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Next year's stars given chance to shine now
Fans got a preview of the 2013 baseball season as the area’s best juniors came together at the Southern Colorado High School All-Star Juniors game as Team Rockies came from behind to defeat Team Colorado 11-5 Monday at Security Service Field.
With the imbalance of 5A to 4A teams in the Pikes Peak area, the teams in the juniors game were mixed with players from the same high schools often playing on opposite teams.
Used as a crystal ball, the game would predict a bright upcoming season for class 4A runner up Air Academy and Class 5A state playoff participant Pine Creek, each of which had five players chosen. Rampart had three, while St. Mary’s, Discovery Canyon and Widefield each had two.
Next year’s leaders will come from this group.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Palmer’s John Viera, who went 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and three RBIs. “The team really depends on you to perform.”
Team Colorado starter Michael Levar (Cheyenne Mountain) allowed one hit and a walk in his three innings, striking out four. He also staked his team to the lead by knocking in the game’s first run with a third-inning single.
Having fallen behind 5-0 through four innings, Viera helped get Team Rockies even with an RBI single in the fifth and a two-run double in the sixth. By the end of the sixth, the score was tied at five.
“You want to come out here and play your best against these great guys,” Viera said. “They’re a bunch of great ballplayers. I came up and just wanted to hit the ball hard and get our team back in the game.”
The first seven Team Rockies batters in the seventh inning reached base with five walks, a hit batter and a single. Six of them would score to make it 11-5. Isaac Holt, of Discovery Canyon, delivered a key two-run single.
“There were 12 balls in a row so I knew he was going to have to come at me with a fastball,” Holt said. “I was looking for a fastball I could drive and that’s what happened.”
They’ll all be looking for fastballs to drive as seniors.
“It’s exciting because obviously there’s a lot of talent on this ball field,” Viera said, “and you can’t help but expect great things from these guys out here.”