LAFAYETTE — It was no Hatfields and McCoys, but Thursday’s third round of the Connie Mack State Tournament was a blood feud.
Slammers North and South were like scrappy siblings, with some early chatter between the teams about which branch of the metro-area club swung a bigger bat. But it was evident from the first pitch exactly who was the head of the family.
North sent its brother team running for the hills, doling South a 10-2 five-inning mercy-rule loss at Peak to Peak High School.
“We took this game a little personal,” said North first baseman Rocky DeSantis, a recent Fairview High graduate who is headed to Garden City (Kan.) Community College in the fall. “They have the same name as us, so we had something to prove and came out ready to play our hearts out.”
North’s victory leaves it as the only undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination tournament, but does not guarantee a spot in Saturday’s title game just yet.
North — a squad about half-comprised of Boulder and Broomfield County players — faces a final-four matchup at 10 a.m. Friday at Peak to Peak against former Colorado Rockie Walt Weiss’ Regis squad. Slammers South, meanwhile, faces Slammers Lakewood in a 12:30 p.m. matchup.
If North wins Friday, it would be in the title game against the other final four winner and have to be beaten twice for the title. Lose Friday, though, and North would be one of three one-loss teams advancing to Saturday. Under Connie Mack rules, depending on which teams remain and who has faced whom already, tournament officials would potentially draw out of a hat to determine who gets a bye to the title game on Saturday and which two teams have to play each other for a shot at the crown.
“The AABC rules are a little bit different than some double-elimination tournaments in you have to play somebody different after the third round,” North coach John Malkin said. “But we’re still in pretty good shape.”
After topping Longmont/Erie earlier in the day, hitting was the most auspicious aspect of North’s game against South. North stirred the pot with nine hits on the afternoon, but it was the team’s consistency, not its power, that blew open the scoreboard.
DeSantis notched North’s only extra-base hit of the afternoon, sending a run home in the second off a double. The rest of the team’s runs came off a steady stream of singles.
“It was similar to the first time we met them this season,” said DeSantis, who finished the game with three RBIs. “We put the bats out there and made contact with the ball.”
South attempted to reciprocate on offense in the fourth, when Brent Williams came up with one of his team’s five hits. The designated hitter put his team on the board in the inning, sending the ball over the left-field wall for a two-run home run.
The shot was the exception on the afternoon. The rest of the time North starting pitcher T.J. Clapper was ready to rule.
Clapper, a Legacy High grad, finished the game with four strikeouts and relentlessly attacked the zone. The right-hander collected his 10th win of the summer with no walks, and foiled every attempt by South to move a runner into scoring position.
“I got to do what I like to do today, get a lot of fly-ball, ground-ball outs,” Clapper said. “I just went after the zone and let my defense do the rest.”
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SLAMMERS NORTH 10, SLAMMERS SOUTH 2
At Peak to Peak H.S.
South 000 20 — 2 5 2
North 541 0x — 10 9 0
W — Clapper. L — Sylvester.
South hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Comlito 2-0-0-0, Fuller 2-1-2-0, Williams 2-1-1-2, Klein 2-0-1-0, Leinneber 2-0-0-0, Jenkins 2-0-1-0, Kaasch 2-0-0-0, Peterson 2-0-0-0, Thomas 2-0-0-0. Totals 18-2-5-2. 2B — None. 3B — None. HR — Williams (two runs in 4th). SB — None.
North hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Silva 3-2-1-0, Geigeo 2-2-2-1, Soole 3-1-1-0, DeSantis 3-2-2-3, Tucker 3-2-2-2, Malkin 2-0-1-1, Elzinga 0-0-0-0, Mulcane 2-0-0-0, Smith 2-0-0-0, Galambos 2-1-0-0. Totals 22-10-9-7. 2B — DeSantis. 3B — None. HR — None. SB — Tucker, Galambos.
South pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Honahan 0-2-0-3-0-0, Sylvester 3-7-10-6-0-0, Pizzichin 1-0-0-0-3-1.
North pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Clapper 5-5-2-2-0-4.
SLAMMERS NORTH 9, LONGMONT ERIE 3
At Peak to Peak H.S.
Slammers North 011 310 3 — 9 11 0
Longmont/Erie 000 010 2 — 3 7 0
W — Elzinga. L — Begler.
Slammers North hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Silver 2-1-0-0, Geiger 2-0-0-0, Soole 3-0-1-0, DeSantis3-3-3-2, Tucker 3-1-0-0, Mackin 3-1-2-1, Clapper 4-1-2-2, Smith 1-1-0-1, Galambos 4-1-1-1, F.Good 1-0-0-0, S. Good 2-0-1-0, Mulcare 2-0-1-1. Totals 24-9-11-9. 2B — DeSantis, Clapper. HR — DeSantis. SB — Silver, Galambos.
Longmont/Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Yee 4-1-1-0, Cinea 1-1-0-0, Crist 3-0-0-1, Lee 4-1-1-1,Dudley 0-0-0-0, Zamudio 2-0-1-1, Fesmire 3-0-0-0, Leroux 4-0-3-0, Amen 3-0-1-0, Baker 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-3-7-3. 2B — Leroux. 3B — Lee. SB — Dudley.
Slammers North pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Elzinga 4-1-0-0-4-6, Mulcare 2-3-1-1-1-2, S.Good 1-3-2-2-1-1.
Longmont/Erie pitchinig (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Begler 5-9-6-6-2-4, Whitehead 2-2-3-3-2-0.