GREENWOOD VILLAGE – It didn't matter if Sam Ireland was on the mound or at the plate. Just like how it didn't matter that the Cherry Creek baseball team was ranked No. 3 in Class 5A.
Ireland and the No. 1 Golden Eagles were simply dominant Tuesday afternoon, putting the mercy rule on the Bruins at their home field with a 15-2 win cut short after five innings.
"That's what we expect," said Ireland, the senior pitcher who started the game for defending champion Mountain Vista (7-2).
His impressive pitching performance included throwing a complete, five-inning game with allowing just three hits and one earned run while striking out five batters.
Offensively, he helped his own cause at the plate by going 3-for-4 with three extra-base hits (two doubles, one triple) three RBIs and a run.
"I feel like when I hit well, I pitch better," he said. "When those two go hand in hand, it's nice."
The Golden Eagles built a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning before Cherry Creek (3-4) even had a chance to hit. The Bruins then put one on the board in the bottom of the same frame when an RBI single by Jack Moss brought Tyler Robinson home.
But the bats of the Golden Eagles only got hotter.
Both Grant Magill and Drew Stahl finished with two hits and four RBIs each. John Zakhem added two hits and two RBIs of his own.
Watch the extended video above and see the highlights on the 9NEWS Prep Rally this weekend.