The 2018 baseball season came to an end as they lost in a best of three series to Hutchinson two games to one.
Game 1: CCC 6 Hutch 1
In game one, the Red Ravens once again received an outstanding start from team ace, Gavin Heltemes. In his final start as a Red Raven, Heltemes went 7 innings, allowing 6 hits, 0 runs, and striking out 11. The sophomore had everything working for him on the start. He was able to locate his fast ball to both sides of the plate and dominated the Blue Dragons hitters with his cutter.
Offensively, the Red Ravens were lead by freshman first baseman/designated hitter went 2 for 4 one run, 2 RBI with a monstrous home run to right field.
Sophomore Damon Jorgenson also propelled the Red Ravens going 2 for 4 with a run scored and 2 stolen bases.
Sophomore closer Garon Johnson would come in to start the bottom of the 8th inning. Johnson would go 2 innings allowing 1 hit, 1 run, and striking out 2.
Game 2: Hutch 7 CCC 2
Head coach Jake Martin sent red-shirt freshman Hunter McMahon to the mound looking to seel the series. McMahon ran into some trouble locating his fast ball and Hutchinson took advantage of the missed location. McMahon would go 3.1 innings pitched, allowing 7 hits, 6 runs, walking 4 and striking out 2.
The offense was held to only 4 hits by the Blue Dragons starter, Wyatt Divis.
Sophomore catcher and captain Brett Mitchell went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Ortiz once again had himself a game going 1 for 4 with a run and a double.
The bullpen was outstanding for coach Martin as sophomores Jon Taveras and Trevor Lunkwitz pitched 4.2 innings allowing only 1 run. Taveras would go 3.2 innings, allowing 3 hits, 1 run and striking out 4. Lunkwitz followed with a scoreless inning and striking out 2.
Game 3: Hutch 4 CCC 3
In a winner take all game, the Red Ravens rested their season on freshman start Aaron Bechtel. It was a shaky start for the freshman as he walked the first two batters of the game before settling down. He allowed a single run on a sacrifice fly to left field. The freshman pitched to his complete potential after the first as he would go 5.2 innings pitched, allowing 3 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 4 walks, and striking out 5. The freshman showed why he is regarded highly throughout the conference and put himself on display. Bechtel was able to locate his fast ball, slider, and change up after the first inning and held the Blue Dragon offense in check.
After walking a batter with 2 outs in the 6th, Martin turned to Johnson--who has been dominant all season--to close out the game and send the Red Ravens to the second round of the KJCCC Tournament.
The Red Ravens were once again lead offensively by Ortiz who would go 1 for 2 with a home run that cleared the 380' right center fence and clearing the driveway behind the trees. After the home run, the Blue Dragons pitched around Ortiz in his final two at bats giving him 2 walks on the day.
Jorgenson went hitless on the day (0/2), however, the short stop would add 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and a run scored. He also played extraordinary defense which saved several runs for the pitching staff.
Heading into the bottom of the 9th inning, Johnson was cruising on the mound with a 3-2 lead. Hutch sent a pinch hitter to the plate to face Johnson in hopes of sparking some sort of offense. Johnson would strike out the pinch hitter on three straight pitches. The lead off hitter was up next and hit a borderline triple down the right field line. Hutchinson's second baseman Logan Sartori laced a double to left centerfield tying the game at 3 a piece. Johnson would then intentionally walk the three hole hitter (Divis) to create a force play and a chance to end the threat. Bobby Morgensen would then hit a 1-0 ground ball towards second base. Freshman second baseman Zac Freeman dove for the ball which he missed by a glove string. Sartori raced around third as Freeman gathered himself and threw home. However the throw was just late as Sartori crossed home plate scoring the game winning run.
The season came to an end on Sunday with the Red Ravens falling two games to one in a best of three series. Even with a gut wrenching loss, the season was a success for the program as they saw many of their freshmen receive vital playing time and their sophomores continuing their success as freshmen.