PUEBLO - Dawson has been around since 1970. Never in the school's history had there been a baseball state championship.
So what was an extra 40 minutes of a rain delay going to matter at that point?
The Class 2A state baseball championship game may have been delayed for more than half an hour, but there was no delaying the inevitable. Dawson was the best team in Pueblo this weekend and a 13-4 win over Limon Sunday afternoon cemented that fact.
For the first time in the baseball program's history, the Mustangs are champions.
After throwing six efficient innings, senior Tanner Fulkerson stood at shortstop realizing that he and his teammates were on the verge of victory and he was suddenly overrun with emotions.
"With one out to go I almost started crying, it's sad that it's coming to an end," he said. "I was wiping the tears away and I was expecting the ball. I didn't know if I was going to get a ground ball and probably make an error for the last play of my high school career."
But committing an error in that situation never became an issue. On for one inning of relief, Luke Feigal got Limon's Cannan Bennett to hit a short pop up to catcher Max McClellan for the final out of the game.
The result of the game was hardly in question after the Mustangs exploded for seven runs in the second inning. The turning point was a two-RBI double to the left-center gap from designated hitter Bubba Sommerville.
A visibly flustered Limon defense committed two errors in the inning and seemed defeated as the rally came to an end, but Dawson didn't want to leave anything up to fate.
"Baseball is a funny game," coach Joe McKenzie said. "Anybody can beat anybody on any given day so until the last out is made, you really can't take an inning off or a play off."
Unless forced to by weather. Lightning moved into the Pueblo area causing a slight delay in the action, but when the weather cleared and play resumed, Dawson's offense picked right back up. They added four more runs in the fourth to give Fulkerson a 11-3 lead.
There was nothing, not even Mother Nature, that was going to stop the Mustangs.
"That's possible," Feigal said. "We were having a good day and I don't think anything was going to stop that."
Feigal was instrumental in getting the Mustangs to the title game as he threw a complete game in the semifinals against Sedgwick County earlier in the day. The Mustangs won that game 6-1 before watching Limon go for a three-run rally in the top of the seventh to beat Paonia 4-2.
Paonia was seeded No. 1 in the bracket, but even with the momentum of taking down the top team, the Badgers turned out to be no match for Dawson.
"With six seniors on this team, it's been a three-year process," McKenzie said. "A lot of people don't realize what it took to get to this point. It's just been a fun ride with these guys."
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Dawson School 13, Limon 4
Class 2A State Championship at Runyon Field Sports Complex
Limon 003 010 0 — 4 7 4
Dawson School 070 402 x — 13 12 3
W —T. Fulkerson. L — Cesko.
Limon hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stephen 4-1-2-0, Kappel 3-2-0-0, Younger 4-0-0-0, Cesko 4-1-2-3, Larson 4-0-1-0, Bennett 2-0-0-0, Florek 3-0-0-0, Brewer 3-0-1-0, Hubbard 2-0-1-0. 2B —Hauk, Hubbard, Cesko.SB —Kappel.
Dawson School hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Clemente 5-1-4-2, T. Fulkerson 5-0-1-0, Slade 4-1-1-0, M. McClellan 3-2-1-1, Feigal 4-0-0-0, Nannen 2-2-1-1, C. Fulkerson 2-3-1-1, C. McClellan 3-3-2-3, Sommerville 4-1-1-2. 2B — Sommervielle. SB —Feigal, Clemente.
Limon pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Cesko 1 1/3-4-5-3-1-0, Stephen 1/3-2-2-0-0-0, Hubbard 3 1/3-5-5-5-6-3, Bennett 2/3-1-1-0-1-0, Albers 1/3-0-0-0-0-0.
Dawson School pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — T. Fulkers 6-7-4-2-4-11, Feigal 1-0-0-0-0-1.
Dawson School 6, Sedgwick County
Dawson School 000 240 0 — 6 9 0
Sedgwick County 000 100 0 — 1 7 2
W —Fiegal. L — Dunker.
Dawson School hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Clemente 3-0-2-1, T. Fulkerson 3-0-0-0, Slade 2-1-1-0, M. McClellan 4-1-1-0, Feigal 4-0-2-1, Nannen 2-2-0-0, C. Fulkerson 3-1-0-1, C. McClellan 4-0-2-0, Sommerville 4-0-1-2, Dodge 0-1-0-0. SB —Clemente, Slade, T. Fulkerson 2.
Sedgwick County hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Woodhams 4-0-3-0, Marquez 3-0-0-0, McKinley 3-1-2-0, Dunker 3-0-1-0, Walter 3-0-1-1, Buettenback 3-0-0-0, Schneider 2-0-0-0, Garnas 0-0-0-0, Woodhams 2-0-0-0, McKinley 3-0-0-0. SB —Woodhams, McKinley, Walter.
Dawson School pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Fiegal 7-7-1-1-2-3.
Sedgwick County pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Dunker 4 1/3-6-6-6-6-4, Woodhams 2 2/3-3-0-0-1-3.