Regis Jesuit and Grandview — the two Aurora teams to make the Class 5A Championship Series — make up the bulk of the first team selections on the 2012 Aurora Sentinel All-City Baseball Team.
The All-City first team, which is selected by the Sentinel in conjunction with voting by city coaches, includes five players from a Regis Jesuit team that made it to the 5A Final Four, plus six players who lifted Grandview to another tie for first in the Centennial League and 20 wins.
Coach Walt Weiss’ Regis Jesuit team wasn’t the bruising group it was during the 2011 Class 5A state championship-winning campaign, but a formula of pitching, defense and timely-hitting produced 19 wins and kept the Raiders alive into the final weekend.
Moreso than last season, when runs were plentiful, Regis Jesuit relied on its stable of arms, which came through consistently, especially with the duo of senior right-hander Peter Bayer and sophomore lefty David Peterson.
Bayer signed with the University of Richmond and then had an outstanding season, leading Aurora pitchers with eight victories — against no losses — while also posting a 2.51 ERA in 55 2/3 innings. His two-hit shutout of Legend kept the Raiders alive into the final day of the 5A championship series.
Peterson — a key postseason performer as a freshman in Regis Jesuit’s title run — struggled against eventual champion Cherry Creek in the game that eliminated the Raiders, but finished with a strong 6-3 record. He posted a 3.26 ERA in 49 1/3 innings and had a strong ratio of 63 strikeouts to 34 walks.
Both pitchers were selected to the Colorado Rockies Futures Game, along with two infielders who helped them tremendously offensively and defensively in junior Brody Weiss and sophomore Max George.
George had the best all-around season of any Aurora player in his first season as a starter, posting team-highs in batting average (.544), hits (43), home runs (7) and stolen bases (17), while driving in the third-most runs (25). He racked up 14 hits and scored 14 runs in seven postseason contests.
Weiss further strengthened the Raiders up the middle with his strong glovework and also added plenty of offense, hitting .421 with a team-high 31 RBI, including at least one in each of the seven Regis Jesuit playoff contests.
Jordan Kennedy cracked the All-City outfield for the first time, as the left-handed swinging right fielder posted a .387 average and was second to Weiss in RBI with 26. He was one of the Raiders’ most reliable offensive threats in the postseason, driving in seven runs in five championship series games.
Another phenomenal regular season for Grandview ended with disappointment in the championship series, with the Wolves getting eliminated by letting Centennial League rival Cherry Creek rally.
Grandview’s talent was top notch all over the field. Versatile senior Jordan Schlehuber posted a team-best .412 average and drove in 21 runs, while he also was a top starting pitcher, posting a 6-0 record with a 1.83 ERA. Madison Spencer gave the Wolves another outstanding option, going 5-1 with a team-best 1.35 ERA.
Senior TJ Lemke shifted positions depending on who pitched, but he always hit. With 38 RBI, Lemke had 17 more than anybody else on the team and crushed five homers, including one at Coors Field. He hit .368 and 16 of his 28 hits went for extra bases (8 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homers).
In the outfield, senior Payton Soicher and junior Reece Weber were tone setters offensively and defensively, while senior catcher Jackson Peitzmeier was a leader behind the plate and provided an occasional spark.
Soicher, a Cal State Monterrey Bay signee, posted the second-highest batting average on the team at .390 and led Wolves with 32 hits and nine stole bases, while Weber hit .306, belted three home runs and drove in 21 runs. Peitzmeier posted a .328 average and came up with a variety of clutch hits, including an inside-the-park home run that sparked Grandview to victory in the regular season finale against Cherry Creek.
Breaking up the Grandview and Regis Jesuit mix is Cherokee Trail senior starting pitcher Daniel Mackay, who was selected to the Colorado Rockies Futures Game.
Mackay logged 45 innings for the Cougars, who had a lot of new faces on the pitching staff, and posted a 3-1 record with a 2.49 ERA. The powerful right-hander posted 60 strikeouts against 34 walks.
Reach Sports Editor Courtney Oakes at [email protected] or 303-750-7555
2012 AURORA SENTINEL ALL-CITY BASEBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM — Pitcher: Peter Bayer, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Daniel Mackay, Cherokee Trail, sr.; David Peterson, Regis Jesuit, soph.; Madison Spencer, Grandview, sr.; Catcher: Jackson Peitzmeier, Grandview, sr.; Infield: Max George, Regis Jesuit, soph.; TJ Lemke, Grandview, sr.; Brody Weiss, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Outfield: Jordan Kennedy, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Payton Soicher, Grandview, sr.; Reece Weber, Grandview, jr.; Utility: Jordan Schlehuber, Grandview, sr.
SECOND TEAM — Pitcher: Dario Villagomez, Overland, soph.; Daniel Sutherland, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Michael Tanner, Grandview, sr.; Catcher: Ben John, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Infield: Joey Larson, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Mitchell Marquardt, Cherokee Trail, sr.; Jake Thurston, Grandview, jr.; Outfield: Tim Ealy, Rangeview, jr.; Branden Muniz, Gateway, sr.; Andrew Schmidt, Regis Jesuit, jr.; Utility: Dylan Greenwald, Rangeview, soph.
HONORABLE MENTION: Eli Brooks, Smoky Hill, sr.; Jeffrey Cordova, Rangeview, soph.; Austin Deal, Grandview, sr.; Pat Dinges, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Miguel Gonzalez, Gateway, jr.; Michael Hufnagel, Grandview, sr.; Scott Jones, Eaglecrest, sr.; Brandon Lopez, Gateway, jr.; Madison McIntosh, Cherokee Trail, jr.; Chris McQuade, Rangeview, sr.; Pat Powers, Regis Jesuit, sr.; Cortland Randolph, Eaglecrest, sr.; Jake Rikart, Overland, sr.; Nate Schneider, Cherokee Trail, sr.