BOULDER — The Fairview Knights had well over two weeks to play out game No. 1 in the heads.
There is a strong possibility that not a single one of them had it going the way it did on a chilly and windy Friday afternoon against Cherokee Trail.
The visiting Cougars, on the strength of a complete game — albeit five innings — no-hitter from Blake Mackintosh spoiled the Knights debut 11-0.
"We've definitely got some things we need to clean up and it was tough, especially with the elements, but that is not an excuse, they did a great job," Fairview coach David Castillo said. "We are a young squad and there is some inexperience and maybe the emotions got to them a little bit."
Things started out very well for senior side-winding pitcher Ryan Caraballo. His off-speed pitches that were coming in at a different arm angle had the top of the Cougars lineup off balance.
In the second inning, Cougars designated hitter Brendon Johnson popped what looked like a lazy fly ball to right, but Henry Rock was battling both the wind and the setting sun and it dropped.
Cherokee Trail's Isaac Hayen made them pay five pitches later with a two-run home run over the right field fence.
The floodgates really opened up against Fairview in the fourth inning. They watched 13 men come to the plate for Cherokee Trail, including nine of the first 10 — and nine runs cross the plate.
Caraballo was chased, Kush Tewari walked the two men he faced with the bases loaded before Colt Futter came in and restored order — but not before a three-run double by Kody Kellogg put the mercy-rule into effect.
Still Castillo was able to find the positives, especially from his pitchers, on a day when the offense was unable to produce.
"Caraballo did an outstanding job, and it is so early and we are still trying to figure out how long they can go. A lot of guys have thrown but we are still testing the waters," he said. "(Caraballo) just ran out of gas there in the end, Kush was a little high, maybe with his emotions too and then Futter came in and did an outstanding job.
"There are a lot of positives and a lot we can work on to be ready for the next 18 games."
The next five for Fairview will all be in Florida. The Knights fly out on Sunday for a tournament in Fort Lauderdale, that includes Parkland's Stoneman Douglas High.
CHEROKEE TRAIL 11, FAIRVIEW 0
Cherokee Trail (3-1)020 90 — 11 8 0
Fairview (0-1)000 00 — 0 0 3
W — Mackintosh. L — Caraballo (0-1).
Cherokee Trail hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Barber 3-1-1-0, Gonzales 4-1-1-1, Matos 4-1-1-1, Bell 3-1-2-1, Chase 2-1-0-1, Johnson 2-2-0-1, Mackintosh 0-0-0-0, Hayen 2-3-1-3, Leisge 2-0-0-0, Kellogg 2-0-2-3, Albert 0-1-0-0. Totals 24-11-8-11. 2B — Kellogg 2. HR — Hayen (one on in 2nd). SB — Barber.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Carrigan 2-0-0-0, Rock 2-0-0-0, B. Jones 2-0-0-0, Erickson 1-0-0-0, Owens 2-0-0-0, Tewari 1-0-0-0, Caraballo 0-0-0-0, Futter 0-0-0-0, Hopkins 1-0-0-0, J. Jones 2-0-0-0, McMinn 1-0-0-0, Hoskins 1-0-0-0. Totals 15-0-0-0.
Cherokee Trail pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Mackintosh 5-0-0-0-1-6.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caraballo 3.1-7-9-4-3-3, Tewari 0-0-2-2-2-0, Futter 1.2-1-0-0-0-4.