Bulldogs look to shrug off Fort Lupton

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Moffat County High School and Palisade finished Western Slope play with identical records, but begin District Five tournament play as the No. 18 and No. 7 seeds, respectively.

"We should have been the league champs, and should've been hosting as the No. 7 seed," MCHS coach Rich Sadvar said.

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MCHS (12-7) faces No. 15 seed Fort Lupton (13-6) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Thomas Jefferson High School, and Palisade (14-5) begins postseason play against No. 26 seed Lincoln (11-7).

"But, it doesn't mean we can't beat them," Sadvar said. "We beat Thomas Jefferson last summer and that was without Billy Ivy and Bryan Richards. There is no doubt in my mind we can beat them."

Sadvar has given senior right-handed pitcher Ivy the nod to start against the Bluedevils.

MCHS finished 2006 with an overall record of 37-13, and saw its season come to an end in a 7-5 loss to Silver Creek.

Different year,

different result?

After losing to rival Steamboat Springs on April 10, MCHS ended its 2007 season on a seven-game win streak.

"I think we match up to everyone in the state," Sadvar said. "This year has been an uphill battle and when it comes to postseason play it just comes down to who plays the best baseball. You know you have to play 100 percent in all aspects of the game."

With the exception of "a few sore arms," the Bulldogs are in good shape health-wise.

Three freshmen junior varsity players will join the Bulldogs for postseason experience, but Sadvar said Paul Collins, Jasen Kettle and Pablo Salcido "will come along for certain reasons to fill roster spots" in the event of an injury.

The winner of the MCHS-Fort Lupton game plays at 3 p.m. Saturday for the first round of double elimination May 11.

Richards will take the mound in Game 2, pending a Bulldog victory.

"We're going right up the gut on this one," Sadvar said of the team's approach. "Up to Wednesday, our practices have been pretty good, and I think we've been pretty loose."

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