BOULDER — Entering the first day of Boulder NIT play, Jeremy Katz had few bold-letter goals set for himself, particularly one — keep on hitting the ball.
The Fairview shortstop notched that off the to-do list in convincing fashion Wednesday at Knights Field. Katz put his team on the road to a clean sweep of its opening pool-play games early in Fairview’s second outing of the day, getting his team on the board with the first of a slew of big hits.
The infielder lit the fuse on his team’s 7-1 victory over Team Colorado-Goodman by driving the ball to deep left field, despite some wicked pitching coming at him.
“I got jammed a little bit,” he said. “But it felt good, other guys started hitting right afterwards.”
Katz’s two-run double in the first was one of four extra-base hits the team produced against the all-star team. Walker Harris and Jeff Clarke also came up with doubles and Cameron Frazier had a solo home run — all coming in the fourth inning.
The host team laying the lumber was far from confined to the second game of the tournament. Fairview began the day in convincing fashion with an 8-2 win over Arapahoe. The back-to-back victories were a relief to Rick Harig for a number of reasons.
Regarding Fairview’s present fortunes, the wins set the team off on the right foot in a tournament that allows little breathing room. And the victories also break the team’s summer-long trend of splitting doubleheaders.
“Maybe its because there was so much time in-between playing them both,” Harig said. “But whatever the reason, it feels good.”
While the competition is certain to remain challenging, Fairview has some pressure off its shoulders with one game a day for the rest of pool play. But the team will have to traverse the rest of the tournament without two of its top players. Steve D’Epagnier and Johnny Feauto leave Thursday for Cleveland, Ohio, for the NFL 7-on-7 football finals with Fairview’s football team.
“We’re going to have 11 guys and some of them are pitchers only,” Harig said. “We have nine position players, but still that’s enough — no more DH.”
Fairview’s defense was strong, but its offense stole the show. Over the course of two games the team knocked 16 hits around the field — seven for extra bases. But after playing nearly two-thirds of its games with wood bats this summer, Katz knew his team was ready to lay the lumber.
“At beginning of the summer it was a bit different,” the shortstop said. “But at this point we’re pretty comfortable with it.”
Fairview continues the NIT Thursday at 11:30 a.m., on its home field against T Hurt Construction of Omaha, Neb.
Follow Elwood on Twitter @ElwoodKShelton
Fairview 8, Arapahoe 2
At Fairview H.S.
Arapahoe 000 011 0 — 2 4 2
Fairview 100 421 x — 8 9 3
W — Vlasity.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 3-1-1-2, Harris 2-0-0-2, Clarke 4-0-1-1, Thoning 3-1-0-0, D’Epagnier 3-0-1-0, Munson 1-0-1-1, Katz 3-1-1-1, Kearney 0-1-0-0, Thorvilson 0-1-0-0, Casey 3-2-2-0, Feauto 3-1-3-2. Totals 33-8-9-9. 2B — Frazier, Feauto. HR — Katz (solo in 4th).
Team pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vlasity 7-4-2-1-2-3.
Fairview 7, Team Colorado-Goodman 1
At Fairview H.S.
Team Colorado-Goodman 010 000 0 — 1 5 2
Fairview 302 200 x — 7 7 1
W — Kokora. L — Brown.
Team Colorado-Goodman hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — O’Neill 3-0-1-0, Telander 3-0-0-0, Geuber 1-0-0-0, O’Dell 2-0-1-0, Schulze 3-0-0-0, Brown 2-1-0-0, Bonato 1-0-1-0, Germani 1-0-0-0, Lewis 1-0-0-0, Skufea 2-0-0-0, Martinez 1-0-1-0, Hanley 3-0-1-1, Barnes 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-5-1. 2B — Martinez.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 3-1-1-1, Harris 4-2-1-0, Clarke 3-1-1-1, Loming 1-1-0-0, D’Epagnier 3-2-1-1, Katz 3-0-1-2, Kearney 2-0-0-0, Casey 3-0-1-1, Munson 0-0-0-0, Feauto 3-0-0-0. Totals 25-7-7-6. 2B — Katz, Harris, Clarke. HR — Frazier (solo in 4th). SB — Harris, Loming, Casey.
Team Colorado-Goodman pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brown 3-6-6-4-4-2, O’Neill 3-1-0-0-1-1.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kokora 6-5-1-0-3-4.