BOULDER — The rains kept their distance from the Fairview baseball field on Thursday afternoon, but somehow the stench of a bad loss for the Boulder Legion A baseball team was washed away.
That’s what a little defense can do — as well as a little boost in adrenaline that comes along with facing a rival.
Boulder got it by scratching out a deficit against Fairview, and then took advantage of three Knights errors to post a 7-3 victory on their rival’s field. That avenged a loss earlier this summer between them and made sure an 18-0 setback against Thompson Valley on Wednesday was in the rear-view mirror.
Kelby Woodard pitched a desperately needed complete game, with some fantastic catches in the field helping him against a solid lineup. Fairview posted eight hits but felt the tremors after the rough sixth inning.
“You see what can happen when we make plays like that,” said shortstop Tommy Baumgartner. “We backed up Kelby, and he threw a great game — made them swing it and made us make plays. It was fun, a good game.”
“First of all, Kelby pitched fantastic, kept us in the game the whole time. And then the sixth, we were just able to find some holes and take advantage of some of their miscues,” added Grant Dinkel, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s. “We came with more energy. I think, obviously, everybody gets a little bit more energetic before the game considering it’s Fairview. They’ve had our number the past couple times we’ve played them, so it was nice to come back like this after a bad game (Wednesday).
“We didn’t have any errors today … I think we played well in all facets.”
Indeed, Boulder maintained momentum with its play in the field. Connor Stowe roved centerfield for six putouts, including a diving catch in the sixth while going hard toward the infield. Baumgartner robbed Cannon Casey of a hit with a high leap, also in the sixth, and Eli Langston dove to make a grab in right field off Walker Harris’s bat for the second out in the seventh.
“That’s sort of the perfect storm if you’re going to get beat, if you walk guys and make errors and the other team makes some great plays,” said Fairview coach Rick Harig. “We’ve played a lot of good baseball this summer, we just need to play hard and today was one of those days where we didn’t really play that hard.”
The Knights took an early lead with Cam Frazier’s double to the wall in the third inning that scored Johnny Feauto, and Harris singled to score Frazier to make it 2-0. After Boulder took a 3-2 lead in the fifth, the Knights immediately responded with another Frazier double and a Harris base knock.
Harig made a pitching change to start the sixth going from Mike Vlasity to Jake Kearney, who promptly walked the first pair of batters he faced. Then in a sacrifice attempt, Tyler Gould reached safely on an error to load the bases.
Stowe earned an RBI with a walk, and Langston dropped another bunt that wasn’t fielded well to score another run. Dinkel then produced the big hit — the only hit of the inning — to stretch the lead.
“I knew four runs instead of two would be big, especially because they have a great offensive lineup and anything could happen,” Dinkel said.
Woodard only needed around 80 pitches to get through the game, letting his defense make outs. He walked just one and struck out three.
With a busy week ahead, both squads will take the weekend pretty easy. Fairview will not play again until Monday as it finishes out the regular season with seven games, while Boulder will play Eaton Friday and Centaurus on Monday in preparation for Legion Districts.
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Boulder 7, Fairview 3
At Fairview H.S.
Boulder 000 124 0 — 7 7 0
Fairview 002 010 0 — 3 8 3
W — Woodard. L — Kearney
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Stowe 3-2-1-1, Langston 3-0-0-0, Baumgartner 3-1-1-1, Dinkel 4-0-3-2, Woodard 3-1-1-1, Barnett 4-0-0-0, Conroy 3-1-0-0, Gregorich 2-1-1-1, Gould 2-1-0-0. Totals 27-7-7-6. SB — Stowe, Dinkel.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 4-2-3-1, Harris 4-0-2-2, Clarke 4-0-1-0, Thoning 2-0-0-0, D’Epagnier 3-0-1-0, Katz 3-0-1-0, Casey 3-0-0-0, Kearney 3-0-0-0, Feauto 2-1-0-0. Totals 28-3-8-3. 2B —Frazier 2, Clarke. SB — Harris.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Woodard 7-8-3-3-1-3.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Vlasity 5-6-3-3-0-3, Kearney 2-7-4-0-3-2.