Valor Christian has always had to battle back to win a state baseball title. This time, the Eagles are trying to play with a lead.

A 3-0 record after the first weekend of the Class 5A state baseball tournament has Valor in a spot that it has never been in: the driver’s seat. But that doesn’t mean the Eagles are taking anything for granted. They await one team that will be decided over the course of two games. Then Saturday morning at All-Star Park, it’s go time.



Game 1: Cherokee Trail vs Regis Jesuit (6/2 10 a.m.)

Game 2: Winner of Game 1 vs. Rock Canyon (6/2 12:30 p.m.)

Game 3: Winner Game 2 vs. Valor Christian (6/3 10 a.m.)

Game 4: Winner Game 2 vs. Valor Christian (6/3 12:30 p.m.) IF NECESSARY


Valor Christian

Record: 19-8

State title game appearances: 5

State championships: 3 (2016, 2017, 2018)

Scouting report: The Eagles have not won a title since moving up to 5A, but are in a great position to snap that skid. Cashel Dugger leads the team in average (.484) and RBIs (20). It’s been a true team effort as five players are hitting .347 or better.

From a pitching standpoint, Ben Leikam, Athan Kroll and Hunter Smith have a combined 15-2 record.


Rock Canyon

Record: 22-6

State title game appearances: 1

State championships: 1 (2015)

Scouting report: Chase Jaworsky has been one of the best hitters in the state. He’s batting .462 with 12 home runs and 29 RBIs. He has also scored 48 runs on the year. Sean Barta and Hunter Allen will have to set the tone on the mound if that Jaguars are going to force a true state championship game on Friday afternoon. First they’ll have to get by the winner of the game between Regis Jesuit and Rock Canyon.


Regis Jesuit

Record: 20-8

State title game appearances: 5

State championships: 3 (1988, 2011, 2019)

Scouting report: The Raiders have only lost two games in the last month, one of them just happened to come in the state tournament. They haven’t played Cherokee Trail yet this season so the early game on Friday will be uncharted waters, but a challenge the team is ready take on. Sophomore Christian Lopez is batting .459 and has scored a team-high 46 runs.

Freshman Hudson Alpert emerged as a front line starter by amassing a 7-0 record and a 1.78 ERA.


Cherokee Trail

Record: 16-12

State title game appearances: 3

State championships: 2 (2007, 2016)

Scouting report: The Cougars stunned a lot of people by beating Legend and Pine Creek to advance out of their region. Their first task in the state tournament? Handing defending champion Broomfield a loss in the opening game. The offense isn’t necessarily overpowering, but it gets the job done. Bowen Tabola leads the team with 27 RBIs.

If there a weakness that can be seen it would be pitching depth. Logan Reid and Carter Wilcox are the only two pitchers to log over 20 innings on the year.