BOULDER -- With one huge swing of the bat, Levi Chandler helped turn a potential disaster into an offensive onslaught for the Boulder Legion A baseball team.
The Panthers got off to an ominous start Monday in the first game of their doubleheader against Brighton at Scott Carpenter Park. Brighton touched Boulder starting pitcher Cisco Medina for three runs in the top of the first in an early ambush that could have been much worse, as the visitors bashed solid line drives to all corners of the diamond.
The early salvo only inspired Chandler, however. Boulder's second baseman erased the early deficit with a monstrous grand slam in the bottom of the first that jump-started the Panthers to a 10-9 victory.
"I was looking for that first pitch -- the elevated fastball," Chandler said. "It was good my friends got on base to get me in position to hit that. I didn't know it was out, but I knew it was a good hit. I do feel like our team gets excited and starts playing well when we start getting hits like that together. It definitely is nice to win a close game like that."
Although Boulder needed to answer several Brighton rallies throughout the back-and-forth contest, it was Chandler's drive to deep left-center that recaptured the momentum for Boulder.
It was a tough outing for Medina, even though he ultimately earned the win, as Brighton tagged the right-hander for four sharp hits during the opening frame -- none more devastating that the first of two two-run homers by Brighton's Gabe Medina. After Chandler's grand slam gave Boulder a 5-3 lead, Gabe Medina's second homer tied the score at 5-5. The game remained tied at 6-6 when Boulder finally took the lead for good on RBI singles by Nate Marcotte and Francis Lanzano in the third, followed by additional RBI singles by Ray Feigal in the fourth and Nate Bukowski in the fifth.
"It seems like somebody different every day, and I think that's the mark of a complete team," Boulder assistant coach Jack Clarke said. "Levi missed the spring season because he was in the Bahamas, so it has taken him a little while to get the timing back. In the last week or so, he has really hit the ball well. That was a shot. That was one of the harder-hit balls I've seen at this park."
Cisco Medina exited the game in the fifth, but Grant Rogers came off the bench to quell the hot Brighton bats.
Over the final three innings, the right-hander allowed only one run on three hits. Brighton managed to get the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base in the seventh, but Rogers recorded a strikeout of Brighton leadoff hitter Conner Reynolds to preserve the win.
"(Rogers) came in in a tough spot, but he's nails on the mound," Clarke said. "He's one of the most competitive kids I've ever coached. He keeps that same even keel approach on the mound. He threw real well. Cisco was just leaving the ball up."
The second game of Monday's doubleheader was cancelled due to rain.
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Boulder 10, Brighton 9
At Scott Carpenter Park
Brighton 321 020 1 -- 9 14 1
Boulder 512 110 x -- 10 11 3
W -- C. Medina. L -- Smith.
Brighton hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Reynolds 5-1-2-0, T. Archuleta 4-1-1-0, G. Medina 4-2-2-4, Adkins 4-2-2-0, D. Archuleta 4-3-4-1, Eggloff 4-0-2-3, Lane 2-0-1-0, Golderman 3-0-0-0, Morales 1-0-0-1, Johnson 3-0-0-0, Bunn 0-0-0-0. Totals 34-9-14-9. 2B -- Adkins, D. Archuleta, Lane. HR -- G. Medina 2 (2 on in 1st; 2 on in 2nd). SB -- D. Archuleta.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Platt 2-2-1-0, N. Bukowski 3-2-2-2, P. Guegan 3-1-2-1, Feigal 3-1-1-1, Chandler 4-1-1-4, Flores 3-0-0-0, L. Guegan 1-2-1-0, Blessing 3-1-0-0, L. Bukowski 1-0-0-0, Marcotte 3-0-2-1, Lanzano 3-0-1-1. Totals 29-10-11-0. 3B -- Platt. HR -- Chandler (grand slam in 1st). SB -- Platt, P. Guegan, Feigal, L. Guegan.
Brighton pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Smith 3-8-9-9-5-3; Lane 3-3-1-1-0-4.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- C. Medina 4-11-8-8-0-5; Rogers 3-3-1-1-1-2.