DENVER — Everything looks neat and tidy in a microcosm.
The eighth-seeded Chatfield Chargers went 0-2 in the Central Colorado Baseball League’s Top-A final tournament, but got a glimpse of what was and what could have been.
“Offense wasn’t our problem. The problem was defense all game long,” Chatfield coach Mike Yansak said about his team’s 14-11 opening-round loss to the host and top-seeded Mullen Mustangs on July 17. “It’s kind of a microcosm of the issues we’ve had all season.”
The Chargers led the Mustangs 8-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when they gave up nine runs.
Chatfield exited the tournament later that day with a 14-4 loss to Arvada West.
While losing to Mullen wasn’t a shock when looking at the bracket seeding, the Chargers looked comfortably in line for the upset until the late meltdown. Connor Blevins, Garrett Yost, Zach Smith and Kyle Barnhart each had two hits apiece, while Blevens, Yost and Andrew Edwards each drove in two runs.
Of the nine runs allowed in the sixth, only four were earned. Starting pitcher Addison Ives, who threw a very strong game, wore out in the sixth and gave way to Matt Peters.
An error in left field, the second of the inning, brought in two more runs and the Chargers were down 14-8 heading into the top of the seventh.
The Chargers made things interesting for a bit with three run in the seventh – a brief rally that was sparked by Barnhart’s run-scoring double.
The Chargers grounded into two double plays.
Yost finished 2-for-3 with a double and a run-scoring triple in the sixth inning.
Rebels go 1-2
Columbine’s summer season came to an end July 17 at Mullen, where the Rebels lost 6-5 to the host Mustangs before being eliminated 11-1 by the Ralston Valley Mustangs.
The sixth-seeded Rebels got to play twice July 17 after opening the tournament the previous day with a 10-6 victory over No. 5 Arvada West in eight innings.
Against Arvada West, the Rebels took control with a big third inning, but found themselves tied up after seven innings and in need of some magic. It didn’t take long.
Matt Trujillo and Ryan Cicchinelli both singled and Austin Velasquez walked to load the bases with one out. Three hits later and the Rebels were up 10-6 and had the Wildcats down for the count.
Bert Guzman started the game and threw five innings. The junior left-hander got tagged for five runs, although only one was earned. He struck out six and left with the Rebels up 6-5 following an RBI sacrifice bunt by Parker Clough.
The Wildcats tied the game 6-6 off reliever Jared Grim in the bottom of the sixth. Grim, who started the game as the designated hitter for second baseman Jake Fuller, hit a solo home run just to the left of dead center to spark a five-run third inning. Guzman later singled to center field in the inning to score two runs.
The victory over A-West was particularly nice, considering the Rebels had been creamed by their Jeffco rivals 22-12 on July 9.
Against top-seeded Mullen, the Rebels led twice in the first 2 ½ innings but ultimately gave the game away in the bottom of the third when the Mustangs scored four runs thanks in part to two Columbine errors.
But that simply made the end even tougher to take. The Rebels scored three runs in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to 6-5, and had the tying run on second, the go-ahead run on first and Trujillo at the plate. Trujillo struck out looking and the Rebels were forced to play Ralston Valley to stay alive until July 18.
Dakota Ridge competed against both Columbine and Chatfield this summer but were unable to quality for the postseason tournament. Evergreen played in the lower-A division and posted a 1-2 record, with its lone win an 11-1 victory over Northglenn in six innings at Legacy High School.