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Baseball: Boulder’s playoff chances take a hit against Fossil Ridge

In his mind, Boulder senior pitcher Wyatt Linde was doing a tap dance every time one of his teammates made a stellar play behind him on Saturday afternoon. There were plenty of happy-feet moments in that regard against Fossil Ridge, too.

Come Tuesday, however, the Panthers might not being doing the Texas two-step, if only because they couldn’t produce runs to back Linde up on the scoreboard against the SaberCats.

In a battle where both teams needed a win to get into the Class 5A postseason, the Panthers fell short against Fossil Ridge’s No. 1 pitcher, Codi Heuer, in a 3-1 Front Range League loss. Boulder spread out seven hits — one more than its foe, actually — but could not get the runners home when they had their chances.

“These games are the ones where everyone is so much more engaged, the times when each play can make a big difference,” head coach Colt Sedbrook said after his team finished the regular slate 10-9. “It does come down to maybe a little more execution on the basepaths, because we ran into some outs, and a few more what-if’s.

“There were some crucial at-bats with guys in scoring position, and we weren’t able to produce.”

Seeded 31st and 33rd in the 5A wild card points, respectively, entering the game, Boulder and Fossil Ridge played out a great game that started with the two boys occupying the hill. Linde, a senior, went the distance allowing six hits and three runs, setting down the SaberCats (9-10 overall, 7-5 Front Range) in order in five different frames.

Heuer, also a senior, allowed four leadoff hitters for Boulder to get on among his seven hits allowed. However, the Panthers (6-6 FRL) waited until the seventh inning to finally get one of those across the plate. That’s when Tommy Baumgartner reached safely on an infield hit to get Henry Ryan home from third base with two outs.

“For the most part, we just had a little trouble with the bats and couldn’t get guys across,” Linde said. “It happens, and unfortunately it had to happen today.”

“He just came and attacked us, knowing his strengths,” Sedbrook added of Heuer, who struck out eight. “He was very good at making us chase a couple times, and he also painted up (the corners).”

If the bats had kept up with the glovework, the Panthers could have been a whole lot more comfortable with where they ended when the postseason brackets are released.

Right fielder Jordan Wardell made a diving catch on Jadon Uhrich’s line drive in the first inning, and the infield combination of Baumgartner, Ryan and Andrew McCarthy made some highlight reel plays throughout including a double play in the sixth.

But the SaberCats did all the damage they needed with three hits in the second inning to score two runs, the biggest being Mitch Simmons’ double down the left field line with two outs. The visitors added one more run in the fourth, the only frame with a Boulder error.

“Every time one of my boys makes a play behind me, it’s a great feeling,” Linde said. “The defense came to play today, and it’s really been that way the whole season.”

The Panthers aren’t completely ruling themselves out of the playoffs, and they did get help with a loss from 5-13 Eaglecrest (No. 32 in the wild card points) against Highlands Ranch. According to MaxPreps.com, though, the Raptors had a second game scheduled on Saturday that may influence the standings.

Chatfield and Prairie View are the other teams that are close in points, and Chatfield won their game on Saturday, too.

“I think this is the best Boulder team I’ve played on, but it’s definitely the most fun Boulder team I’ve played on,” Linde said. “If (playoffs) happen, I think we deserve it because we play hard.”

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Fossil Ridge 3, Boulder 1

At Scott Carpenter Park

Fossil Ridge
020 100 0 — 3 6 1

Boulder
000 000 1 — 1 7 1

W — Codi Heuer. L — Wyatt Linde.

Fossil Ridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Shane Hammel 2-0-0-0, Jadon Uhrich 3-0-0-0, Keegan Lecher 3-0-0-0, Evan Dummer 2-1-1-0, Shea Cronin 3-1-2-0, Jake Orphan 2-0-0-0, Mitch Simmons 3-1-2-1, Dylan Hodgson 2-0-1-1, Ben Carmack 1-0-0-0, Trevor Butters 2-0-0-0, Mitch Salmela 1-0-0-0. Totals 24-3-6-2. 2B —Simmons.

Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tommy Baumgartner 4-0-1-1, Montana Guegan 4-0-0-0, Ari Barnett 3-0-1-0, Andrew McCarthy 3-0-1-0, Kelby Woodard 3-0-0-0, Henry Ryan 3-1-1-0, Adam Stowe 3-0-2-0, Tyler Gould 2-0-1-0, Cam Burke 0-0-0-0, Jordan Wardell 1-0-0-0, Dana Sullivan 0-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-7-1. 2B — Barnett, Stowe. SB —Wardell.

Fossil Ridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Heuer 7-7-1-1-2-8.

Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Linde 7-6-3-2-1-2.

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