Kevin Flores, seen here during a Boulder baseball practice earlier this year, helped his summer team Diamond Club Blue win the Boulder NIT on Sunday afternoon at Scott Carpenter Park. Flores closed out the semifinals and championship with saves, including a save in the team's 12-2 win against Fairview.
Paul Aiken
Kevin Flores, seen here during a Boulder baseball practice earlier this year, helped his summer team Diamond Club Blue win the Boulder NIT on Sunday afternoon at Scott Carpenter Park. Flores closed out the semifinals and championship with saves, including a save in the team’s 12-2 win against Fairview.

BOULDER — It’s safe to call Kevin Flores a veteran of the Boulder National Invitational Tournament. Having played for the Boulder baseball team for a few seasons, the crafty pitcher had ambitions of helping a team win the prestigious summer baseball event.

He really had no idea that, in the end, the squad he’d help would be Diamond Club Blue, one of the premier year-round clubs in Colorado.

The recent BHS graduate was nothing but clutch on the hill Sunday at Scott Carpenter Park, closing the door on two hot-hitting teams to boost DC Blue to the 2013 NIT title — earning two saves against Rocky Mountain and Fairview.

The latter against the Knights was part of a 12-2 win as Diamond Club Blue ran the table (7-0) in the 35-team tourney that started Wednesday.

“I’ve been playing in this tournament since probably freshman year, and I never really thought about winning it,” Flores said after pitching the final 21/3 innings against the Knights in what was a close contest at the time he entered. “(Boulder) were always a pretty solid club but seeing these teams like the Diamond Club teams come out here that are pretty much all-star teams from the Denver area … I never thought I’d be on one of those, winning this tournament. So it’s pretty special to have won it.”

Diamond Club Blue is a Denver-based team that boasts players from all over the state, and Flores is joined on the team by Levi Chandler (Boulder) and Lucas Gilbreath (Legacy). All three players had a say in Sunday’s run, but Flores’ pair of saves was notable for the situation and the opponents he was facing.

First, he pitched two innings to close out a 3-1 semifinal win against the Lobos, a notorious Front Range League foe. Then came Flores versus the city nemesis Knights, where he entered in the fifth inning with his team up just 5-2.

He also inherited runners when he stepped on the pitching rubber, as Walker Harris and Jeff Clarke stood at second and first base, respectively, with two outs in the frame. Flores got Jake Thoning to strike out, one of Flores’ four strikeouts in the title tilt.

He ended up stranding a pair of runners in each of the sixth and seventh frames, but by then all of the pressure he may have felt was already expunged. DC Blue tallied 13 hits and continued to rack up runs, with the 5-2 advantage quickly becoming 9-2 after a four-run sixth frame.

“I was losing some velocity those last two innings because my arm was tired from this whole week,” a labored Flores said. “It was nice to know that if I did mess up because my arm wasn’t feeling too good that it wouldn’t have mattered too much because we had a good cushion. Let me breathe a little bit.”

Donnie Ortiz hit a two-run home run in the sixth, and Cory Voss had a no-doubt, three-run blast in the top of the first that put the Knights an a big early hole.

But for Fairview, which handled Diamond Club Red 8-0 in the first semifinal and had been playing championship-worthy baseball, six errors showed some anxiety and tentativeness. The Knights had three throwing errors and three fielding miscues, resulting in three unearned runs and unnecessary extended innings.

“Errors with two outs really hurt us, errors where we could have been out of the innings and they ended up scoring a lot of runs after,” said Fairview third baseman Jake Kearney, who went 2-for-3. “DC is a great club, and we just couldn’t find a way. Couldn’t combine some hits, and it was just a rough day overall.

“We just couldn’t string together anything (against starter Brady Hagel-Pitt), and Flores is just always good.”

The Knights had nine hits in both games, but against Blue all of the base knocks were singles. Cam Frazier, Clarke, Katz and Kearney had two hits apiece to lead the Fairview hitting attack.

But for the second consecutive summer, the Knights had to settle for a runner-up plaque.

“That three-run home run (in the first) really took some energy out of us, just knowing we were going to hit down already,” Kearney added.

Follow Adam on Twitter: @adunivan24

Diamond Club Blue 12, Fairview 2

At Scott Carpenter Park

Diamond Club Blue 301 014 3 — 12 13 1

Fairview 001 010 0 — 2 9 6

W — Hagel-Pitt. L — Kokora. S — Flores.

Diamond Club hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ortiz 5-2-2-2, Mulvany 3-2-1-0, Granberg 5-2-1-0, Voss 5-3-2-3, Henderson 3-2-1-0, Chandler 3-0-1-0, Goldberg 2-0-2-2, Dedin 4-0-2-2, Griffith 5-1-1-0. Totals 35-12-13-9. 2B — Chandler. HR — Voss, Ortiz. SB — Mulvany, Granberg 2.

Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 4-1-2-0, Harris 4-0-1-1, Clarke 3-0-2-1, Thoning 4-0-0-0, Katz 4-0-2-0, Casey 3-0-0-0, Kearney 3-0-2-0, Kitayama 2-1-0-0, Munson 3-0-0-0. Totals 30-2-9-2. SB — Frazier.

Diamond Club pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hagel-Pitt 4.2-7-2-2-1-1, Flores 2.1-2-0-0-1-4.

Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Kokora 5.2-10-9-6-4-6, Thorvilson 1-2-3-3-3-1, Harris 0.1-1-0-0-1-1.

Fairview 8, Diamond Club Red 0

At Scott Carpenter Park

Fairview 010 43 — 8 9 0

Diamond Club Red 000 00 — 0 1 3

W — Vlasity. L — DeLozier

Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 3-1-3-1, Harris 4-0-1-1, Clarke 3-0-0-0, Thoning 3-1-0-0, Katz 2-2-1-0, Casey 3-2-2-2, Kearney 3-0-1-1, Kitayama 2-1-1-1, Munson 2-1-0-0. Totals 25-8-9-6. 2B — Frazier, Kitayama. 3B — Casey. SB — Frazier, Thoning.

Diamond Club Red hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Brown 2-0-1-0, Fleming 2-0-0-0, Priola 2-0-0-0, Feigal 2-0-0-0, Fernandez 2-0-0-0, Lovato 1-0-0-0, Freeburg 1-0-0-0, Kopplinger 1-0-0-0, Halsey 1-0-0-0, Davenport 0-0-0-0. Totals 14-0-1-0.

Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vlasity 5-1-0-0-0-6.

Diamond Club Red pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — DeLozier 3.1-4-5-3-3-4, Davis 1.2-5-3-2-1-0.