BOULDER — Bryan Meek understood the magnitude of his start. But he wasn’t about to overstress the situation, either.
Sure, the Colorado Twins Blue’s season was on the line Thursday morning and Meek was on the mound. But he took a healthy, big-picture approach as he helped keep his team alive with an 8-2 win against the Mountain Rangers in a Legion A elimination game at Knights Field.”It wasn’t really all on my shoulders,” said the right-hander, who attends Niwot High School. “I knew as long as I made my pitches and got outs, my team would score some runs.”
That’s exactly how it worked.
Meek pitched into the ninth, falling two outs shy of a complete game in an economical performance. He permitted only four hits, struck out four, and didn’t allow the Mountain Rangers to cross the plate until the ninth with Twins Blue ahead 8-0.
“Bryan did a fantastic job of attacking guys, going out and really making guys put the ball in play,” Twins Blue coach Colt Sedbrook. “If they squared up balls, it’s their day. If not, we’re going to be satisfied in knowing we came out and executed pitches.”
Twins Blue improved to 1-1 in the double-elimination state tournament. They’ll play another elimination game Friday against Fairview.
Meek was matched up against Mountain Range ace Noah Draper, who matched zeroes in the early going. Twins Blue broke a scoreless tie in the fourth on a run-scoring single by Jaron Balman and an RBI double by Pate Katechis.
They took a 4-0 lead into the top of the ninth and Draper departed (with nine strikeouts two his credit). Drew Magee and Alex Kinnison hit successive RBI singles and Joey Stauss capped the inning with a two-run single against the Mountain Rangers relief corps. Stauss finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Magee, Adam Reigle, and Alex Kinnison added two hits apiece.
“Until the fourth and fifth when we started swinging it, I was thinking it was a game I might have to win 1-0,” Meek said. “I’m glad my team finally broke out.”
Mountain Rangers leadoff hitter Andrew Wamsley began the game with a single, but Meek didn’t allow another hit until Draper singled in the sixth. The Mountain Rangers’ only extra-base hit was a double by Jordan Plunkett in the ninth, which chased Meek.
“We did not swing well and we did not have a great approach at the plate,” Mountain Rangers coach Jeremy Lustik said. “He wasn’t overwhelming and we swung at some bad pitches, which would have helped us out if we hadn’t. But he was in the zone enough and their defense was pretty salty.”
Twins Blue atoned for a poor showing in the opening round of the tournament, an 11-4 loss to Greeley GoJo in which they fell into a 7-0 hole. Sedbrook wasn’t quite ready to place his players on a pedestal quite yet, however.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a bounce back. It’s something you’re supposed to do,” he said. “This is the game of baseball, where a lot of people give you credit for things you’re supposed to do. Me, I let them know it’s good they’re doing them. But at the same time, that’s their job.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
Colorado Twins Blue 8, Mountain Rangers 2
At Fairview H.S.
Colorado Twins Blue 000 210 014 — 8 11 2
Mountain Rangers 000 000 002 — 2 6 2
W — Meek. L — Draper.
Colorado Twins Blue (ab-r-h-rbi) — Reigle 4-2-2-0, Magee 5-1-2-1, Kinnison 4-2-1-1, Balman 5-2-2-1, Katechis 4-0-1-1, Stauss 5-0-3-3, Caruso 4-0-0-0, Wenande 3-1-0-0, Platt 3-0-0-0. Totals 37-8-11-7. 2B — Katechis, Balman. SB — Reigle 2, Magee.
Mountain Rangers hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Wamsley 4-0-1-0, Weins 3-0-0-0, Draper 4-0-1-0, Plunkett 4-1-1-0, Griffith 4-0-0-0, Walker 3-1-1-1, Newton 4-0-1-0, McKinney 3-0-1-0, McLaughlin 3-0-0-0. Totals 32-2-6-1. 2B — Plunkett.
Colorado Twins Blue (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Meek 8-4-1-1-2-4, Morris 0.2-2-1-0-0-0.
Mountain Rangers pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Draper 8-6-4-3-2-9, Lallier 0.1-0-2-2-2-0, Jarosak 0.2-3-2-2-1-1.