DENVER — Boulder Collegians pitcher David May was cruising along to the tune of a one-hit shutout before a line drive hit his knee and caused him to leave the game in the sixth inning on Wednesday night.
It wasn't the ideal end to May's outstanding start.
May's excellent start was, however, the Collegians' ideal beginning to the Rocky Mountain Baseball League playoffs and was the driving force behind a 3-0 win over Colorado Sox.
"I pitched well and put some zeros up on the board and then Cory Richer came in a sealed it up for us," said May, a junior at Azusa Pacific University. "I think we just played a really solid game, all-around. Aaron Pleaschner had a couple of great plays at shortstop today. We have some really, really good players on this team and when we all come together, hit well and play defense well, this is what we're capable of."
Two years removed from their last National Baseball Congress World Series appearance and facing a Sox team they beat twice in three meetings during the regular season, the Collegians entered as the fourth seed in their first game of the 2016 RMBL tournament. Beating the fifth-seeded Sox was a good start to the 10-team double-elimination tournament.
May worked off his fastball, which runs into the upper 80's, using his slider and splitter to get batters out at on the turf field at Metro State University. He struck out four batters before giving way to Richer with two out in the sixth inning. The duo held the Sox to three hits.
Aided by three Sox errors, the Collegians totaled nine hits and took a two-run lead in the top of the first. Jeromy Taylor, who went 3 for 3 at the plate, scored on an error to put the Sox up 3-0 in the fifth.
"We were very pleased with that outing from David," Collegians coach Haas Pratt said. "He was probably going to go the whole way for us if he didn't get hit. Our defense played sound and the other team, some errors bit them in the butt. It probably wouldn't have been a three-run ball game if not for that."
Spencer Ibarra and Cal Koga each recorded two hits for the Collegians and Caleb Henderson had the lone RBI.
The Collegians will face the top-seeded Sterling Xpress at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Xpress won the RMBL regular season title to claim one of two NBC World Series bids out of the league. If they win the league tournament, the second place team will join them at the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan.
Boulder Collegians 3, Colorado Sox 0
At Metro State University
Sox 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Collegians 200 010 0 — 3 9 0
W — May. L — Ham.
Sox hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Burns 3-0-0-0, Smith 3-0-0-0, Kehe 3-0-1-0, Lambert 3-0-1-0, Schaller 2-0-0-0, Baldini 3-0-0-0, T. Mohr 3-0-1-0, Clough 2-0-0-0, J. Mohr 1-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-3-0. 2B —Kehe.
Collegians hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Lawson 4-1-1-0, Taylor 3-1-3-0, Ibarra 3-1-2-0, Henderson 3-0-0-1, Balman 3-0-1-0, Vasquez 3-0-0-0, Koga 2-0-2-0, Gamble 2-0-0-0, Pleaschner 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-3-9-1. 2B — Ibarra, Taylor. SB — Balman.
Sox pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Ham 6-9-3-1-0-3.
Collegians pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — May 5.2-1-0-0-4-3, Richer 1.1-2-0-0-0-1.