The defending Class 5A champion baseball program at Valor Christian is still looking to find its stride with a chance to repeat not far ahead.

After dropping three of four to sit .500, the Eagles (8-6) are hoping a blowout win over Mountain Range followed by a league-opening, 10-inning victory over Ralston Valley can help get them rolling with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

They might want to follow the lead of senior Ian Kersten.

He ended a three-game hitless streak in a 14-1 win over Mountain Range on April 12, homering and driving in four.

Then in a 7-6 win over Ralston Valley — the Eagles’ first extra-inning game of the spring — he singled in the tying runs in the eighth before Keegan Waters walked it off in the 10th.

In this week’s look-in on 5A and 4A baseball, we dive into the last four teams remaining in last year’s double-elimination state tournaments — including the defending champ 5A Eagles and 4A Severance — to see where they stand as of now.

Class 5A

Valor Christian beat Cherokee Trail 4-0 for the championship, capping off a 16-game winning streak. Regis Jesuit and Rock Canyon were eliminated by the Cougars the previous day.

Teams in 2023 double-elimination tournament: Broomfield, Cherokee Trail, Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon, Regis Jesuit, Chaparral, Valor Christian and Rocky Mountain.

CHSAA’s 12th-ranked Eagles (8-6) and No. 14 Cherokee Trail (11-5) proved that seeding wasn’t much of a factor last year as Valor Christian beat the Cougars in a No.15-vs.-No. 25 finale.

Playing their best in May is what’s important now — and both seem to be inching closer in doing that.

Coming into the week, Valor Christian shook off a stretch of three losses in four games with wins over No. 24 Ralston Valley and No. 56 Mountain Range.

Cherokee Trail made it four straight wins with a win against No. 16 Arapahoe on Monday.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Regis Jesuit (11-3) and No. 3 Rock Canyon (12-3) are both inside the top five in the CHSAA rankings.

The Raiders’ Luke Reasbeck (2.01 ERA, 23 1/3 innings) moved to 3-0 on the season Monday, beating No. 4 Castle View.

David Brabb added his 22nd and 23rd RBIs of the season for the Jaguars in a win over No. 10 Legend.

Class 4A

Severance beat Golden 1-0 for the championship, finishing the season on a 12-game winning streak. The day before, the Demons eliminated Lutheran and Holy Family.

Teams in the 2023 double-elimination tournament: Holy Family, Lutheran, Golden, Summit, Cheyenne Mountain, Severance, Pueblo County and Riverdale Ridge.

Severance (9-5) had won three straight with ace Dom Rice (3.82 ERA, 40 1/3 innings) on the hill. Then came his rough outing on Monday, when the 16th-ranked Silver Knights lost to No. 12 Thompson Valley, 11-1.

The junior allowed six runs — four earned — in three innings for Severance, which is the only one of the final four teams from last year not currently inside the top 10 of CHSAA’s rankings.

Holy Family (12-2-1) is No. 1. Cole Kuszak (3.18 ERA, 33 innings) threw 5 1/3 innings in the Tigers’ 2-1 win over No. 22 Longmont on Monday, striking out 11. It was Holy Family’s fifth straight win.

Meanwhile, No. 3 Golden has the longest winning streak in the classification at eight games.

Senior Braeden McCarroll is 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings for the Demons (13-1), who haven’t lost in April. At the plate, he has driven in a run in four straight games, giving him 15 RBIs and four homers this spring.

No. 4 Lutheran (11-5-1) is just behind Golden with seven wins in a row — six by at least five runs.

Senior Wade Thewes has 18 RBIs and three home runs for the Lions, while classmate Eli Morgan has a 2.19 ERA over 22 1/3 frames.