The games are already stacking up for the Fairview and Boulder baseball teams over the next week. But after Thursday's 14-inning classic that pitted the rivals against each other ... sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and go with the flow.
It might be a lot easier for Boulder to swallow the long-lasting effects of an unexpected marathon, because it was the Panthers who defended their home turf at Scott Carpenter Park with a 6-5, walk-off win.
A scoreless lull that lasted from the fifth inning through the 11th frame finally saw Fairview regain a 5-4 lead in the 12th, but Boulder proved to be gritty in tying the game back up with its back against the wall and then winning it two innings later on an Andrew McCarthy bases-loaded single with two outs.
"That's gotta be the longest high school game I've ever been a part of," Boulder head coach Colt Sedbrook said. "The thing about it is, we've really tried to focus this season on finding the next play. Find a way ... and today we found a way to stay in a ballgame. We are going to make teams play on their toes.
"To get to that 14th inning and have guys find success, it was a really good team win."
The Panthers (5-6 overall, 2-2 Front Range League) have dealt with problems with their field, and both teams have weather to blame for a schedule void of off days well into next week. But neither team was going to let up with the stakes raised of city bragging rights.
For the first time under Sedbrook, and also for the Panthers senior class, it was Boulder's turn.
"This is Colt's first crop of seniors who he sort of brought up, and I think we're going to stick in games and keep each other up and work hard," said McCarthy, who had three hits in the leadoff spot and batted eight times in the game. "It paid off tonight."
McCarthy got his winning hit nine full innings after switching from starting pitcher to second base. In his stead, Isaac Parks ended up throwing more innings (7 1/3) in relief than his typical outing. Cameron Mainland pitched the final two innings for Boulder, and the two combined for just one unearned run allowed, two hits and 10 strikeouts.
For Fairview (5-5, 2-2), reliever Jordan Scheufele was just as good. He took over in the sixth for Matt Erickson, pitching into the 12th and also allowing one unearned run.
Both of Boulder's extra-inning runs came as a result of Fairview errors. Henry Ryan made it 5-5 in the 12th when he advanced on a wild pitch and then scored on a throwing error, and Jake L'Heureux came home as the winning run after reaching on the Knights' fourth miscue of the game.
With two on and one out after L'Heureux reached base, Fairview opted to intentionally walk Mainland to load the bases, and the Knights did get a force out at home for the second out on Jordan Wardell's fielder's choice.
But McCarthy delivered for BHS with a no-doubt poke down the left field line.
"Without us being gritty and just staying in it, we don't win and I'm so relieved it ended," McCarthy said. "We made some baseball plays that got it done."
Fairview coach David Castillo said his squad had chances but must move on quickly with games the next two afternoons.
"We had multiple opportunities to pull ahead and pull ahead further, and with this type of rivalry you have to be able to create separation," Castillo said. "Colt is doing a great job and (Boulder) had a lot of heart out there on the field. I was proud of our (pitching) staff. No one gave up, and that's why you play the game."
Boulder 6, Fairview 5 (14 innings)
At Scott Carpenter Park
Fairview 011 200 000 001 00 — 5 8 4
Boulder 012 100 000 001 01 — 6 15 4
W — Cameron Mainland. L — Will Mossa.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stone Streeter 6-1-2-1, Nick Fano 7-0-1-0, Danny Sheridan 5-1-1-0, Jake Willemsen 7-0-0-0, Mitch Tyse 5-1-1-0, Tyler Carpenter 5-2-0-0, Liam McKee 5-0-2-3, Sam McGill 5-0-1-1, Teddy Lewitt 2-0-0-0, Clifton Smith 4-0-0-0. Totals 51-5-8-5 2B —Streeter, Sheridan, McGill. 3B —McKee. HR —Streeter. SB —Streeter, Willemsen, Tyse, Carpenter.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Andrew McCarthy 7-1-3-1, Cameron Burke 5-1-2-0, Aidan Chandler 5-0-1-2, Henry Ryan 5-1-0-0, Dana Sullivan 6-0-1-0, Max Bajza 6-1-4-0, Jake L'Heureux 7-2-2-0, Max Pulitzer 3-0-0-1, Isaac Parks 2-0-0-0, Mason Hitz 1-0-0-0, Cameron Mainland 0-0-0-0, Jordan Wardell 7-0-2-0. Totals 54-6-15-4. 2B — Burke, Sullivan. SB —Mainland 2, Chandler, Ryan, Jacob Katz 3.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Matt Erickson 5-9-4-4-3-6, Jordan Scheufele 6.1-2-1-0-3-5, Will Mossa 2.1-3-1-0-2-0.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McCarthy 4.2-6-4-2-3-8, Parks 7.1-2-1-0-4-7, Mainland 2-0-0-0-0-3.