The stadium lights of Suplizio Field weren't too bright for the members of the Boulder Collegians on Tuesday night.
And, for all intents and purposes, the hometown amateur team's 4-0 exhibition loss to the Grand Junction Rockies rookie affiliate certainly seems like it warranted an invite back next year, too.
The Collegians faced some hard throwers, including the 2015 MLB Draft's 27th overall pick Mike Nikorak, but still came up with some hits and showed the gusto that kept them in a nine-inning contest against a team comprised of a ton of young talent.
"I really liked the way the guys handled their business, and they took a professional approach to it all and played hard," Collegians coach Haas Pratt said Wednesday upon the return back to Boulder. "They were a high caliber opponent, and it's one of those things where they expose the little mistakes a little bit more.
"The consistency of the arms they threw at us was probably the biggest difference. A little more velocity in their third and fourth guys, a little more bite in the breaking ball."
The experience as a whole was exactly what Collegians general manager Matt Jensen was looking for. Pratt said the players enjoyed the park and the atmosphere of a minor league game day, and when it came down to it, were able to gauge themselves against players who have major league aspirations.
"To be honest, our guys want in every way to be on the other side, in that other dugout some day," Pratt said. "They got a real chance to see just how close some of them might be to that."
The Collegians (9-6) are back in Rocky Mountain Baseball League action on Saturday at the Golden Grizzlies.