BOULDER — Trailing by a run in the seventh inning Saturday, the Fairview baseball team needed someone to come through with the big hit.
Rocky DeSantis might have been an unlikely candidate for the job, but only because the left-handed slugger sat and watched the action for six innings from the dugout.
With the game on the line, coach Rick Harig turned to his usual No. 3 hitter — sitting out, the coach said, due to a regular rotation in the lineup — and DeSantis widened his stance with two strikes and came through with a bloop single to center that allowed Cameron Frazier to score the tying run.
The Knights went on to score two more in the inning off of Boulder reliever Kevin Flores, winning the latest edition of city rivalry 8-6.
“It’s pretty exciting,” DeSantis said. “I mean every time you come off the bench guys are going to be cold. You haven’t played the whole game and you haven’t seen the pitcher or anything. Coming out with a big hit like that is pretty special for me. I know it really helped the team out.”
Fairview’s win keeps the Knights in the hunt for the Class 5A tournament next month at 7-6 overall and 3-3 in the league. Harig said he would feel much better about his team’s chances at this point if it could have produced different outcomes in a couple of recent one-run losses. But he liked what he saw from his team Saturday, especially considering seven of his nine players in the game at the end were either freshmen or sophomores.
“It’s good to be in those kinds of games for those young guys,” Harig said.
Boulder coach Steve Disbrow knows all about the perils of youth this season. The Panthers lost their fifth consecutive game Saturday and remain in the basement of the Front Range League. Disbrow said he expected to contend with some problems and mistakes that come from having so many young players at the varsity level this season, but at this stage of the season he is ready to see his team take a step forward.
“We are young, but at the same time I’m tired of that being an excuse,” Disbrow said. “We’re making some youthful mistakes, but at the same time, these guys are all varsity baseball players and if we didn’t believe in them and their abilities then they wouldn’t be here.
“The youth piece is there but at the same time, we still work and expect results.”
Fairview’s four-hit seventh inning, which was started when Frazier reached on a throwing error, spoiled a crafty outing from Boulder starting pitcher Grant Rogers.
Rogers pitched six innings, often challenging Fairview hitters with off-speed pitches. He allowed five runs on five hits and struck out four. Rogers pitched from behind until the Boulder offense came alive with a five-run fifth inning that gave the Panthers the lead.
Center fielder Dylan Platt provided the big hit in the fifth for Boulder with a two-run double, scoring Tommy Baumgartner and Loic Guegan. Platt later scored the go-ahead run on Nate Bukowski’s triple.
But after rallying from a 4-1 deficit the Panthers couldn’t hold the lead. Boulder fell to 4-9-1 and 0-6 in league play.
“We’re looking for a spark right now,” Disbrow said. “We’re looking for something to jump start us and get us going.”
Fairview 8, Boulder 6
At Scott Carpenter Park
Fairview (7-6, 3-3) 101 210 3 — 8 10 3
Boulder (4-9-1, 0-6) 000 150 0 — 6 5 0
W — R. Madden. L — Flores.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 3-2-1-0, Katz 3-0-0-0, DeSantis 1-1-1-1, J. Madden 3-1-1-0, Hill 3-1-2-1, Blair 3-1-0-0, R. Madden 4-1-2-0, Casey 3-0-0-0, Olsen 1-0-0-0, Hernden2-0-1-1, Harris 1-0-1-1, Ryan 2-0-0-1, Feauto 1-0-1-0. 2B — Frazier, J. Madden. SB — Ryan.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Guegan 3-1-0-0, Marcotte 2-0-0-0, Denton 0-2-0-0, Platt 4-1-2-2, L. Bukowski 3-0-1-1, N. Bukowski 3-0-1-1, Frigal 2-0-0-0, Flores 2-1-0-1, Baumgartner 3-1-1-0, Garcia 3-0-0-0. 2B– Platt. 3B — N. Bukowski.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Stoorman 41/3-3-5-5-3-6, R. Madden 22/3-2-1-1-1-3.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Rogers 6-5-5-3-3-4, Flores 1-5-3-2-0-2.