By his own shrewd assessment, Boulder baseball coach Colt Sedbrook described it as a “typical early spring game,” an affair complete with a total lack of pitching control, defensive errors, and enough general miscues to give a coach enough teaching learning material to last for weeks.
The trick, according to Sedbrook, is to not let Tuesday’s ugly 15-14 defeat against visiting Lakewood become a defining moment for the 2015 season.
The final tallies weren’t pretty, even for the victorious Tigers. In addition to the 29 runs, the teams combined for 32 hits and eight errors, including five by the Panthers.
“The most distressing thing is knowing that they’re capable of playing at a high level, and they stoop down to the opponents’ level,” Sedbrook said. “Giving up 16 hits? That’s not good. I admire the fact that we stayed in the ball game. That’s a good thing to have.
“I’ll make sure we stress that this is not a season-defining game. This is a game that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but tomorrow you go find another taste.”
Despite the final score, the Panthers actually did get a commendable start from left-hander Wyatt Linde. A throwing error forced Linde to settle for two runs allowed in the top of the first inning. But Linde recovered to retire 9 of 11 batters, with the two who reached safely during that stretch getting erased on base paths.
Lakewood, though, was able to take advantage of a tiring Linde and his replacement, Ari Barnett, in the fifth. The Tigers touched Boulder pitching for eight hits and nine runs in the frame, with the big blow coming on a bases-loaded triple from Luke Klatke that cleared the bases.
Boulder (1-1) also committed three of its five errors in the fifth.
“We hit the ball well today, but we definitely struggled a little bit in the field,” Boulder’s Montana Guegan said. “But we never gave up, and that’s a testament to our coaching. We maybe need a little more focus in the field, but I still think the positives outweighed the negatives today.”
The Panthers answered Lakewood’s big inning with one of their own, getting RBIs from Barnett, Dana Sullivan, and Jordan Wardell in a four-run bottom of the fifth that put Boulder back in the lead at 14-11.
Yet Lakewood responded once again with a four-run sixth, and Tigers reliever Casey Thompson held Boulder scoreless over the final two innings to hand the Panthers their first loss of the young season. With darkness descending rapidly the Panthers managed to get the tying run to second base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Thompson closed the door on Boulder’s comeback attempt.
“When you give up a nine-spot and then you come right back with four, that says a lot about the team and it says a lot about their fight,” Sedbrook said. “Our focus, as far as at the plate, I think we’re doing pretty good. That’s one of our strengths right now. Having 16 hits is amazing. Scoring 14 runs? You should win every ball game.”
Boulder, which began the season with an 11-1 win against Golden on Saturday, opens Front Range League play Friday afternoon at Loveland.
Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07
Lakewood 15, Boulder 14
At Scott Carpenter Park
Lakewood 200 094 0 — 15 16 3
Boulder 041 540 0 — 14 16 5
W — Casey Thompson. L — Ari Barnett.
Lakewood hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Braden Smith 4-0-1-1, Chase Powell 5-2-1-0, Trevor Kehe 4-3-1-1, Danny Collins 3-2-3-3, Marcelo Sanchez 5-2-2-1, Ben Schechter 4-2-2-1, Luke Klatke 3-2-2-3, Casey Thompson 1-0-1-1, Taylor Davis 1-0-0-0, Casey O’Neill 2-0-1-0, Cortland Sanchez 0-1-0-0, Michael Vessa 3-1-2-2. Totals 35-15-16-13. 2B — Sanchez. 3B — Kehe, Klatke. SB —Vessa 2.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jordan Wardell 6-0-3-1, Andrew McCarthy 5-1-1-0, Tommy Baumgartner 4-2-2-0, Ari Barnett 5-1-2-2, Henry Ryan 4-2-2-1, Sam Douglas 3-1-0-0, Cameron Burke 1-0-1-0, Dana Sullivan 3-3-3-1, Max Bajza 2-1-0-1, Adam Stowe 0-1-0-0, Tyler Gould 2-1-1-0, Montana Guegan 3-1-1-3. Totals 38-14-16-9. 2B — Guegan, Sullivan, Barnett. SB —Wardell 2, McCarthy, Baumgartner.
Lakewood pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Danny Collins 3.2-7-8-7-5-3; Chase Powell 1-5-6-4-2-1; Casey Thompson 2.1-4-0-0-0-1.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Wyatt Linde 4.1-8-8-7-0-2; Ari Barnett 1.2-7-6-4-2-1; Cameron Burke 1-4-0-0-0-0.