Chaparral, unranked in preseason poll, now in prime position to win first Class 5A baseball title

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LAKEWOOD — In CHSAA’s preseason Class 5A baseball poll, Chaparral went unranked and received just one vote.

Was that lone show of confidence from Wolverines coach Alan DiGiosio?

“Probably,” he said.

What is for sure is that on Friday at All-Star Park, the Wolverines underscored just how underrated they were. Chaparral defeated Vista Ridge and Cherokee Trail on the first day of the state tournament, putting the Wolverines in prime position heading into Saturday.

“We’re not a bunch of guys who are on a lot of people’s radar as far as being considered elite (or top prospects) in the state. But we’ve turned some heads this year,” DiGiosio said. “We started the season without being on anybody’s top team list, and here we are, 2-0 going into Saturday on the first weekend of the state tournament.”

Chaparral overcame six errors in the tournament opener and used junior Dillon Volz’s pinch-hit grand slam to win 11-6 against Vista Ridge. Then the Wolverines got a gem of an outing from senior southpaw James Harbison to defeat Cherokee Trail, 5-3, in the afternoon, a game where Harbison threw six innings of one-run ball and hit a home run.

Volz’s performance on Friday was especially notable. His grand slam in the sixth inning against Vista Ridge broke open what was a nail-biter, then his third-inning double evened the game 1-1 with Cherokee Trail. The Wolverines went on to score two more runs that inning, and didn’t relinquish the lead from there.


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