LONGMONT — Skyline sophomore Nolan Helmstetter walked and stole home on his first at-bat in the third, then singled and scored on a passed ball in his second appearance of the frame.
Opportunistic Skyline cashed in eight runs as part of a drawn-out inning that featured four walks, a hit batter and five errors, beating Mead 14-1 on Saturday afternoon to split the season series with its crosstown rival.
The Mavericks (1-1, 1-1 4A/5A Tri-Valley League) won Thursday’s meeting between the teams, 3-1, on the strength of 12 strikeouts and six strong innings from Caleb Ayers, but struggled with mistakes in their follow-up and finished with 11 errors.
Meanwhile, the Falcons (2-2, 1-1) made good of it and had 12 players bat in the third, despite only getting two hits.
“We have a lot of young guys and good leaders, and we know we need to take advantage of those situations in order to capitalize and put it on them,” Helmstetter said. “So, that was cool.”
Both teams now head into spring break. Skyline is staying around town while Mead leaves for a tournament in Arizona Monday. The Mavericks will certainly welcome the warmer scenery as they’ve had three of their games already rescheduled due to weather.
Its blowout loss in cold, windy conditions on Saturday may make the trip even more timely.
“Usually I tell them after a loss to go home and think about what they could have done better,” Mavericks coach Randy Click said. “This one you just want to forget. You don’t want to really think about it because if you think about it starts to define who you are. And we’re a better team than what we put out there today.”
Nate McGregor tossed five strong innings for Skyline, allowing just two hits and one unearned run. It was more than enough thanks to an offense that brought home 14 runs after getting only three in their past two games.
Patrick Chavez helped lead the charge with two stolen bases and an RBI double for the Falcons. Ethan Drewes and Helmstetter each added a steal and drove in a run.
“We’ve relied on pitching this year, it’s kept us in games,” Skyline coach Travis Schlagel said. “Slowly we’re starting to realize as a team who we are, young. But at the same time, we can find ways to put pressure on teams and that’s something we got to pride ourselves on, our grit and our fight. And I think we had a really good performance.”
Mead starter Nick Jacobs lasted only three innings. The junior sailed through his first two frames before eight unearned runs came to the plate against him the third. It was Jacobs’ first start for the Mavericks after pitching 1 2/3 innings of relief last spring.
“It’s tough as a pitcher when you’re doing your job and nothing behind you seems to work out,” Click said.
Mead took an early lead as Matt French led off with a double in the first and came in to score on one of Skyline’s four errors on the day. The Falcons then scored the next 14 runs, including six in the fifth to put the 10-run mercy rule into effect.
Brent W. New: email@example.com and @brentwnew
Skyline 14, Mead 1
At Mead HS
Skyline (2-2, 1-1) 008 06 — 14 6 4
Mead (1-1, 1-1) 100 00 — 1 2 11
W — Skyline McGregor (1-1). L — Jacobs (0-1).
Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Bridwell 3-2-1-1, Elwood 4-0-1-0, Chaparro 3-0-1-0, McGregor 4-0-0-0, Hart 3-2-0-0, W. Drewes 2-2-0-0, E. Drewes 2-2-1-1, Helmstetter 2-2-1-1, Chavez 2-2-1-1. Team 25-14-6-4. 2B —Chavez. SB — Chavez 2, Helmstetter, E. Drewes, W. Drewes.
Mead hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — French 3-1-2-0, McDaniel 2-0-0-0, Jacobs 3-0-0-0, Leise 2-0-0-0, Jones 1-0-0-0, Miller 1-0-0-0, Zsidisin 2-0-0-0, Watkins 2-0-0-0, Ayers 1-0-0-0, Boaz 1-0-0-0, Platt 0-0-0-0. Team 18-1-2-0. 2B — French.
Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — McGregor 5-2-1-0-3-1.
Mead pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Jacobs 3-2-8-0-5-4, Miller 2-4-6-3-0-3.