended the game.
Yuma enjoyed another strong pitching performance, this time by Trejo. The senior went four innings on the bump allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out five and walking one, improving his record to 3-1. McCreath threw a scoreless fifth.
Tena went 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and one run, while Trejo was 2-for-3 with one RBI, Brophy 2-for-3 with a double and two runs, McCoy hit another double with three RBIs, Rodriguez one hit and one RBI, Wells one hit, one RBI and two runs, Lynch one hit, one RBI and one run, McCreath one hit, and Rolando Caraveo three runs as a courtesy runner, and Josh Alders one as a courtesy runner. Yuma batters limited their strikeouts to eight over 10 innings.