Looking at the past few baseball games between Fairview and Boulder, there hasn't been much in the way of normalcy.
Well, go ahead and add Thursday's contest at FHS to the list of quirky, you-had-to-see-it-to-believe-it, results in the rivalry.
A tale of two completely different games packed into seven tense innings, all of the illogical intricacies of the sport came into play as the Fairview Knights emerged with an 11-9 victory over the Panthers after trailing by nine runs pretty early on in the contest.
For Fairview, one pitcher finally hitting his stride was complemented with a freshman's home run that energized the host team, while for Boulder a strong start on the scoreboard and in the field gave way to plenty of physical mistakes that swayed momentum considerably in the final four innings.
In the end, it was the perfect example of one dugout keeping a positive outlook in the midst of adversity.
"We were definitely pretty dead (early), but I came in and knew that it was just my job to shut it down and do what I could to help the team out," said Fairview senior pitcher Eliot Dineen, who roped in the win by allowing just one hit in 2 2/3 innings of relief. "(Catcher) JD (Jones) got the three-run homer that sparked us, set the tone it felt like, and we just started chipping away. You could feel the momentum shift.
"Down 9-0 is pretty bad, but coming back to score 11 and beat a team doesn't happen often. To do it against Boulder, feels really good."
"I knew they were down, but I knew what they could do as long as they kept playing hard," added Fairview head coach David Castillo, whose team moved to 4-10 in the most improbable way. "Obviously it turned out for the better, for sure."
Coming off a win last week against Horizon, the Knights were in the right frame of mind when approaching the game that, as Dineen said, "all of us have marked on our calendar."
But with inconsistent pitching forcing Castillo to wear out a path between the dugout and mound through the first four innings, it was well on the way to being a Panthers romp. Timely hitting made FHS pitchers pay for walks issued — Boulder (10-5) drew five walks and had another two batters hit by a pitch — and it was 9-0 after Jackson Dinkel's fourth inning single with one out.
But the 6-foot-7 Dineen entered the game at that point and got the final two outs of that frame, and Fairview responded at the plate by getting the first two runners aboard for freshman catcher JD Jones, who hit a towering home run to left field to post Fairview's first runs.
In the fifth, the Knights added three runs on the strength of consecutive doubles by Cole Carrigan and David Hopkins, and all of a sudden with a 9-6 score the buzz flew to the Knights' side of the field.
It was just the beginning.
Dineen held off Boulder in the sixth, and when Fairview came back up to bat they recognized Boulder starter Sonjay Solomon flattening out on his pitches and used their patience to get baserunners. Brendan Hoskins and Hunter Owens walked to chase Solomon, and Logan McMinn singled to make it 9-7. Owens scored on a passed ball to make it 9-8, and then a wild pitch plated two more runs as Carrigan was able to come all the way around from second base.
Henry Rock doubled in another run, and the junior eventually came on to get the final three outs on the mound and register one of the biggest saves of Fairview's year.
"There were a lot of mound walks today, but we got the perfect opportunity for (Dineen) after not being able to pitch for awhile," Castillo said. "He had a fire in his belly, and it showed. And JD's home run, it lifted us and opened the doors."
"This is one of the most meaningful games of the year, and it's a game that we just really want to win," added Rock. "Coach did a great job of getting us together in the dugout and just letting us know that there was still a lot of baseball left to play. Eliot, coming to shut it down ... what a job he did. Big time."
Both teams have a busy weekend ahead with games Friday and Saturday, and for Boulder that means a chance to erase all that came with a dreadful ending to Thursday.
The Panthers host Poudre at Scott Carpenter Park Friday at 4 p.m.
"We got beat, and now our other games are just more important," Boulder head coach Jack Taylor said. "We just couldn't get back that momentum ourselves, and everything just piled up on us today. It was two different tides in one game. We just have to keep our heads up."
Fairview 11, Boulder 9
At Fairview HS
Boulder (10-5, 4-4)115 200 0 — 9 9 0
Fairview (4-10, 3-5)000 335 x — 11 9 1
W — Elliott Dineen. L — Johnny Suchor. S — Henry Rock.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Liam Yuill 3-0-1-0. Jackson Wyatt 1-0-0-0, Teddy Schoenfeld 3-3-1-0, Kyle Harris 5-0-1-1, Jackson Dinkel 2-2-2-1, Ethan Prout 1-1-0-0, Sean Coan 0-0-0-0, Jackson Furie 1-0-0-0, Dorsey Chatham 3-1-1-2, Preston Stansel 3-0-1-1, Johnny Suchor 3-2-1-1, Tommy Wymore 3-0-1-1. Totals 28-9-9-7. 2B —Suchor. 3B —Schoenfeld, Wymore. SB —Schoenfeld.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — David Hopkins 3-1-1-2, Brett Jones 4-2-2-0, Henry Rock 1-1-1-2, JD Jones 3-1-1-3, Kush Tewari 3-0-0-0, Hall Humphrey 0-0-0-0, Brendan Hoskins 3-1-0-0, Hunter Owens 2-1-0-0, Logan McMinn 3-2-3-1, Cole Carrigan 2-2-1-0. Totals 24-11-9-8. 2B — Hopkins, Rock, Carrigan. HR —JD Jones. SB —Rock, JD Jones.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sonjay Solomon 5.1-6-8-8-3-4, Suchor 0.0-1-2-2-1-0, Chatham 0.2-2-1-1-2-1.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Colt Futter 2.1-5-4-3-2-3, Harry Paul 0.0-1-2-2-1-0, Greyson Carter 0.2-2-2-2-1-0, Ian McNice 0.1-1-1-1-1-1, Elliot Dineen 2.2-0-0-0-3-3, Rock 1-0-0-0-0-1.