Boulder passed on a chance for perfection. And the Panthers were OK with it.
On yet another unusually hot and sunny mid-March Saturday afternoon, they had little trouble in taking down Rangeview 7-0 in Class 5A nonleague play at Scott Carpenter Field. What's more, Boulder left-handed starter Jackson Dinkel was perfect through five innings, setting down all 15 Raiders he faced.
However, new Panthers coach Carmen Rivas elected to take out Dinkel to begin the sixth. It's March, lots of season remains and the coach is gauging arms as well as his team's rotation.
Plus, he's human.
"You never plan for a perfect game," said Rivas, whose team improved to 3-0. "I struggled with it a little bit and I'm struggling with it now. I just made a decision to go with (a change)."
As it was, junior Sanjay Solomon came on in the sixth, recorded a groundout to extend the perfect string to 16, then saw it end on an infield error. An inning later, Rangeview's Gonzalo Luevano smacked a one-out single to break up the no-hitter.
"Yeah, we have a plan to try and get our pitching staff together," Rivas said.
And there was no grumbling from Dinkel.
"You've got to respect the coach's decision," he said without a hint of animosity. "I would have loved to go back out there, but I respect his decision."
Adding that he's "not mad at him," Dinkel said he realizes it's early in the season, there will be other opportunities and the victory is what matters most. Besides, he was sharp, mixing his fastball with off-speed offerings, and threw only 45 pitches.
"My arm felt good," he said.
Rangeview first-year coach Rick Spriggs also was impressed with Dinkel.
"We didn't come out to pay very well, but I tip my hat to him," he said. "He did throw a great baseball game, spotting his pitches real well."
Boulder scored three times in each of the first two innings off Rangeview starter and loser Isaiah Carrillo to take control. Add a Rangeview (1-3) infield error to open the game, singles by Aiden Chandler, Max Bajza, Dinkel and Cameron Mainland, as well as a couple of walks and sacrifice flies by Bajza and Henry Ryan, and Boulder quickly made it 6-0.
All told, Dinkel, who also struck out five Raiders, added two hits, Chandler scored three times and smacked two safeties, and Razja drove home three. There wasn't an extra-base hit in the game.
The Panthers will face Fruita Monument on Wednesday, then spend a week in Arizona while playing on spring break.
Rivas, who also coached at Centaurus and Monarch, said he likes "our leadership. We're an old team, we have a lot of seniors. These guys have played together for a long time and I'm just kind of letting them play."
BOULDER 7, RANGEVIEW 0
Rangeview 000 000 0 - 0 1 3
Boulder 330 100 x - 7 7 3
E - Venacore, Angoco, Carrillo, Davis, Bajza, Hitz. DP - Boulder. LOB - Rangeview 3, Boulder SB - Hitz, Chandler 2. CS - Cunningham.
W - Dinkel. L - Carrillo. HBP - Ryan (by Carrillo); Chandler (by Lyster). WP - Lyster, SF - Rajza, Ryan. T -1:27.
Boulder 7, Rangeview 0
At Scott Carpenter Field
Rangeview 000 000 0 — 0 1 3
Boulder 330 100 x — 7 7 3
W — Boulder Dinkel. L — Carrillo.
Rangeview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Peacock cf 2-0-0-0, Clanton 2b 3-0-0-0, Angoco rf 2-0-0-0, Cameron rf 1-0-0-0, Luevano dh-1b 3-0-1-0, Vanacore 3b 3-0-0-0, Cooper c 3-0-0-0, Lyster 1b-p 2-0-0-0, Morris lf 2-0-0-0, Benavides ss 2-0-0-0, Carrillo p 0-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-1-0. SB —Chandler 2.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cunningham lf 4-1-1-0, Chandler 1b-3b 2-3-1-0, Dinkel p-1b 3-0-2-1, Sullivan cr 0-2-0-0, Bajza c 2-0-1-3, Moore cr 0-0-0-0, Mainland rf 4-0-1-1, Davis 3b 2-0-0-0, Solomon p 0-0-0-0, Ryan ss 1-0-0-1, Katz cf 3-0-0-0, Hitz 2b 2-1-0-0. Totals 23-7-6-6. SB —Hitz.
Rangeview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Carillo 3-4-6-6-4-0, Lyster 3-3-1-1-1-1.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Dinkel 5-0-0-0-0-5, Solomon 2-1-0-0-1-2.