BOULDER — Sure Friday’s Boulder-Fairview baseball game will have the usual city bragging rights on the line.
But it also just might decide which team’s postseason hopes are still viable and which team’s are toast.
Boulder slipped to 1-4 in Front Range League play on Thursday with a 17-2 loss to Greeley West at Scott Carpenter Park. The visiting Spartans scored in every inning but the first and tacked on seven runs in the seventh to squash any thoughts the hosts might have had of a heroic comeback.
Thursday’s game marked the first of eight in a 10-day stretch for BHS as the Panthers make up several games that were canceled due to snowy and saturated fields.
The Panthers (6-6) enter the cross-town clash with Fairview (7-6, 1-4) with both teams well down the list in the conference standings. Only the top five finishers in the 12-team league earn automatic postseason berths. Everyone else is left hoping for wild-card spots, of which there are seven in the 32-team playoff field.
“Every game is important now,” Boulder center fielder Loic Guegan said. “We’re getting to the point in the season where our league record isn’t too good and we need to win some games.”
Step one for the Panthers will be halting their recent hitting woes. Guegan went 2 for 3 with a double and a run batted in Thursday, but the rest of the Panthers combined for just four hits.
Greeley West pitcher Taylor Juarez pitched the first five innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out four.
“We’ve seen some nice arms, but at the same time I think we’re capable of putting together some better at-bats than we have,” Boulder coach Steve Disbrow said.
Greeley West (5-6, 2-2) entered the game in its own scoring funk, having not scored more than four runs in a game for seven outings in a row. But the Spartans broke out of their slump in a big way.
Batting eighth, shortstop Brandon Rodriguez led the charge with two home runs, a double and six runs batted in.
“For me it was just hit the ball hard and lay off the curve ball,” Rodriguez said.
For Boulder, which entered the season with high hopes of making noise in the playoffs, Thursday’s loss was humbling but not deflating.
“I think we still do (have the talent to make a postseason run),” Guegan said. “We just need to start playing to our potential.”
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Greeley West 17, Boulder 2
At Scott Carpenter Park
Greeley West 032 212 7 — 17 15 2
Boulder 010 001 0 — 2 6 2
W — Juarez. L — Flores.
Greeley West hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Miller 6-0-3-0, Marion 3-0-0-0, Holmes 1-0-0-0, Denouellis 3-0-1-0, Fowler 0-2-0-0, Juarez 5-2-2-0, Stoffel 2-3-1-1, Delacroix 2-0-1-1, Seeley 0-1-0-0, Monje 0-1-0-0, Loera 4-1-3-3, Mincie 0-1-0-1, Rodriguez 5-3-3-6, Roche 3-0-0-0, Bruning 1-3-1-1. Totals 35-17-15-13. 2B — Denouellis, Rodriguez, Loera, Bruning. HR — Rodriguez 2 (1 on in 2nd; Solo in 5th). SB — Stoffel 2, Miller, Fowler.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — McCarthy 2-0-0-0, Lanzano 4-0-1-0, Chandler 3-0-1-0, Bukowski 3-0-0-0, Dinkel 3-1-1-0, Feigal 3-1-0-0, Guegan 3-0-2-1, N. Marcotte 2-0-1-0, Langston 1-0-0-0, Stowe 2-0-0-0, Gregorich 1-0-0-0, Flores 0-0-0-0, T. Marcotte 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-2-6-1. 2B — Dinkel, Guegan. SB — McCarthy, Stowe.
Greeley West pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Juarez 5-4-1-0-2-4, Seeley 2-2-1-1-0-1. HB — Juarez.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Flores 4-7-7-7-5-4, T. Marcotte 1-2-1-1-0-1, Chandler 1-2-2-0-1-1, Feigal 0.2-0-6-6-6-0, Lanzano 0.1-3-1-1-0-0.