FORT COLLINS — To alter the line a little bit from Field of Dreams: If you build it, the wins will come.
Boulder coach Colt Sedbrook knows that the resurrection of the Panthers baseball program isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s going to take some time and every game, every inning, and even every at-bat is a step in the process.
That’s why after the Panthers dropped to 2-8 this summer after being swept in a doubleheader by Fossil Ridge — 7-4 in Game 1 and 6-4 in Game 2 — that Sedbrook was already looking forward to the next game.
“I’m not frustrated. Any coach or manager is looking for consistent baseball players and the one thing about summer ball is that you really have to focus on the process,” Sedbrook said. “If I’m trying to focus on immediate results, then I think I am in a bad situation and I’m not doing my job fully.
“You don’t like losing ball games, but you are going to learn from them and that’s the biggest thing.”
The Panthers played a much better second game and took their first lead of the day in the fourth inning of the nightcap. Henry Ryan, who went 5 for 7 on the day, drove in the first run of the inning to tie the game at 3-3. After stealing second, Ryan came around to score on an error by the SaberCats second baseman.
“I was seeing the ball well,” said Ryan, who was also one of three Panthers runners picked off on the base paths in the second game. “It’s just been a lot of hard work with the coaches and teammates helping me out.”
Fossil Ridge answered right back in the bottom of the fourth when leadoff man Tristan Faust belted his third triple of the afternoon to right-center field that plated RJ Barnes — who led off the inning with a walk against starter Andrew McCarthy.
Fossil Ridge took the lead for good in the fifth, when Mitchell Salmela blooped a single over the drawn-in infield to score Jadon Uhrich, who led off the inning with a triple. Montana Guegan came in in relief of McCarthy and ended the Fossil Ridge rally.
“They beat us in the free pass game, the walks they had turned into runs and the hit by pitches they turned into runs,” Sedbrook said. “The one thing that they did offensively that let them get ahead was they converted those and we’d leave those guys on base.”
The Panthers stranded 13 runners on base all day, not to mention the aforementioned guys picked off.
While the losses don’t bother Sedbrook, the players on the other hand are beginning to feel the effects.
“We competed and played well. We continue to work and it will come,” Ryan said. “It does get frustrating, but we just try to continue to have fun and compete.”
The Panthers will take the field again on Saturday in Grand Junction on Saturday and Sunday against Gene Taylor. Sedbrook will take his young team west early Friday and catch the Grand Junction Rockies — the Colorado Rockies rookie team — Friday night.
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Fossil Ridge 7, Boulder 4
At Fossil Ridge
Boulder 000 110 2 — 4 8 3
Fossil Ridge 200 311 x — 7 11 1
W — Low. L — Baumgartner.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Connor Stowe 4-1-1-1, Andrew McCarthy 2-0-0-1, Luke Feigal 1-0-0-0, Montana Guegan 3-0-1-1, Dana Sullivan 4-1-1-0, Henry Ryan 3-0-2-0, Sam Douglas 3-0-0-0, Adam Stowe 2-0-1-0, Tyler Gould 3-0-1-1, Dylan McBirney 0-1-0-0, Ben Davis 3-1-1-0, Tom Baumgartner 0-0-0-0, Cam Burke 0-0-0-0. Totals 27-4-8-4. 2B — Davis. 3B — C. Stowe. SB — A. Stowe.
Fossil Ridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tristan Faust 4-3-3-0, Dylan Hodgson 0-1-0-2, Jadon Uhrich 4-1-1-0, Ben Carmack 4-1-2-2, Trevor Butters 2-1-1-0, Mitchell Salmela 4-0-3-2, RJ Barnes 3-0-1-0, Andrew Low 0-0-0-0, Jason Durnil 4-0-0-0, Tim Ehlers 3-0-0-0. Totals 28-7-11-6. 3B — Faust 2. SB —Faust, Hodgson, Carmack, Salmela.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Baumgartner 4.1-10-6-4-4-3, Burke 1.2-1-1-0-1-3.
Fossil Ridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Low 7-8-4-4-1-2.
Fossil Ridge 6, Boulder 4
Boulder 020 200 0 — 4 10 0
Fossil Ridge 110 121 x — 6 8 3
W — Montague. L — Burke.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Ryan 4-1-3-1, A. Stowe 4-0-0-1, Baumgartner 3-0-3-0, Guegan 4-0-1-0, Sullivan 4-0-0-0, Feigal 1-1-0-0, McBirney 3-0-1-0, Gould 3-0-0-1, C. Stowe 0-1-0-0, Burke 2-1-2-0, McCarthy 0-0-0-0. Totals 28-4-10-3. 2B — Ryan, Baumgartner, Burke. SB — Ryan Guegan, Sullivan, Burke.
Fossil Ridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Faust 2-2-2-1, Hodgson 3-0-1-1, Uhrich 4-1-3-2, Carmack 3-1-0-0, Christian Montague 0-0-0-0, Salmela 4-0-1-2, Ryan Cronin 3-0-0-0, Barnes 1-1-0-0, Tyler Roth 3-1-1-0, Dane Overholt 2-0-0-0. Totals 25-6-8-6. 2B — Uhrich. 3B — Faust, Uhrich. SB — Carmack, Salmela.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McCarthy 4+-7-5-5-4-3, Guegan 2-1-1-1-2-2.
Fossil Ridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Montague 7-10-4-0-3-4.