LONGMONT — Skyline’s monstrous comeback on the diamond Wednesday afternoon was eventually spoiled.
And seemingly suddenly, following three straight wins to open the spring season, the Falcons find themselves looking to regroup amidst a current losing streak.
“We have the ability to be a really good baseball team,” coach Travis Schlagel said as his team rallied from six runs down to take a lead, but eventually fell to Prairie View 17-11 for its third straight loss. “We are patient with our players because we know this young group is going to make some mistakes. Baseball comes with little errors here and there … and if we clean those up we’re going to be a dang good baseball team.”
On a day when cold winds swirled around the Falcons’ home field, the visiting Thunderhawks put up four runs in the opening frame and led 7-1 heading into the bottom of the third. A lopsided affair revised to a completely upside-down one, though, as the advantage didn’t last long.
Skyline (3-3) used five hits and three walks in a seven-run third to take a lead. But the Thunderhawks (5-3) countered with the next seven runs — five coming in the fifth — and after a game that took 2 hours and 43 minutes, it finally stuck.
“I think everybody in the state knows we’re an underdog team, people don’t really believe in us,” said senior infielder Wynn Drewes, who had three hits on the day. “They think we’re just going to fall over and give the games away but we’re out here to show that we got some dudes and that we can play.”
The third inning alone proved as much.
Down six runs, Drewes and Connor Ormsby each had RBI singles and Grayson Gomez drove in another run by walk to chase Prairie View starter Favi Gaeta. Jonathan Canar, Samuel Carmona and Emilio Gutierrez followed with RBIs off reliever Hunter Blea as the Falcons sent 11 to the plate in the inning and took an 8-7 lead.
The advantage was short-lived.
Prairie View tied the game on Anthony Rivera’s RBI single in the fourth, then Jerry Stone’s two-run triple helped fuel a big fifth and the Thunderhawks added another in the sixth to go up 14-8.
Skyline rallied again, cutting the lead to 14-11 on the back of Evan Gail’s two-run triple in the sixth. The Thunderhawks then added three more in the seventh and the Falcons left the bases loaded to end the game.
“We have the ability to score six, seven, eight runs in an inning,” Schlagel said. “We’re going to stay in ball games with our sticks.”
Skyline, though, knows it will have to overcome adversity to get back on track this spring. Returning just four starters from last season, the Falcons are also dealing with a couple early-season injuries, Schlagel said.
Their current streak of losses comes after it opened the season with wins over Niwot, Northglenn and 4A CHSAA preseason No. 5 Windsor.
Next, they will face 4A Northern League-foe Greeley Central in an away-home slate Thursday and Saturday.