LONGMONT — Head coach Ryan Beavers firmly believes that every game his Colorado Stars RB club team plays is a learning opportunity.
That philosophy rings especially true each time the local club team appears at the Louisville Slugger Boulder Independence Day Tournament, which perennially features the nation's top talent.
This year's Boulder IDT was particularly unkind to the Colorado Stars RB, who struggled to a 0-4-1 record and saw their tournament end in a 17-0 loss to the So Cal Athletics in the first round of 16-under elimination play on Saturday.
But that's the name of the game: living and learning, and becoming a better player as a result.
"That's what it's all about," Beavers said. "We talked just now about how our country in 240 years old tomorrow. We talked about pride and how a sense of pride plays into competing when you're overmatched and the chips are stacked against you. If you look at the very founding of this country, the greatest country in the world, and the men and women that serve today, a sense of pride is a big part of what keeps them going."
After Saturday's elimination loss, Beavers said the team's postgame discussion wasn't just about improving individual skills but focused on learning how to compete at the highest level and avoiding lulls like the one the Stars experienced after falling behind the Athletics 4-0 in the top of the first inning. The Stars had three hits and four errors in the game. They did load the bases in the third and fourth innings but still could not push across a run to get on the board.
Kailey Robb, Val Jonas and Ashleigh Bierne each singled for the Stars on Saturday.
"It's eye-opening to see what the best of the best look like," Beavers said. "There are showcase events all across the country but there really isn't another like this one. When you give up four in the first against a good team like this, the flood gates will open plain and simple. We were inconsistent and teams of this caliber will put you away when you do that."
Beavers' club wasn't the only Colorado Stars affiliate to have a rough Saturday. Elsewhere in the Boulder IDT 16-under elimination bracket, Colorado Stars ME lost 14-0 in the first round to the California Explosion. Colorado Stars ME finished the tournament with a 1-6 record.
So Cal Athletics 17, Colorado Stars RB 0
At Garden Acres Park
Athletics 448 1 — 17 19 0
Stars RB 000 0 — 0 3 4
W — Macias.
Athletics hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Camarillo 2-0-0-0, Cheyne 3-2-1-0, Englant 3-1-2-1, Deziel 1-0-1-1, Mejia 2-2-1-0, Gonzalez 2-1-2-0, Wisz 1-1-1-1, Pond 3-3-2-5, Dennis 1-0-0-0, Granado 2-2-2-2, Marinakis 0-2-0-0, Batterton 2-1-2-0, Beecher 2-1-1-0, Hunter 2-0-2-4, Vargas 1-0-0-0, Desiree Medina 1-0-0-1, Luna 2-1-2-2. Totals 30-17-19-17. 2B — Mejia, Granado. HR — Pond (2 on in the 3rd). SB — Batterton, Englant, Gonzalez, Pond, Cheyne.
Stars hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Harper 2-0-0-0, Flynn 1-0-0-0, Jorissen 1-0-0-0, Veltien 2-0-0-0, Robb 1-0-1-0, Jonas 2-0-1-0, Gruner 1-0-0-0, Bierne 2-0-1-0, Wright 1-0-0-0. Totals 1-0-0-0.
Athletics pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Macias 2-2-0-0-0-2, Ohanian 2-1-0-0-5-0.
Stars pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Veltien 2.1-13-12-9-3-0, Jorissen 1.2-6-5-2-2-0.