GREELEY — It is that stretch of the summer baseball season where Fairview coach Dave Castillo needs all hands on deck.
You got a fresh arm? He's going to throw you. Swinging a hot bat? You'll be on the line-up card.
The Knights are playing a lot of games over the next five days and need to nab as many wins as possible to still qualify for the Colorado Legion A state tournament in Brighton.
In their first game on Tuesday at Butch Butler Field against the Greeley GoJo squad, the Knights looked a little discombobulated in all aspects and fell 12-3.
"They had a great guy on the mound and I really have to tip my cap to him. He had three pitches working for him that he was throwing on any count and making it very difficult for our hitters," said Castillo about Greeley starter Paul Mudrow.
"This just wasn't our day. I'm not going to make any excuses for our guys, but we had a little bit of a break and I think it showed early on."
The Fairview arms, which will be pushed to their limits over the next few weeks, struggled to find the zone early on and when they did, the GoJo's bats hit the ball hard. Joe Mondragon hit the first of three Greeley triples — a rocket to the 400 foot marker in center field in the first inning — and drove in the first run.
The Knights got out of a jam in the second inning. With two runs already in, starting pitcher Jordan Shef walked the bases loaded and was replaced by Colt Futter. He got Jonathan Cowles to roll into a 6-4-3 double play that stopped the bleeding.
"That's just the game of baseball, we really have to minimize those opportunities for the other team," Castillo said. "And maximize ours.
"The big thing right now is just managing arms and making sure everybody is here. I'm happy I have a lot of guys who can throw."
The defense behind the Knights didn't do them any favors either. Six of Greeley's 12 runs were unearned and Fairview committed four errors.
The lone highlight offensively for Fairview was in the top of the fifth inning. First baseman Tyler Carpenter pulled a 0-1 offering from Mudrow over the right field fence for a two-run home run.
"This has been a long summer and these guys have been grinding it out and I'm happy with the growth," said Castillo, whose team will be at Monarch for a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.
Greeley GoJo 12, Fairview 3
At Butch Butler Field
Fairview 010 020 0 — 3 5 4
Greeley GoJo 222 303 x — 12 11 1
W — Paul Mudrow. L — Jordan Shef.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Wil Mossa 4-0-0-0, Teddy Lewitt 3-1-1-0, Tyler Carpenter 3-1-2-2, Jordan Shef 1-0-0-0, Colt Futter 2-0-0-0, Ben Nielson 0-0-0-0, Henry Rock 3-0-0-0, Sam McGill 3-0-0-0, Josh Hansley 2-1-1-0, Jeff Erickson 3-0-1-0, Cole Carrigan 2-0-0-0. Totals 26-3-5-2. HR — Carpenter (one on in 5th).
Greeley GoJo hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Diego Martinez 3-2-1-0, Justin Frye 3-0-0-0, Paul Mudrow 0-0-0-0, Joe Mondragon 3-1-2-1, Joe Kuhn 2-1-0-1, Jonathan Cowles 4-2-3-1, Jared Chick 3-3-3-1, Arnoldo Maltos-Garcia 3-1-0-1, Ethan Zwaagstra 4-1-1-0, Tanner Gettman 3-1-1-3. 28-12-11-8. 2B — Chick. 3B — Mondrago, Zwaagstra, Gettman.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Shef 1.1-4-4-4-1, Futter 2.2-3-5-1-1-1, Nielson 2-4-3-1-0-3.
Greeley GoJo pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mudrow 7-5-3-3-1-5.