Prep roundup: St. Mary's gives baseball a break, visits Children's Hospital to kick off the season

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Photo - TCA's Tanner Norman talks with reporters after winning the 3A boys state cross country championships at the Norris-Penrose Event Center on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette
TCA's Tanner Norman talks with reporters after winning the 3A boys state cross country championships at the Norris-Penrose Event Center on Saturday, October 29, 2016. Photo by Stacie Scott, The Gazette

St. Mary's gives baseball a break, visits Children's Hospital to start season

The season opener became an afterthought for the St. Mary's baseball team Friday.

At least for a few hours.

Sixteen players and two coaches visited Children's Hospital Colorado on Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora before the Pirates opened the year with a road victory over The Academy.

The team joined up with children afflicted with various illnesses and ailments to make St. Patrick's Day-themed crafts. Making bracelets, headbands and necklaces, the moment was one of fun and glee.

The outside distractions were muted, if only for a while.

"It was such a huge eye-opening experience for me and the guys around me," senior captain Jacob Brummel said. "It was pretty special, pretty magical. The coolest part was they don't know who we are but they come up and give us a big hug and do crafts with us. They loved it."

St. Mary's coach Bill Percy has long stressed community service to his team. Once he saw the early nonconference road schedule up near Denver he reached out to the baseball team's former team manager, Maddie Miller, who graduated St. Mary's and is a full-time nurse at Children's.

The team went up Friday morning before its afternoon game.

"All of our players were totally engaged with the kids," Percy said, "and it was amazing to see these children be so engaged with our guys and really enjoying the moment. It was a great day."

Doherty's Sedlak throws no-hitter in win over TCA

Colton Sedlak made his first varsity start on the mound a memorable one.

Sedlak threw a no-hitter with six strikeouts in an 8-0 victory over The Classical Academy (0-5) on Saturday as the Spartans (1-4) won their first game of the season.

Sedlak is the first pitcher in the Colorado to throw seven innings without giving up a hit this year, according to MaxPreps.

"He came to the ballpark bright and early and there was a different aura about him," Doherty coach Mike Berkey said. "Usually he's jovial, joking and everything. But something about him - he was in his own world. He was focused.

"It was a real treat to watch him go to work on the mound."

Sedlak's performance came at a crucial time for the Spartans, who'd lost their first four games. They'll hope to take this momentum into their last nonconference game against Pueblo South on Monday before starting league with Pine Creek on Wednesday.

"We have a lot of talent on this team, it's just we haven't been clicking," Sedlak said. "I think the talent and everyone on this team is really going to start clicking just in time for league."

Sedlak maneuvered around the Titans' batters effectively and efficiently. He lost his perfect game in the fifth inning with his first of two walks. He finished with 92 pitches.

Norman breaks meet record despite conditions

Temperatures pushed into the mid-80s at the Pueblo Centennial Invitational on Saturday as 29 runners made do with little elbow room as they compacted into one heat for the 3,200-meter run.

TCA senior Tanner Norman sped away to a meet record, anyway.

Norman finished in 9 minutes and 32.83 seconds. It broke former Liberty runner Michael Claflin's previous record of 9:48.91, which was set in 2012, per MileSplit. The meet's records date back to 2008.

"I didn't think in those conditions I would be running that fast," Norman said. "So I was pretty excited about it."

Norman won a 4A and 3A cross country title the past two years. He'll look to add another long distance title in May to end his prolific career with the Titans.

BRENT W. NEW, THE GAZETTE