ERIE — The fashion with which the Longmont-Erie combined summer baseball team lost on Friday morning summed up their run at the Boulder National Invitational baseball tournament quite conveniently.
The Trogers did not make enough plays to get the job done against any of their four opponents through the week, and they also did not get enough breaks to go their way even when they were in the midst of a battle.
"We were finally able to plate some runs (Friday) that we weren't plating early in the tournament," co-head coach Harold Simmons said after an 11-10 walk-off loss to Kansas team Lawrence Free State, "but that last inning sure was indicative of how it's gone for us. We just didn't play good baseball ... not a lot of toughness shown this week, which is unfortunate."
Simmons and fellow coach Tom Fobes know in the back of their minds the Trogers have been better and may be able to turn things right around for their Colorado Baseball League tournament starting Wednesday. In a couple prior tournaments, in fact, they had come out with winning records.
The NIT was just not a dominant showing and it ended with Lawrence scoring the winning run on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. Earlier in the frame, a ball that got lost in the sun out in right started a rally for Lawrence after Erie-Longmont had taken a 10-8 lead in the top of the inning.
"Some of the mistakes we made got their confidence back up, and we just failed to get them out of the game early," said leadoff hitter Avery Peterson, who came in relief to pitch as well and took the tough loss. "We made a few mental mistakes that really bit us bad."
After scoring eight total runs in three games between Wednesday and Thursday, the Trogers came out swinging and finished with 12 hits as a team. Peterson went 3-for-4 with three RBI, and Matt Kelly had a great day down in the No. 9 hole (2-for-3, two runs, RBI). Hayden Carson doubled twice and scored both times, too.
However, they gave back a 5-0 second inning lead right away with walks and errors contributing heavy to the Free State rally. Trogers pitchers walked seven Lawrence batters, and most of those were early in innings and worked around the bases to score.
"I think we hit the ball well early on, too, but we were lining out a lot and ended up getting doubled off on some of those. Today we finally got the gaps, and it looked good," Peterson said. "We'll keep this in our minds because we know what we can work on."
"We're still figuring out what teams are looking like for next spring, and even though we don't have much summer left, we'll figure it out," Simmons said. "We'll get back out there, get in the weight room over the winter and get things worked out."
Lawrence Free State 11, Erie-Longmont Trogers 10
At Erie HS
Erie-Longmont 050 14 — 10 12 2
Lawrence 053 03 — 11 7 2
L — Peterson.
Erie-Longmont hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Peterson 4-0-3-3, Mirabassi 4-0-1-1, Befus 3-0-0-0, Nelson 3-1-0-0, Carson 3-2-2-0, Thompson 3-2-1-1, Deckert 3-1-1-0, Lutgens 2-1-1-0, Hassler 1-1-1-1, Kelly 3-2-2-1. 2B — Carson 2.
Erie-Longmont pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Shrader 2-2-5-2-3-2, Garrett Mayers 0-1-3-3-2-0, Peterson 2.1-4-3-3-2-2.