DENVER – Taylor Rogers didn’t plead the fifth when asked how Chatfield got swept by Mullen in a doubleheader June 9.
Rogers, instead, used the Bull Durham defense.
"It was just one of those days where everybody was kind of lollygagging," Rogers said after the Chargers’ 14-game winning streak was halted and a losing streak began at Bill Swift Field.
Coaches Skip and Larry would be proud of the honest assessment.
The Chargers lost the first game 14-9 after falling behind early, and dropped the darkness-shortened second game 6-5 after the Mustangs rallied with three runs in the top of the sixth.
The game was the first replay of the Class 5A district final that saw the Chargers upset the Mustangs and roll into the state championship series last month. The Chargers, however, couldn’t recast the emotion and execution this time.
"They probably wanted to win more than we did," Rogers said. "They definitely remembered some of that."
The Chargers outhit the Mustangs 26-19 in the series but missed many opportunities to punish the home team. Chatfield stranded 13 runners in the first game and another eight in the second.
Freshman Jake Tallman took the loss in the first game after he was tagged for eight runs in the bottom of the second inning. Rogers was the losing pitcher in the second game as the Chargers crumbled in a sloppy sixth inning.
Rogers was 5-for-8 at the plate in the two games, driving in three runs. Center fielder Mark Shannon was 3-for-4 with a solo home run and Jon Watson was 3-for-7 and drove in a team-high four runs in the first game. Michael DeLeon also hit a solo homer.
In the first game, catcher Zach Moisey knocked in a run and Watson slapped a two-run single through the infield to put the Chargers up 2-0 in the top of the second.
Tallman, who had cruised through the first inning, battled every opponent but could not stop Mullen’s hit parade. Tallman gave up five consecutive hits to start the inning, a sacrifice bunt, a run-scoring single and a three-run homer to left field. After walking the next batter, Tallman was relieved by Garrett Yost.
The Chargers chased the Mustangs throughout the 2 hour, 50 minute game, cutting the deficit to 9-6 in the in the top of the fourth and 13-9 in the top of the sixth.
Chatfield twice lost the lead in the second game. Rogers knocked in Shannon in the first to make it 1-0 before the Mustangs answered with three runs in the top of the third.
Shannon’s home run to right field and Michael Camporeale’s RBI ground-rule double to center tied to scored, and the Chargers made it 5-3 in the fourth.
That should have been enough had it not been for a two-error bottom of the sixth. An error on a fielder’s choice, a passed ball and subsequent throwing error tied the game before Rogers gave up a run-scoring single to the No. 9 hitter.
Chatfield regrouped June 10 and clobbered Pomona 20-3 and 18-9 to improve to 16-2 this summer.