ARVADA — Ralston Valley senior Kris Levensteins enjoyed a day at the baseball field on Monday.
Levensteins picked up a comprehensive victory on the mound and scored two deep homers in the Mustangs’ 16-1 season-opening win over Northfield at Nate Jurney Field.
“I was just going up there trying to hit hard,” Levensteins said of his approach to home plate. “I saw myself a good fastball in the zone and a good curveball overhanging. I was just trying to hit the ball hard and they went over.
The senior put the Mustangs (1-0) on the board with a 2-run homer late in the first inning. A 2-run triple by senior Andrew LaPerle later in the set pushed Ralston Valley’s lead to 4-0 after the first.
Senior Markus Hamre hit a 2-run homer out to right field with two outs late in the second inning. Levensteins followed that up with a solo home run deep into left field to take a 7-0 lead.
“With the weather, what we’ve done the most is affected,” Ralston Valley coach Brad Madden said of the bad weather since March 7 trials that has limited teams inside the cages. of batters last week. “Obviously with our two big boppers – Hamre and Kris – hit it off and gave us a spark. It was our two seniors who played a ton for us.
Levensteins was solid on the mound, allowing just one run in the top of the third inning to break his shutout attempt. The senior finished with seven strikeouts in three innings.
He had a small problem in the top of the first inning after getting two quick outs, but responded by getting a strikeout from Northfield second student Brady Peterson with a pair of runners on base.
“I just found myself spilling a bit,” Levensteins said of the first run. “I just dialed the number. I knew they couldn’t hit my stuff if I put it right over the plate. I had to refocus and go down a bit with the adrenaline.
Madden was delighted with what he got out of Levensteins on his first start.
“It’s great to score 16 points and get through that, but for him to get through a bit of adversity will pay off in the long run,” Madden said of Levensteins going out the first innings. “It was nice to see him tie up in the first one. It was a good outing for him.
Ralston Valley managed to induce the 15-run pity rule after three innings thanks to a 9-run bottom in the third inning. LaPerle started the third inning with a solo home run. Hamre made his third and fourth runs of the game with a 2-run single.
Senior Ian Baldwin ripped a 2-run single. The Mustangs enjoyed six walks and one hit per pitch in the inning, ending the game when senior Ricky Stonerook walked with the bases loaded to drive in the 16th inning of Ralston Valley.
“We are thrilled,” Levensteins said. “Coming here and winning on Day 1 is great. We have a lot of momentum and we’re continuing one game at a time.
Ralston Valley is set to hit the road to take on Boulder on Tuesday, March 15, before heading to Arizona for the Mustangs’ annual trip next week.