LONGMONT — The optimistic person might say the efforts of Skyline baseball’s Jonah Chrisman on Thursday afternoon were, at the very least, revealing as to the true potential of the Falcons having a legitimate 1-2 punch in their rotation.
The pessimist, on the other hand, would probably be quick to point out the Falcons wasted their pitcher’s effort in a 2-1 loss to Windsor at the Skyline baseball field, which dropped SHS to 3-4 on the season.
Past the point of moral victories, head coach Travis Schlagel said his Falcons need to be able to win the types of games they’ve been losing of late — all close contests that have come down to just a couple of mistakes here or there.
After coming up short in three games down in Orlando, Fla., by a grand total of four runs, the Falcons ran into several costly outs against their Tri-Valley League foes back in Colorado on Thursday. Early miscues made the difference as the senior Chrisman allowed just three singles and erased the final 14 batters he faced in the game.
“Jonah turned into a pitcher today. He’s not just a thrower anymore, and we know our No. 1 and No. 2 pitchers are going to keep us in games,” said Schlagel, his team next scheduled to play the Wizards (4-1, 3-0 TVL) again on Saturday. “We just have to be able to manufacture runs when given the opportunities. Didn’t happen today, didn’t happen the past four games when we’ve needed it to.
“We’re tired of getting a pat on the back at the end for fighting and staying in it. That’s not a better team than us, Erie’s not a better team than us. I think we’re a team in this conference that can do very well. We have to keep playing to eliminate mistakes.”
Skyline (1-1 in the TVL) had a chance to jump on top early as the first two hitters of the game reached base by working a walk. But Caleb Zietlow was thrown out trying to steal and James Canar was doubled off first base on a fly ball of the bat of Brayden Blick.
Down 2-0 in the fifth, Nick Hamby led off with a double but became the third out of the inning when he was picked off second base, and then in the sixth Zietlow made himself a victim trying to go from first to third base on a slow infield hit from Canar.
Still, thanks to the brilliance of Chrisman and a defense that cleaned up after the second inning, the Falcons threatened to tie the game or even win it in the seventh. Blick, Hamby and Nate Higgins all reached base — Blick scored on Higgins’ one-out base hit — but the Falcons could not touch reliever Zach Watts at that point.
“It hurts because it’s a lot of the same things that happened last year… but I feel like we just need that one game where we explode and I feel it’s coming soon,” Zietlow said. “We missed some signs early in this game, not getting runs when we could have. We need to come out more ready to play.”
“We’re ready to finally bury some teams in the next few weeks,” Schlagel added. “This group needs to be able to loosen up a little bit, as we saw in the beginning of the year.”
Windsor 2, Skyline 1
At Skyline HS
Windsor020 000 0 — 2 3 1
Skyline000 000 1 — 1 5 3
W — Jares. L — Chrisman. S — Watts.
Windsor hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Rhodes 4-0-1-1, Peninger 2-0-0-0, Watson 3-0-0-0, Watts 3-0-0-0, Ja. Barker 3-0-0-0, Montgomery 3-0-0-0, Jensen 3-1-1-0, Jares 2-0-0-0, Tapia 1-0-0-0, Jo. Barker 1-1-1-0.
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Zietlow 3-0-1-0, Canar 3-0-1-0, Blick 2-1-0-0, Riddoch 3-0-0-0, Hamby 3-0-2-0, Eldred 0-0-0-0, Higgins 3-0-1-1, Shannon 3-0-0-0, Elwood 2-0-0-0, Chaparro 1-0-0-0, Schernecke 2-0-0-0. 2B — Hamby. SB —Eldred, Higgins, Schernecke.
Windsor pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Jares 6.1-5-1-1-3-3, Watts 0.2-0-0-0-0-2.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chrisman 7-3-2-1-0-5.