ARVADA — A rematch of last year’s Rocky Mountain Baseball League championship game, Friday’s second round game between the Boulder Collegians and the 2014 champion Arvada Colts sure had its share of fireworks.
Unfortunately for the Collegians, the outcome of Friday’s game at Long Lake Ranch Park again went in favor of the defending champions.
At the end of a close game that featured a pair of home runs from Frederick High School alumnus Jaron Balman, an ejection, and a handful of hotly contested calls, the Arvada Colts prevailed 6-5. In the double-elimination tournament, however, the Collegians may yet get their redemption.
“We can’t get them every time,” Balman said. “We’re just mad we didn’t come out through that whole game. It lit a fire under us and we’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
The Collegians swept the Colts during the regular season, which the Colts won to lock up the first of two berths to this year’s NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan., from July 26-Aug. 8. In order to join the Colts at the World Series for the second straight year, the Collegians must reach the championship game of the RMBL tournament. Their path now continues at 8:30 a.m. Saturday against the Denver Cougars, who swept the Collegians during the regular season.
“The Cougars are the only team we haven’t beat so we’ll have to be ready,” said Balman, who has hit three home runs in two tournament games and has a total of 10 for the summer.
Collegians head coach Taylor Henry was ejected in the top of the sixth, during which the Colts broke a 2-2 tie with four runs on four hits and several pitching and fielding calls the Collegians did not agree with. But after the game, Henry pointed to eight runners left on base in the first three innings as more direct cause of his team’s defeat.
“We didn’t capitalize on all the base runners we had early in the game,” Henry said. “We had so many runners on with no outs and didn’t score. We can talk about some questionable calls here and there but the bottom line is we didn’t make enough plays. We could have been up six or seven and that sixth inning wouldn’t have been that big a deal.
“We tell the guys all the time that what you play a team that’s fundamentally sound, that’s very good, and you don’t do things right, those teams don’t beat themselves. They took care of business and we just came up short today.”
The Collegians had runners on first and second with one out in the first, loaded the bases with two outs in the second and loaded the bases with no outs in the third after Shane Olsen doubled home Davis Richardson, who led off the inning with a double. Balman tied the game with a solo home run in the fourth and cut the Colts’ lead to one with a three-run shot in the sixth.
Collegians starter David Dellaserra pitched well despite taking the loss. He struck out seven batters while allowing two runs in five innings.
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Arvada Colts 6, Boulder Collegians 5
At Long Lake Ranch Park
Arvada Colts 010 014 0 — 6 8 0
Boulder Collegians 001 103 0 — 5 14 2
W — Daniel Brown. L — David Dellaserra.
Colts hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Tyler Weynberg 3-0-2-1, BJ Johnson 1-0-1-1, Andy Wickland 3-0-0-0, Trent Maloney 4-0-0-0, Kaleb Beiger 4-2-2-0, Newt Johnson 4-0-0-1, Berto Aranda 2-0-0-0, Alex Walker 3-1-1-1, Brent Jarvis 3-1-0-0, Alex King 3-2-2-2. Totals 30-6-8-6. 2B — King 2, BJ Johnson, Weynberg, Walker. 3B — Beiger. SB — N. Johnson, Weynberg.
Collegians hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Jaron Balman 4-2-3-4, David Campbell 4-0-1-0, Davis Richardson 4-1-2-0, Shane Olson 4-0-2-1, Pate Katechis 3-0-0-0, Connor Linebarger 3-0-2-0, Drew Rosbottom 4-1-3-0, Luke Van Holten 4-0-0-0, Jordan Faretta 2-1-1-0. Totals 32-5-14-5. 2B — Richardson, Olson. HR — Balman (solo in fourth, two on in sixth).
Colts pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Daniel Brown 5.1-13-5-5-2-1, Austin Unrein 1.2-1-0-0-0-2.
Collegians pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — David Dellaserra 5-4-2-2-0-7, Conner Cremers 1-4-4-4-1-0, Will Amen 1-0-0-0-0-0.