The ability to throw strikes made all the difference Wednesday night in the Bulldog Youth Baseball League's championship game for 8 through 10-year-olds.
Craig's Camilletti Financial Group Bulldogs faced the Hayden Indians and although the Indian pitchers threw a no-hitter, walks cost them a 4-1 loss.
"At any level you have to throw strikes to win," Bulldog coach Billy Davis said. "We did that tonight and although our bats weren't here, we got the win."
Hayden's Mark Doolin, Jake Hockett and Isaac Bridges combined to strike out 13 Craig batters. Only two Craig batters put the ball in play during the entire game.
But in the fourth inning Hockett walked five batters and four of them stole home for a 4-0 lead.
Hayden's Ian Cadenhead hit in Mark Doolin for a rally in the fifth and final inning but Craig's Sammy Parker struck out the final Hayden batter for the win.
"We're fast on the bases," Craig's Jake Bingham said. "We never gave up and tried our best."
The Craig pitching trio of Parker, Bingham and Joe Camilletti allowed two hits and struck out 12.
The Indians came into the game undefeated in the tournament.
They defeated the Camilletti team 7-1 in an earlier game in the tournament.
In the regular season, the Craig team defeated Hayden three times.
The 4-1 victory by the Bulldogs forces a winner-take-all championship game at 5:45 p.m. tonight at Woodbury Fields.
"We have to play like we did today," the Bulldogs' Tyler Davis said. "But tomorrow we have to hit better."
David Pressgrove can be contacted at 970-824-7031 x211 or firstname.lastname@example.org