BRIGHTON — Friday's outcome wasn't the result any team would want to see at the tail end of a season. Fairview's 28-11 loss to Gene Taylor's at the band box known as the Brighton High baseball field, however, was not indicative to head coach David Castillo about how the summer went for the Knights overall.
Nowhere near, in fact.
As far as results on the field, Fairview was decent in its split between American Legion play and the Colorado Baseball League schedule it took on this year. Friday's loss ended their run at the American Legion A Elite State Tournament, which also included a 23-18 win over Brighton-based Colorado Khaos on Thursday.
This summer was mostly about allowing all the kids in the program getting comfortable with a new system, as Castillo took over for Rick Harig midway through this past school year.
"He set up a program in a completely different way, and the way it went, working out every day Monday through Friday made us bond as a team," said Tyler Carpenter, who will be a cog for FHS this spring.
Castillo dubbed his training regimen "Road to the Top" and he plans on executing the same type of work for the players during the fall. The work includes daily weight training and, literally, thousands of fielding and hitting repetitions.
"It's been great for us," Castillo said. "I told them at the beginning that if you want to be in this game for a long time, you have to learn to love doing the work. At the next level, that's so important because a lot of them just don't realize how much time you are out on that field.
"It took a couple weeks, but it seemed like at the end they could not get enough. Some of them didn't miss a single day, and I'm proud of them taking on that challenge."
Carpenter, who verbally committed to Illinois State early in June, firmly believes the team grew together this summer through it all.
"Being with each other every single day, doing thousands upon thousands of reps with each other, you really do get a feel for what each other can do what we can work on," he said. "By helping each other work through their mistakes, it's just been really beneficial for us."
The entire week at Brighton has been filled with football-type scores on the diamond and Fairview's matchup against the defending Colorado state A champions was as scary as advertised.
The Grand Junction based team is always in the hunt for the title, and its mix of players this year included Fruita Monument grad Cuba Bess (a 39th round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies) and Grand Junction grad Tyson Zanski (St. Cloud commit), among others.
Bess went 6-for-6 with a home run, three doubles and seven RBI on Friday; Zanksi also had a home run; and Trey Garcia (Otero Junior College commit) had four hits and four RBI.
Despite being out of the game by the second inning, Fairview kept a fine approach at the plate. Carpenter went 4-for-5 with three doubles; Matt Erickson had two hits and two RBI; and J.D. Jones drove in two runs.
Jones is just a rising eighth grader.
"I just can't wait to get more time with these guys," Castillo said. "They are hungry to learn and get better at their baseball skills."
American Legion A Elite State Tournament
Gene Taylor's 28, Fairview 11
At Brighton HS
Fairview 106 200 2 — 11 15 6
Gene Taylor's 593 344 x — 28 23 2
L — Futter.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rock 4-2-2-1, Mossa 4-2-2-0, Carpenter 5-3-4-2, Scheufele 5-2-1-1, Erickson 4-1-2-2, Nielsen 0-0-0-0, Lewitt 5-0-1-0, Haensly 3-1-0-0, Jones 3-0-1-2, Carrigan 4-0-0-0. Totals 37-11-13-8.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Futter 1-8-10-9-1-0, Lewitt 2-6-7-5-2-2, Rock 1.1-4-7-5-2-2, Mossa 0.2-1-0-0-0-1, Nielsen 1-3-4-1-3-1.