BOULDER — The Skyline Falcons didn't even need to meet the height requirements to ride the roller coaster they've been on this summer.
Coach Travis Schlagel's Falcons have experienced the highest of highs and, as recently as two weeks ago, hit rock bottom.
Through it all they have kept the ship afloat, playing .500 baseball and still in the hunt to make the postseason. Thursday afternoon's 9-2 victory over Fairview A2 went a long way in locking down a spot in the playoffs.
"We had a setback a couple of series ago and dropped a real tough one, a game we absolutely should have won, and it feels nice to get a win here today," said Schlagel, whose team will wrap of the regular season portion of the schedule this weekend against Rocky Mountain. "Hopefully we get a little fire going in to Rocky and that will determine if we go.
"It's nice to have that drive to get into the tournament and keep it rolling once we get in."
Fairview, playing with just eight men in the field to start the game, struggled in the field behind starter Ryan Caraballo. The Knights, who finished with eight errors, committed five in the third and fourth innings and allowed the Falcons to comfortably pull away.
A dropped fly ball and a wild throwing error on a routine ground ball led to three runs in the third. In the fourth, two more runs cross on three more errors.
"Can't really win a ball game like that," Fairview skipper Cannon Casey said. "We made the routine plays look hard and just didn't get it done."
The most productive part of the Skyline lineup was the 8-9 hitters, Nate McGregor and Brett Shannon. They reached base four times each, went 5 for 5 with three walks, scored a run and successfully turned the lineup over on a consistent basis.
"It's great to see. Our approach has gotten a lot better over the summer," Schlagel said. "It was nice to see them produce, get themselves on base and roll the lineup over."
McGregor, who struggled with his command at times through the first five innings on the mound, made the pitches he needed to when it counted and thwarted any sort of Knights threats.
"He's got a great arm and he can throw well and we recognize that mechanically we need to work on some things in the winter time," said Schlagel, who his sophomore-to-be McGregor. "He's got good velocity and a good curve ball and when he found the zone, they weren't going to touch him."
In addition to McGregor's three hits, so to did Nick Hamby, who drove in a run with an RBI single in the seventh.
Skyline 9, Fairview A2 2
Skyline 103 200 3 — 9 12 1
Fairview 101 000 0 — 2 3 8
W — Nate McGregor. L — Ryan Carabello.
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Alex Schernecke 4-1-0-0, Caleb Zietlow 3-3-2-1, Nick Hamby 5-1-3-1, Juan Chaparro 4-2-0-1, Jonah Chrisman 0-0-0-0, Nate Higgins 3-1-0-2, Avery Riddoch 4-0-2-1, James Canar 4-0-0-0, Nate McGregor 3-0-3-0, Brett Shannon 2-1-2-0. Totals 32-9-12-6. 2B — McGregor. SB — McGregor 2, Shannon, Higgins.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jack Okada 3-0-0-0, Logan McMinn 2-1-0-0, Colt Futter 2-1-0-0, Ryan Caraballo 3-0-0-0, Miles Morton 2-0-0-0, Liam Blomwalker 3-0-1-1, Jackson Harstead 3-0-1-0, Liam Murray 3-0-0-0, Phillip Murrell 2-0-1-0. Totals 23-2-3-1.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McGregor 5-3-2-1-8-7, Canar 2-0-0-0-0-1.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Carabello 7-12-9-2-7-3.