Summer high school team earns first win in Triple Crown Tournament

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The Moffat County High School summer baseball team earned its first win and, in doing so, made sure there was no question about it.

Coach Scott Parker said he was impressed at the ability of his Bulldogs to get the bat on the ball in a 21-4 win against the Heritage Eagles.

"For one of the first times this summer, they got the hits when they needed them," Parker said. "We executed our bunts, had solid pitching and put together some innings."

The Bulldogs scored at least five innings in every inning. Reid Hanneman batted in eight runs while Caleb Keadle had two triples to lead the team with the aluminum. Hanneman, Jared Lowther and Matt Guinn combined on the mound to shut down the Eagles.

"It was nice to get that win after getting rocked on Friday," Lowther said. "That first team's pitching was a lot slower than we're used to seeing this summer."

The win came in the Bulldogs' third game of the Triple Crown Mountain Magic Division One Tournament. The 16&U squad went 1-3 with the win against Heritage sandwiched between a 16-5 loss to the Colorado Wolves and 13-4 defeat by the Colorado Blake Street Reds Friday before a 6-4 loss to the Thompson Valley Eagles Saturday.

"Those two teams on Friday were all-star teams from Denver and Aurora," Parker said. "We hung with them early but didn't have enough to keep it close."

Hanging in the game late also was the problem for the Bulldogs in the second game Saturday. The retro clad team -- wearing an MCHS uniform from the 1990s -- took a 3-2 lead into bottom of the fifth but, unlike the dominant high school teams that originally wore those uniforms, the new guys were unable to hold on.

Keadle was on the mound and had kept the Eagles in check in the first four innings, allowing three hits and two runs, but hitting the catchers glove became a task for the junior-to-be in the fifth. Keadle walked the bases loaded and, after a wild pitch and a single, Thompson Valley had a 4-3 lead. A double play kept any more runs off the board but the runs would prove too much.

"My arm started to get tired," Keadle said. "I just started throwing balls and couldn't get back on track."

Thompson Valley added two more in the sixth to take a 6-3 lead into the seventh.

Lowther kept the hopes alive for the Bulldogs when he was hit to lead off the seventh. He advanced to third when an attempted pick off move went wild. Brian Behrman sent Lowther to the shade of the dugout with an RBI single and the team had a rally rolling. After a Hanneman pop out, Kyle Wilson kept the blue and white alive with a single. With the winning run at the plate, Guinn hit one high, but not far, and the pop up made him out number two. Keadle was the last chance to resuscitate the rally, but a ground ball was gobbled up by the short stop, ending the game and the team's chance to advance out of pool play.

"This was the most complete team we've had all summer," Lowther said. "There is hope for next year."

"All the guys who threw this weekend will need to do the same for us in the high school season," he said. "I was pleased with everybody's effort and the more time they're out here, the better they'll be next year."

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