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The Boulder Collegians opened their 2018 season with an emphatic 16-6 win over the visiting Denver Browns at Scott Carpenter Park Thursday night. Second baseman Addison Kaasch led the way at the plate for the Collegians, hitting a grand slam and finishing with six RBIs, and leftfielder David Neale added a home run and four RBIs.

“This is a special group of guys, these kids work hard and don’t want to come out of the game. They love to be out here, Boulder is a special place to play,” said Collegians head coach Matthew Sena.

The bats appear to already be in mid-season form for the Collegians. After the Browns struck for a run in the top of the first off of Centaurus alum Joe Milano, the Collegians stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a two-run single from Gabe Giosso.

Boulder then scored five runs in the bottom of the third, as they hit four straight singles and then Kaasch lined one over the fence in right center field for a grand slam.

“It felt awesome, you don’t get the opportunity to hit too many of those, so it felt great,” Kaasch said.

The Collegians got two more runs in the fourth, as Neale lined a double into the left center gap, scoring Giosso and Nico Nietze.

Neale then hit a two-run homer to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning that nearly made it onto 30th Street, and Kaasch followed it up with a triple and came home to score as the Browns shortstop threw the relay into the dugout.

The Browns then scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to earn the run-rule shortened victory.

On the mound, Milano was solid across four innings, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out seven, and Monarch grad Mitch Trenka relieved him, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out four.

“We had a couple local kids come out and get some good innings for us, so it was nice to see that from the boys from around here,” Sena said.

Next up for the Collegians as they pursue the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Baseball League title is a home game against the Denver Pirates Friday night at 6:15 p.m.

“My expectations are nothing less than going to Wichita. They’ve known that from the beginning, and we’ve let them know that we have one goal, and that’s to get to the NBC World Series,” said Sena.

Boulder Collegians 16, Denver Browns 6 (8)

At Scott Carpenter Park

Denver101 001 21x — 6 9 1

Boulder405 200 32x — 16 13 1

W — Boulder Milano (1-0).

Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Meadows 4-1-2-0, Nietze 4-2-1-0, Bullock 3-2-1-0, Giosso 2-4-2-3, Neale 4-2-3-4, Goulart 3-1-1-3, Kaasch 3-2-3-6, Taylor 4-0-0-0, Linahan 2-1-0-0, Altman 2-1-0-0. 2B —Neale. 3B — Kaasch. HR — Kaasch, Neale. SB — Nietze.

Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Milano 4-4-2-2-0-7, Trenka 3-4-3-3-0-4, Clawson 1-1-1-1-1-1.

Christoph Ludwig: 303-473-1313,