BOULDER — The stands at Scott Carpenter Park, full of patrons from both Fairview and Boulder, rattled in chants and cheers throughout Thursday afternoon as little league teammates Vincent Sauza and Graham Gilchrist toed the mound opposite each other for the first time.
Just another chapter to this intense crosstown rivalry.
“I was really nervous,” Sauza admitted.
But then he was in control.
Sauza got the better of a number of his old baseball buddies to earn the first win of his varsity career in the Panthers’ 3-1 victory.
Boulder coach Jack Taylor wanted three innings from his starter but instead got five sparkling frames. Sauza, fresh off a giving up six runs in 3 2/3 innings Monday against Class 5A No. 3 Douglas County, came back to allow just two hits and one unearned run over five innings.
“I was nervous because of this game,” Sauza said. “Just the amount of people that came here, which was awesome to see how many people were out here. I was pumped, it got me pumped. And after the first pitch I was cool and collected.”
Opposite him was Gilchrist, who has shined on the mound down the road at Fairview. Sauza and Gilchrist said they played baseball together before high school and still keep in touch over text.
“I haven’t seen him in a while, but he came out and threw a really good game,” said Gilchrist, who pitched three innings before making way for Greysen Carter. “It was great to see him.”
Sauza kept the Knights’ lineup off-balance most of the afternoon. He threw 72 pitches and 45 for strikes, punching out six while walking one. The lone run against him came in the third when Adam Moser singled, stole second and scored on a dropped third strike.
Dorsey Chatham earned the save with two spotless innings in relief. Chatham had runners on second and third in the seventh when he punched out Moser to end the game. With it, the Panthers won for just the second time in the last eight years against the Knights. Fairview had previously won six of seven dating back to 2012.
“Any time Boulder, Fairview, whatever you play, it doesn’t matter the sport, if we play Tiddlywinks it’s going to be a battle,” said Taylor, a Boulder alum. “These kids grow up together, they go to middle schools together, they battle. ‘I’m going to go to Fairview, I’m going to go to Boulder’. They pick their school and they pick their allegiance.”
Boulder got two runs off Gilchrist in the first with an RBI single from Jonny Suchor and Chatham’s deep sacrifice fly. Jackson Wyatt’s sac fly off Carter in the fourth made it 3-1.
The Panthers out-hit the Knights 7-3.
Boulder (9-7, 2-5 5A Front Range League) came into the game ranked 29th in 5A RPI while Fairview (5-10, 2-4) was 37th. Next, the Knights host Fort Collins Saturday and the Panthers are at home against the Lambkins Tuesday.
Brent W. New: Bwnew@prairiemountainmedia.com or on twitter @BrentWNew
Boulder 3, Fairview 1
At Scott Carpenter Park
Fairview 001 000 0 — 1 3 0
Boulder 200 100 x — 3 7 0
W — Sauza (1-1). L — Gilchrist (2-2). S — Chatham.
Fairview hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Moser 4-1-1-0, Hopkins 3-0-0-0, J. Jones 3-0-0-0, Carter 2-0-0-0, B. Jones 3-0-0-0, Humphrey 3-0-0-0, Stephens 2-0-1-0, Gilchrist 2-0-0-0, Rasmussen 1-0-1-0, Springer 3-0-0-0. Team 26-1-3-0. SB —Moser.
Boulder hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Sapper 2-1-0-0, Schoenfeld 3-1-2-0, Suchor 2-0-1-1, Chatham 2-0-0-1, Bach 3-1-1-0, Blankenship 3-0-2-0, Wyatt 2-0-1-1, Bajza 2-0-0-0, Pemberton 1-0-0-0, Woolwine 2-0-0-0. Totals 22-3-7-3.
Fairview pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Gilchrist 3.0-2-2-2-2-3, Carter 3.0-5-1-1-1-7.
Boulder pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sauza 5.0-2-1-0-1-6, Chatham 2.0-1-0-0-1-4.