BOULDER — Asked about the stellar effort his young right-hander, Grant Rogers, had just turned in, and initially Boulder baseball coach Steve Disbrow only smiled wryly and deadpanned, “He did OK.”
Perhaps Disbrow is leery of heaping too much praise on a pitcher who will only be a sophomore this fall. Nevertheless, Rogers continued his impressive summer on Saturday by handcuffing Fairview for nine innings, leading the Panthers to an 8-1 victory in a cross-town Legion A showdown.
“He was OK is the understatement of the day,” Disbrow said. “Grant was terrific. In a nine-inning game like this, outs 21 through 27 are tough. It’s a lot more difficult than a seven-inning game, and what allowed him to stay in there was really his ability to command the strike zone early and keep his pitch count down.
“The thing about Grant is, whether he has his ‘A’ stuff like today, or whether he’s not quite on his game, you know no one is going to quite out-compete that kid. It showed.”
Rogers allowed only four hits while issuing just two walks to earn the complete game victory. He retired the side in order four times and faced one of his few precarious situations in the sixth, when a walk and a single gave Fairview two base runners with only one out as Boulder clung to a 3-0 lead.
However, Rogers managed to erase one runner with a perfect pickoff move before ending the threat by getting Knights cleanup hitter Steve D’Epagnier to fly out. Rogers allowed only two hits without a run through eight innings before an RBI single by Fairview’s Ryan Madden ended Rogers’ shutout bid in the ninth.
“I was really just trying to throw strikes and let my fielders back me up, and they definitely did that today,” said Rogers, who recorded six strikeouts. “When we were in a jam (in the sixth) and we picked the kid off. That really got our momentum going. I’ve really been trying to pick up some velocity this summer. I’ve been long-tossing a lot and that has really helped.”
Boulder took a lead it would never relinquish with a three-run fourth, getting RBI hits from Philippe Guegan and Luke Bukowski before the Panthers executed a perfect delayed double steal in which Ray Feigal swiped home.
Guegan struck again in the eighth, extending the Panthers’ lead to 4-0 on an RBI single. Boulder put the game out of reach in the ninth, as a two-run triple from Ruben Garcia and a two-run single by Dylan Platt gave the visitors an 8-0 edge.
“Give Rogers the credit for keeping us off-balance. That was the bottom line,” Fairview coach Rick Harig said. “We had a lot of easy outs. A lot of taps, and we were out on our front foot a lot. He just kept mixing speeds and doing a good job. I don’t think the score is as indicative of how close it was, but we never really got that chance that we really wanted to to make it a game.”
The rivals will reconvene on Sunday evening for a doubleheader at Scott Carpenter Park, with the first game slated for 5 p.m.
Follow Pat Rooney on Twitter: @prooney07
Boulder 8, Fairview 1
At Fairview H.S.
Boulder 000 300 014 — 8 13 1
Fairview 000 000 001 — 1 4 3
W — Rogers. L — Feauto.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — L. Guegan 4-2-2-0, Platt 5-0-3-2, P. Guegan 5-1-4-2, Feigal 3-1-0-0, L. Bukowski 3-1-2-1, Chandler 4-1-1-0, Garcia 2-0-1-2, Baumgartner 4-0-0-0, Marcotte 3-0-0-0, N. Bukowski 0-2-0-0. Totals 33-8-13-7. 2B — P. Guegan. 3B — Garcia. SB — L. Guegan 2, Feigal, Baumgartner, P. Guegan.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Harris 3-0-0-0, Frazier 3-0-0-0, Ryan 4-1-2-0, D’Epagnier 4-0-0-0, Madden 4-0-2-1, Katz 4-0-0-0, Hernden 3-0-0-0, Thoning 3-0-0-0, Casey 3-0-0-0. Totals 31-1-4-1. 2B — Ryan.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Rogers 9-4-1-1-6-2.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Feauto 8.2-13-8-8-5-2; Ryan 01-0-0-0-0-0.