Tired of wielding the wood bat lately, Eli Langston and the Boulder Legion A summer baseball team scalded with the metal on Wednesday night at Scott Carpenter Park.
With Pomona’s pitching appearing to be in dire straits in the opening game of a league doubleheader at Scott Carpenter Park, the host Panthers really keyed in on fastballs in an explosive 20-4, mercy rule-shortened contest in which they clobbered 16 hits in five innings and had a bucketful of incredibly loud outs.
“I don’t think we missed many fastballs that game, and that’s kind of what we’ve been preaching to the guys, to look for the elevated fastballs,” said Boulder coach Jack Clarke. “Best way to hit the curveball: hit the fastball. They got behind in counts, and we did a good job of making them pay.”
The past two weeks, Clarke added he’s seen his team break out a bit. Despite the 9-12 overall mark, the Panthers are digging in more comfortably at the plate.
No one can testify to that more than the top two in the batting order, leadoff hitter Connor Stowe and Langston. Stowe led off Wednesday’s game with a triple and scored when Langston singled solidly. By the end of the third inning, Stowe had accumulated four at-bats — and another triple. He finished 2-for-3 with four runs.
Langston accomplished a rare feat, or perhaps a couple. He went 5-for-5 with four RBIs, but impressively smacked two doubles in one inning — that coming in the third frame off two different pitchers.
“I don’t hit a lot of triples and doubles, usually just a contact singles hitter. But I was feeling it up at the plate today,” said Langston, a catcher. “This team, even though we’re a small team, like 10 or 11 now, we’re just having fun. Come out and enjoying every day we have out there on the field.”
Added Stowe: “Their pitching was pretty flat, so we were seeing the ball well and hitting it hard. We’ve been playing a lot of wood bat tournaments, so when we came back to metal, it was helpful. A lot more power.”
The top of the Boulder lineup was productive, to be sure, but the responsibility for the blowout win was everyone’s to be relished. Ari Barnett drove in two runs out of the seven hole, Quinn Conroy added three RBI in the No. 9 slot, and Christian Gregorich turned in four solid innings on the hill, running into trouble only in the third when Pomona scored three of its four runs.
“Hits are contagious. Stowe comes up and gets a hit, I come up and get one, then the 3-4-5 guys do it and that makes the bottom guys think, ‘Oh, I can do that, too,'” Langston said.
“This was a good team win, just contributions from everybody,” Clarke said. “It’s good to see Christian back on the mound. He’s been pretty sore and he wasn’t with us on our trip to South Dakota, so it was a good get-your-work-in outing. He did a good job of giving them only three (in the third) and sometimes that’s a win.”
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Boulder Legion A 20, Pomona 4
At Scott Carpenter Park
Pomona 013 00 — 4 6 4
Boulder (9-12, 3-1) 439 4x — 20 16 0
W — Christian Gregorich. L — Watts
Pomona hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Watts 3-1-2-0, Benevidez 2-1-1-0, Langerak 2-0-0-1, Greer 3-0-0-0, Schmidt 3-1-1-0, Greenberg 2-0-0-1, Klenc 2-0-1-0, Ortegon 2-0-0-0, Webster 2-1-1-0. Totals 21-4-6-3. 2B — Schmidt.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stowe 3-4-3-0, Langston 5-4-5-4, Woodard 5-1-2-2, Dinkel 3-2-0-0, Baumgartner 1-3-1-0, Guegan 2-2-1-2, Barnett 2-1-2-2, Bote 1-0-0-0, Gould 3-1-1-2, Conroy 3-2-2-3. Totals 28-20-16-15. 2B — Langston 2. 3B — Stowe 2. SB — Langston 2, Dinkel.
Pomona pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Watts 0.2-4-4-3-2-0, Greer 1.1-3-3-3-2-2, Benevidez 0.1-1-4-4-3-0, Mathes 1.2-8-9-7-2-0.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gregorich 4-6-4-4-1-5, Gould 1-0-0-0-0-2.