The sweet swing of Aaron Berkhoff's bat and four double plays to end innings kept Cheyenne Mountain High School baseball unbeaten on Saturday.
The sophomore hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to end the nonconference game early by a 14-2 margin over Canon City. The blast over the left-field fence capped a 3-for-5 batting performance that combined for seven RBIs by the third baseman.
"He was pitching a lot of off-speed all game so we had to move up in the box and be patient," Berkhoff said of Tigers senior starter Michael Hawver. "We did that well in the later innings."
The 11-0 Indians hope to continue to improve at the plate by learning from the adjustments made against the Tigers, which led 1-0 in the first inning. CMHS answered with two runs in the first and four in the second to pull ahead for good, 6-1.
While the Indians collected 12 hits and took advantage of four Tigers errors, it was the defense that kept visiting Canon City (7-4) from sustaining a rally.
The CMHS double plays ended the first, second, third and fifth innings, including starting pitcher Everett Dwyer getting himself out of a bases-loaded jam by starting a double play to conclude the third with a five-run lead.
While still on the mound, Dwyer reached up to snag a high hopper and calmly threw home for the force out. Catcher Dakota Henn then fired to first base to put out the base runner and end the threat.
"Everett (Dwyer) did not have his best stuff today," Indians coach Mark Swope said. "But we got some big ground balls that got us out of innings and that 1-2-3 double play with the bases juiced and versus the heart of their lineup was enormous."
"We all realize the strength of our team is our defense," Swope added. "We all know what to do with the ball and we field it cleanly for the most part. Our pitchers understand if they can get some contact and keep the ball in the infield we are going to field it up and good things will happen."