Killer B's

Moffat County baseball team hopes to get two W's this weekend

Rich Sadvar spent a lot of time at the Western Slope League baseball meeting this week trying to help the league coaches get his players' names right.

"We have a lot of Bryans, so it was kind of a joke because the coaches kept asking which Bryan was which," he said. "That can probably be confusing for teams we face."

The Moffat County baseball team has five starters whose names start with the letter "B." Three of those starters and one more reserve are named Bryan (or Brian in one case).

"It' all just a coincidence," senior Bryan Wojtkiewicz said. "But it's a cool one that there are so many B-names on the team."

To get around the confusion, every player has a nickname. Wojtkiewicz is known as "Wojo," a name given to him by now-assistant coach Kip Hafey during Little League all-stars.

"I guess my last name was too hard for Hafey to pronounce," Wojo said.

Junior Bryan Richards is known as "Jebe" (pronounced Jeh-bee) which is short for Jebediah, a nickname that relates to Richards' "aw-shucks," country boy attitude.

Senior Brian Berhman has the nickname "B" because his initials are B.B.

The final Bryan, junior Bryan Rhodes, has the nickname of "Rodeo," a play off of his last name.

"Not once have I said 'Bryan' this season," Sadvar said. "I use the nicknames everybody has developed."

Don't forget about the other B names on the team. Junior Billy Ivy is known as Wild Bill or Hillbilly, both of which are self-explanatory. Finally there's junior Brad Grinstead, the third baseman known as Grinny.

"Baseball is a game of nicknames," Wojtkiewicz said.

"It's fun to try to come up with new sayings all the time," Ivy said.

Some teams probably have felt as though they were seeing or reading double when facing the Bulldogs this year. During most doubleheaders, Wojtkiewicz would pitch the first game, and Richards would pitch the second. Not only did the teams face two Bryans, they faced two hard-throwing lefthanders.

"I don't know if I've seen any other team with two left handers," Wojo said. "It's even more weird that they are two lefthanders with the same name."

Going with the B's

On Wednesday, the Colorado High School Activities Association announced the Class 4A state baseball bracket. Moffat County was given one of the top eight seeds, which means it is the host team for one of the eight district tournaments Saturday.

Four teams play in the single-elimination district tournament. The team to win two games advances to the final eight, double-elimination tournament next weekend.

As usual, the plan for the Bulldogs is to start the day with Wojtkiewicz on the mound.

"We're not going to do anything different," Sadvar said. "We'll go with Wojo, and if we need to make adjustments from there, we will."

The Bulldogs, 16-2, face No. 27 Silver Creek, 11-8, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Silver Creek plays in the traditionally tough Northern League, which has had three of the past four state champions.

"We really have nothing to go off of against the Eastern Slope teams," Sadvar said. "We just have to come out and do what we've done all season."

What Sadvar's squad has done all season is hit the ball hard, pitch the ball well and make few errors.

The Bulldogs have also played well in big games this year.

"We picked it up when things were on the line," Sadvar said. "Each time we faced a better team, we played even better."

The competition Saturday will be a level above the Western Slope League. The Bulldogs recognize they'll need to play that much better to win the district.

"I don't think we have to do anything different," Ivy said. "We just have to play the way we have and get better with our competition."

The other two teams in the district are No. 11 D'Evelyn, 14-4, and No. 22 Pine Creek, 12-7.

Those teams play after the Moffat vs. Silver Creek game. The winners of the two games will play for the district title at 3 p.m.

Last year, Moffat lost to Golden, 9-8, in the district final. They return all but one starter from that team.

"If we play like we have, I like our chances," Sadvar said.

They'll also get to play at home in the postseason.

"I like that we'll be home," Wojtkiewicz said. "It makes us comfortable."

The Killer B's and the rest of the group step onto the home dirt Saturday, but don't call them by what's on their birth certificates. They might not recognize it.

"I don't even know some of the guys' real names," Ivy joked.

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