For both the Mead and the Longmont-Erie summer baseball teams, Sunday’s efforts in the Boulder National Invitational Tournament was hardly indicative of their overall performance.
Having spent their time winning on another field through the annual event put on by Diamond Baseball of Boulder, Longmont-Erie’s first crack at playing at Scott Carpenter Park was less favorable as they fell to Slammers Hit Club in the semifinals, 6-0. Mead suffered the same couldn’t-find-a-way-to-cross-the-plate fate, losing to Pine Creek 8-0 in the other semifinal game.
However, indications were that both clubs’ coaches found positives in seeing their teams get past pool play in a tournament that has been known to bring around some exceptional competition.
“I was very pleased with the tournament and how we performed and proud of the boys for the five games we put together,” said Mead coach Tory Hargash, whose Mavericks went 4-1 overall. “The ultimate result didn’t go as we liked, but this tournament I’d say went well for us.”
“We have played pretty well in this tournament the past three years, and today (Sunday) we couldn’t get out of one inning,” added Longmont-Erie co-coach Tom Fobes, his team 3-2 overall. “We should have been hitting (in the top of the seventh) with it 2-0. Overall, the tournament went well for us.”
On Sunday, Longmont-Erie turned to Austin Hassler, a to-be sophomore at LHS, to go up against Slammers Hit Club. After throwing seven innings as a freshman varsity player all spring, Hassler has shown he has potential to give Fobes some more innings next spring. with the added knowledge of being a catcher, too.
Through four innings Sunday, Hassler allowed just one run, that coming on a groundout in the third inning. But in the fifth frame, Hit Club lived up to the moniker, as they put five runs on the board with the help of two infield errors.
All five runs in the frame were unearned.
“We needed to come out with our ‘A’ game today, and we let an inning slip and that was enough,” said Hassler. “It’s great getting innings against good teams, and it’ll get me ready for spring, for sure. Some of these club teams, they’re good players from different schools. Getting that experience against them, I think it’ll put me in a good spot.”
“When we made mistakes, they made us pay,” said Harold Simmons, Erie’s varsity coach who teams up with Fobes in the summer. “I don’t think it was as bad as it looks, it just came down to them doing things after we could have made plays.”
For the first time since late June, Longmont-Erie could not produce a run despite having six hits. The only time the Trogers had consecutive base knocks was in the seventh inning.
Mason Peterson and Avery Peterson each had two hits in the game. Jake Zamudio added a double, and Josh Crites had the other base knock.
Mead’s undefeated run through pool play featured solid pitching, but against Pine Creek the Mavericks got down real early and were not able to pick themselves up.
Justin Olson, who also got the win for the Eagles, hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning and Pine Creek gained a 7-0 lead after three frames.
“The other team just hit really well, and they had a two-run bomb in the bottom of the first that set the tone, in all honesty,” Hargash said.
Slammers Hit Club went on to defeat Pine Creek 7-5 to capture the NIT championship.
Boulder National Invitational Tournament semifinals
At Scott Carpenter Park
Slammers Hit Club 6, Longmont-Erie 0
Longmont-Erie 000 000 0 — 0 6 3
Slammers Hit Club 001 050 x — 6 6 1
L — Austin Hassler.
Longmont-Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Cooper Rothe 3-0-0-0, Josh Crites 3-0-1-0, Mason Peterson 3-0-2-0, Luke Conilogue 3-0-0-0, Kavan Andrew 3-0-0-0, Miguel Moroyoqui 3-0-0-0, Avery Peterson 2-0-2-0, Jake Zamudio 3-0-1-0, Ryan Rulon 3-0-0-0. Totals 26-0-6-0. 2B —M. Peterson, Zamudio. SB —A. Peterson.
Longmont-Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Hassler 4.1-6-6-1-4-1, Ryan Rulon 1.2-0-0-0-0-1.
Pine Creek 8, Mead 0
Mead 000 000 0 — 0
Pine Creek 250 010 x — 8