BOULDER — Odds are, the Fairview baseball team would take this type of visitor arrangement anytime.
The Knights and their smoldering bats were afforded an extra home game Thursday, although they were the visitors on the scoreboard in a 16-4 rout of rival Boulder.
Boulder’s home field of Scott Carpenter Park can’t be used this season due to backstop damage and complications, so Fairview, ranked No. 6 in the AP media poll, gladly welcomed the Panthers to their home turf.
And as they have done for most the season, particularly the past two weeks, the Knights (12-1, 5-0) clobbered the ball mercilessly. They stroked 20 hits, including nine for extra bases.
“Game after game, we keep swinging it good,” Fairview coach Rick Harig said. “The old saying is you wish you could save some of that for the next game. But each game we keep having that.”
All nine starters registered a hit and seven players had multiple hits. Among the many standouts were center fielder Walker Harris (4 for 4, two doubles, one triple, four runs, two RBIs) and scalding-hot first baseman Jeff Clarke (4 for 5, three RBIs).
Then there was Tim Ryan, who singled to left and doubled off the center-field wall in his first two at-bats to extend his hitting streak to 10 for 10. Not 10 straight games. Ten hits in 10 consecutive at-bats. Ryan reached on an error in the fourth to finally halt the seemingly mystical spell of success.
“You never know who’s going to do it, and today it was pretty much everyone,” said leadoff man Cameron Frazier, who went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run. “It’s pretty hard for pitchers to get in a rhythm when we’re banging the ball around the yard. And it really helps our pitching staff.”
Almost lost in the shuffle was Ryan Madden’s complete-game win. He permitted only one earned run in six innings and struck out four. Fairview was a bit sloppy on defense with five errors, but the Knights more than made up for it with their hitting barrage.
Having been with the Knights for more than two decades, Harig couldn’t immediately recall such a sizzling stretch from his hitters.
“Not really,” he said. “There were some years when we were awful good and we would swing it, but right now we’re as hot as I can remember from anytime since maybe ’99.”
Boulder (6-8, 1-4) is learning and improving under first-year coach Colt Sedbrook, but the Fairview matchup would have been a tough one for virtually any team in the state. Andrew McCarthy and Luke Bukowski had two hits apiece for the Panthers.
“The biggest thing is the way you see those guys prepare, you see how loose they are before the game,” Sedbrook said. “You see their team camaraderie, how they talk amongst each other out in the field and battle in the box … I’m trying to get our kids to believe and compete in a full seven-inning ballgame.”
Sedbrook said he admires Harig’s style of coaching and knows the Knights are stacked this season. That being said, he hasn’t directly told his players to emulate the Knights.
“If I was caught red-handed telling a Boulder kid to play like a Fairview Knight, I think a lot of people would want to strangle me,” Sedbrook said. “But they do play the game right. Sometimes it comes down to being a better athlete, but you don’t try to be someone else. Whatever you’ve been given, you try to maximize that strength.”
Fairview 16, Boulder 4
At Fairview H.S.
Fairview 112 534 — 16 20 5
Boulder 100 020 — 4 8 4
W — Madden (5-1). L — Linde (1-3).
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Frazier 4-3-2-2, Casey 5-1-2-0, Harris 4-4-4-2, Clarke 5-3-4-3, Thoning 4-1-1-0, Chavez 1-1-0-0, Ryan 3-2-2-2, Feauto 5-0-2-3, Armstrong 5-0-2-2, Kearney 4-1-1-0. Totals 40-16-20-14. 2B — Harris 2, Frazier, Clarke, Ryan, Kearney. 3B — Harris, Armstrong. HR — Frazier (one on in 6th). SB — Casey, Ryan.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Lanzano 3-0-1-0, Barnett 1-0-0-0, McCarthy 4-2-2-0, Bukowski 4-1-2-1, Bialek 4-1-1-1, Woodard 4-0-1-0, Baumgartner 3-0-0-0, Gould 2-0-0-0, Chandler 1-0-0-1, Dinkel 3-0-1-1, Stowe 2-0-0-0. Totals 31-4-8-4. 2B — Bukowski. 3B — McCarthy.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Madden 6-8-4-1-1-4.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Linde 3.2-12-9-5-2-1, Douglas 1.2-8-7-6-1-1, Burke 0.2-0-0-0-1-1.