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LONGMONT — Nothing is official until the district tournament pairings are released on Wednesday.

Yet given the status of the Silver Creek baseball team in the Class 4A Wild Card points, and the way the tears were flowing after a stunning loss Saturday afternoon, and the Raptors realized the writing is on the wall for their 2015 campaign.

After being just two outs shy of securing a win that would have given Silver Creek one of the three automatic district tournament bids out of the Northern League, the Raptors instead completely unraveled over the final two innings against Northridge, suffering a 10-5 defeat in eight innings.

Silver Creek spent much of the season among the league leaders, but losses in four of the Raptors’ final five games — including an 0-3 final week of the regular season — completely altered the team’s fortunes.

“This league is tough every year, and the people that come out of it are going to move forward within the state tournament,” Silver Creek head coach Mike Apodaca said. “We had opportunities this week. I think that’s the thing that’s the hardest — we had three opportunities this week and we didn’t get it done. I’ve talked all year that we don’t want to just get to the playoffs, we want to win in the playoffs. In order to do that, you’ve got to be able to get it done that last week.”

The Winn family helped break a 1-1 tie for Silver Creek in the fifth inning, with junior Cason Winn and freshman Cole Winn each smacking two-run singles to give the Raptors a 5-1 lead going into the sixth. Northridge scratched out a pair of runs in the sixth, setting up a wild seventh.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Silver Creek starting pitcher Austin Wood surrendered a walk on a close 3-2 pitch. The Raptors never recovered. After another walk Northridge tied the game on a two-run triple from Kayson Werner, and once Silver Creek went down in order in the bottom of the seventh, the visiting Grizzlies erupted for five runs in the top of the eighth.

That eighth-inning salvo was punctuated by a two-run home run from Northridge leadoff hitter Kyle Greenwell.

“There’s too many plays in a game to put it on that one (call),” Apodaca said. “We had opportunities to shut the door when we were up 5-1 and we didn’t get some things done defensively, and we kept a good team in it. The reality is we had an opportunity to get it done in the bottom of the seventh and we couldn’t get to them.”

Despite the dispiriting finale, the 2015 season marked a huge step forward for the Raptors (10-9, 8-6 Northern League) in Apodaca’s first year at the helm. Just two years removed from a one-win season, the veteran football coach proved he can motivate as well on the diamond as he does on the gridiron, leading Silver Creek to its first 10-win season since 2011.

Apodaca said he will lead a Legion A team this summer for the Silver Creek program, which has an abundance of talent among its underclassmen.

“If this is it, then I’m just proud of my guys,” said senior Mitch Webster, who gave the Raptors a good start with an RBI double in the first. “This thing is definitely on track. We’ve got lots of talent, even at the JV level. I have no doubt they will continue to succeed and continue to improve.

“We had a reason to fight. We enjoyed each other and we wanted to fight for each other.”

Follow Pat on Twitter: twitter.com/prooney07

Northridge 10, Silver Creek 5

At Silver Creek HS

Northridge 001 002 25 — 10 13 1

Silver Creek 100 040 00 — 5 9 0

W — Jay Frye. L — Capper Newton.

Northridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kyle Greenwell 4-3-2-2, Brenden Fulton 4-2-2-1, Kayson Werner 4-2-2-2, Kaylor Werner 5-1-2-3, Korbin Reed 4-0-1-0, Chance Eben 3-0-1-1, Jay Frye 4-1-2-0, Jake Hammer 4-0-0-0, Justin Frye 4-1-1-1. Totals 36-10-13-10 2B — Greenwell, Fulton, Ju. Frye. 3B — Kaylor Werner, Kayson Werner. HR — Greenwell (one on in 7th).

Silver Creek hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — George Ramirez 4-0-1-0, Austin Wood 4-1-1-0, Anthony Kasper 0-1-0-0, Mitch Webster 3-1-1-1, Cole Winn 4-1-2-2, Colton Olinger 4-0-1-0, Cason Winn 4-0-2-2, Zack Brown 4-0-0-0, Dylan Griffin 3-0-0-0, Capper Newton 4-1-1-0. Totals 34-5-9-5. 2B — Webster, Ca. Winn, Wood, Olinger. SB — Kasper.

Northridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Jay Frye 8-9-5-5-2-4.

Silver Creek pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Austin Wood 6.1-7-5-5-3-6; Nick Gambrosi 0.2-0-0-0-0-2; Capper Newton 1-6-5-5-0-0.

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