CASTLE ROCK – Noah Kenney will be the first to admit he’s not the best at getting ahead of hitters in the count. But when the Douglas County hitters took an aggressive approach at the plate, he worked with efficiency and pace to keep those hitters in check.

It didn’t hurt that before he even threw his first pitch he had a three-run lead. It all led to a winning formula for Legend who held on to beat the Huskies 3-1 in a key Continental League clash on Monday.

With just two league losses, the Titans (15-5 overall, 7-2 Continental League) are very much in the running for a league crown. Regis Jesuit and Rock Canyon also sit at 7-2 in the league standings, and they meet on Wednesday.

“This sets us up [for a potential league title],” Kenney said. “Especially after our loss to Regis. It dropped us down a little bit so we need to win-out. Today was huge because Douglas County is good. They were No. 1 before the season started.”

Despite the Huskies (8-10-1, 5-4) struggles this year, it’s easy to see why they’re highly regarded. After walking Brayden Pfeffer and Conner Boyd to start the game and the Titans scored three runs in the first, Hunter Gotschall locked down the Legend lineup the rest of the way. He allowed just four baserunners over the final five innings and not a single one of them got farther than second base.

(Dan Mohrmann/

“We knew we had a tough day with Hunter on the mound,” Legend coach Scott Boyd said. “He’s a good pitcher and we knew we had to get out right away which we did and that was awesome.’

That first inning altered Kenney’s mindset and allowed him to attack the Douglas County hitters to try and get ahead. It worked as the Huskies were sitting on first-pitch fastball more often than not and quickly fell behind 0-1.

That allowed him to keep hitting his spots which helped put the ball in play where his defense backed him up.

“Them being aggressive definitely helped,” Kenney said. “I’m normally not ahead after the first pitch so getting ahead really helped. I got outs early.”

Kenney needed just 94 pitches on the outing and the game went all seven innings in under two hours.

The only inning where Kenney really struggled was the third. Corey Chavez led off with a base hit and scored a Finley Bates sacrifice fly. After getting out of the inning, Kenney allowed just one baserunner in the final four frames.

The sub-.500 record for the Huskies is a bit deceiving when evaluating them as a baseball team. They lost four games by just one run and another three by two. That’s seven losses by 10 totals runs which is a razor-thin margin of error for a good baseball team. After the Huskies fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, coach Craig Gienger challenged his seniors to rise to the occasion and play a better brand of baseball.

“We only gave up one or two hits after that and didn’t give up any runs,” he said. “Hunter Gotschall is a great pitcher and he’ll do big things at the next level but I didn’t think he was ready to go in that first inning. To his credit, locked them down and got after it. Our senior leadership needs to be better than it was today and it usually is. I just got a little upset that we weren’t getting after like [the Titans] were.”

He thinks the response he saw will serve the Huskies well in regionals in less than two weeks. And one the postseason starts, Legend, Douglas County and every other team in the state knows it’s a different ballgame.

(Dan Mohrmann/