BOULDER — Eager to get a jump in their pool during the Boulder National Invitational Tournament at Scott Carpenter Park, the Boulder Legion A baseball team arrived Wednesday morning to find the field soaked to the point it was unplayable to start.
A 1 hour, 15 minute delay didn’t really cool them down at all, resulting in a solid opening to their play-in portion of the five-day event.
Twelve hours is enough time to cause any team to sputter, though, and the Panthers weren’t able to fully take advantage of their opening day at their home park. After beating Fossil Ridge 11-3, Boulder fell to Diamond Club Red 6-3 in the second game of the day.
The visiting Diamond Club squad scored four runs in the sixth inning and added another in the seventh to claim a win in their only game of the day, putting them atop the Pool A standings.
“We threw three first-pitch strikes to the last 18 hitters, and they’re too good a fastball-hitting team to get into fastball counts,” said head coach Jack Clarke. “They made us pay, and we left a couple plays out there on both offense and defense.”
Coming off a tournament in Kansas where the Panthers’ offense went AWOL, the lineup had more than enough in the stable with 15 base knocks against Fossil Ridge. And it kept going during the first four frames against Diamond Club.
Yet, as the sun was falling into the western sky, the Panthers faltered at getting their runners to home plate. At no point did that have more bearing on things than the fourth inning, when the Panthers could not score despite loading the bases with no outs.
Tyler Gould, Quinn Conroy, and Connor Stowe had all drawn walks against Clay Wagenhals, but the pitcher managed strikeouts to the next two batters before getting a momentum-killing grounder. Boulder also had favorable situations in the first and second innings but could not plate a run.
“We just didn’t capitalize when we should have,” said Montana Guegan, who went 1 for 3 with a stolen base and an RBI.
“We had a chance to break it open with the middle of the order there and didn’t make a play,” added Clarke.
Christian Gregorich pitched around trouble early but could not escape the sixth. With Boulder leading 2-1, Diamond Club Red batted around, getting three hits, two bases on balls and a hit batsman. Noah Brown had the go-ahead RBI single, part of a rally that all occurred with two outs.
Bobby Fernandez’s third hit of the night, a double, helped extend the advantage in the seventh. He also came in to pitch the final two innings, earning the save on Wagenhals’ win.
“That last run was huge, just because you never know in high school baseball,” Diamond Club Red coach Anthony Bendever said. “Bobby turned it on late for us, got us going.”
“Hopefully we just come out (Thursday) and hit a little more, kind of like what we did in that first game (Wednesday),” Guegan said. “We might have focus for a little bit, but I thought we played pretty good.”
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Diamond Club Red 6, Boulder 3
At Scott Carpenter Park
Diamond Club Red 000 104 1 — 6 8 3
Boulder 002 001 0 — 3 6 0
W — Wagenhals. L — Gregorich. S — Fernandez.
Diamond Club hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Brown 3-0-1-1, Fleming 3-0-0-1, Priola 2-0-0-1, Feigal 3-1-1-0, Fernandez 4-2-3-0, Freeberg 3-1-1-0, DeLozier 4-0-0-1, Davis 4-1-2-1, Halsey 3-1-0-1. Totals29-6-8-6. 2B — Fernandez.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stowe 3-0-1-0, Langston 3-1-1-1, Dinkel 4-1-1-0, Baumgartner 4-0-1-0, Woodard 4-0-0-0, Guegan 3-0-1-1, Barnett 4-0-1-0, Gould 2-0-0-0, Conroy 1-1-0-0. Totals 28-3-6-2. 2B — Stowe. SB — Guegan.
Diamond Club pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Wagenhals 5-5-2-0-3-6, Fernandez 2-1-1-1-2-1.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gregorich 5.2-6-5-5-4-2, Guegan 1.1-2-1-1-1-0.
Boulder 11, Fossil Ridge 3
At Scott Carpenter Park
Fossil Ridge 000 000 0 — 0 0 0
Boulder 000 000 0 — 0 0 0
W — Woodard.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stowe 3-1-1-0, Langston 4-2-3-0, Dinkel 3-3-2-0, Baumgartner 3-2-1-2, Woodard 4-1-2-1, Guegan 4-1-2-3, Barnett 3-1-1-1, Boyle 3-0-2-3, Conroy 2-0-1-0. Totals 29-11-15-10. SB — Langston.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Woodard 5-8-3-1-2-4.