Last week, on May 4, the Cedaredge High School baseball team skipped its own practice session to attend a Delta High School practice session instead.
The Bruins' visit was not to play baseball, but rather to offer condolences and consolations to the Panthers' baseball team. Once players, and coaches, had heard about Delta junior Clayton Abila's medical emergency, they made plans to do something for him and his parents.
Ideas were quickly mulled over and a plan to acquire as much money as possible, in a short amount of time, was put into action. When the Bruins arrived at Delta's practice site, they were armed with a signed sympathy card and over $300 dollars to be used by Abila's parents.
Even though Abila had played throughout the current baseball season, he was just recently diagnosed with a lymphoma roughly the size of an open hand which was on the surface of his heart.
Information is coming in daily on Abila's condition and progression from Children's Hospital in Denver.
What made the rival team from Cedaredge complete its heartfelt mission is a testament to the character of Cedaredge High School and the student-athletes who are part of a gracious communtiy that believes in helping those in need.
Cedaredge senior Jacob Lewis was asked what prompted the Bruins' actions. "It was something that needed to be done. We would expect the same from them." Lewis explained he personally knew many of the Delta players and it was just the right thing to do.
The two teams circled the pitcher's mound at one point of the visit and Lewis led the group in prayer.
Cedaredge coach Terry Montoya echoed Lewis' thoughts of doing the right thing, stressing a belief in one another for the common good. "We will fight for him," quoted Montoya.
Delta coach Steve Reiher was most humbled by Cedaredge's thoughfulness. "Unbelievable gesture ... I know we were all humbled. In competition sometimes we lose site of things are truly important. We were all hurting inside and to have one of our league rivals come in and show empathy and compassion was incredibly overwhelming. Total class act."
The Bruins, facing a rough schedule of games early in the week, were due to face Aspen (May 1) and then take on Coal Ridge's Titans for a doubleheader on May 5.
Cedaredge won all three of its contests, beginning with a 13-5 win in Aspen on Monday. Saturday's twin bill play was also a positive experience with the Bruins rolling to a 16-0 win in game one and then coming from behind for a 6-5 win in game two.
The three wins bring Cedaredge's season marks to 8-1 in 3A WSL play and 5-4 overall for a second-place finish in regulation play.
Bruins 13, Skiers 5
A five-run first inning helped the Bruins take a three-run lead to the second inning in Aspen. Another run in the top of the second frame pushed Cedaredge's lead to 6-2 going to the fourth inning.
Two runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth gave the Bruins a 9-2 lead two innings left to play.
Cedaredge plated three runs in the sixth and tacked on its final run in the seventh to lead 13-3 with Aspen coming to bat for its final at bats. The Skiers scored twice in their half of the inning for a 13-5 final score.
Jacob Lewis was the winning pitcher with six innings of work and giving up five hits and four runs (only two were earned) and striking out 10 Aspen batters.
Colton Hoerr was Cedaredge's leading hitter with three hits (including a double) and two RBIs. Freshman Jacob Brown was 1-4 with two RBIs and Lewis had one hit (a home run) in the Bruins' win. Pedro Madaleno had three RBIs for the Bruins while Sean Dale and Chase Meyers drove in runs in the win.
Jamison Fuentes had three hits and two RBIs for Aspen.
Bruins 16, Titans 0
Cedaredge jumped on Coal Ridge pitching for eight runs in the first inning and went on to cruise to a 16-0 win.
A single run in the second inning and seven more in the fourth was all that was needed to end the game in five innings.
Hoerr, Madaleno, Dale, Lewis and Dusty Emig all had two hits in the game with Hoerr and Madaleno knocking in two runs each. Brown had another two RBI day for the Bruins.
Bruins 6, Titans 5
Defense and pitching keyed the first three innings of this contest.
Emig kept Coal Ridge hitters off-guard in the first three innings. An Emig bunt single moved Lewis (who had been walked) to second with Meyers loading the bases after being hit by a pitch. A sharply-hit ball toward second plated Lewis for a 1-0 lead.
Hoerr hit a two and one pitch for a single in the third inning and then scored on Emig's single to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Coal Ridge owned the fourth inning and scored four runs on two walks, an error and a single.
The Titans added their fifth run in the top of the fifth after Jared Lund reached base on a single to right field and later scored on a throwing error.
Cedaredge, trailing 5-2, scored four runs in the bottom half of the fifth to regain the lead. The Bruins got doubles from Brayden Blair and Brown with Trey Geyer's single driving in the winning run to give Cedaredge a come-from-behind 6-5 victory.
Emig finished with three hits and an RBI with Meyers picking up two hits and two RBIs. Dale had two hits with an RBI and Brown had a double and an RBI for the winners.
Cedaredge awaits its fate as to who, when and where it plays to begin post-season play in Class 3A district playoffs later this week.
The Bruins, after finishing strong with a seven-game winning streak, are listed at number 12 in the most recent RPI poll. Delta, the league champion, is the number 13 seed in RPI standings.