BRIGHTON — Thursday was Boulder Post 10's turn to bang on the fences at Brighton's Duke White Field.
This time at the American Legion A Elite state tournament, they got the pitching to back it up in a 16-8 win over Monarch that keeps coach Tim Kupfner's team alive.
Boulder, which collected 17 hits but lost 21-14 to Greeley GoJo's in Wednesday's first round, added another 22 base knocks to the count against the Coyotes, scoring six runs in the fourth inning of the game to take the lead for good.
After Mason Hitz threw a couple of solid frames to start the contest, Brendan Van Haute willed himself through six innings, allowing just seven hits and three runs to put Boulder in Friday's 4 p.m. contest against either SDBA-Elite or Rocky Mountain.
"Our goal was to get a win at this tournament and we were able to accomplish that, and now it's trying to get another one and keep going," said Kupfner, whose team also turned three double plays in the game. "We did hit the ball today but our pitching really came through like we thought they could."
As could be expected late in the summer, neither team was particularly sharp but Boulder seemed in the mood for finding gaps and corners of the outfield. The team tallied nine extra-base hits, including home runs from Derek Cunningham and Jacob Katz, another Katz triple and two doubles off the bat of Hitz.
While those played an obvious role, so too did baserunning. Boulder was especially cognizant of pitches in the dirt and took advantage of several opportunities to move up a base or two.
"We really just focused on winning innings, getting runs and holding them," said Cooper Moore, who had four hits, scored twice and drove in a pair of runs. "We've been talking all season about looking at balls in the dirt and moving up on those whenever we can and we did a lot of that today. I think everyone's happy about that because that does translate into runs."
Van Haute's work on the hill was sorely needed, and it came a day after he was hit in the back of the neck with a pitch that really was a scary moment. He stayed in Wednesday's game and appeared fine Thursday.
Kupfner praised his maturity more than anything after he tried to settle down third baseman Jake L'Heureux after a couple of fielding errors in the fourth.
"Most pitchers would be upset, but he went over there and just told him it would be okay, and that's unbelievable maturity," Kupfner said. "He picked up a teammate at a big time."
After winning a tournament in Casper, Wyo., it was a rough end for Monarch as Scott Weiss said his team went 1-9 down the final stretch. The Coyotes gave top-seeded Gene Taylor's a game Wednesday, falling 13-7, but couldn't keep the pressure on Boulder after taking a temporary 5-4 lead in the third.
Connor Flynn had three hits to lead MoHi.
"This is how we've been the last week and a half. We just ran out of gas after that tournament," Weiss said. "I guess it was good to hold Gene Taylor's to 13 runs, but you're not going to win games giving up 13 and (16).
"It is one of those things where it's good to see where you need to get as a team."
Of note, Ben Davis had four more hits for Boulder giving him nine in two games.
American Legion A Elite State Tournament
Boulder Post 10 16, Monarch 8
At Brighton HS
Boulder 310 630 021 — 16 22 4
Monarch 104 101 100 — 8 11 1
W — Van Haute. L — Hoban.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Davis 6-3-4-2, Van Haute 5-2-3-1, Katz 5-2-2-4, Moore 5-2-4-2, Cunningham 6-2-2-2, Hitz 4-0-2-1, Stansel 0-1-0-0, Dinkel 5-0-2-2, L'Heureux 4-3-2-0, Prout 1-0-0-0, Wardell 5-1-1-0. Totals 41-16-22-14.
Monarch hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rodriguez 5-0-2-0, Schmanski 2-2-0-0, Coatney 2-0-1-0, Flynn 5-2-3-1, Crouch 4-0-1-1, Tarves 4-1-1-0, Cole 4-1-0-0, Grigsby 1-0-0-0, Tranka 3-1-2-1, Harrington 3-0-0-0, Muckle 1-0-0-0, Morris 4-1-1-1. Totals 38-8-11-4.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hitz 3-4-5-2-2-5, Van Haute 6-7-3-2-4-5.
Monarch pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hoban 4-13-10-10-0-3, Tranka 1-4-3-3-0-1, Flynn 4-5-3-3-3-3.