Despite locking horns in a tight game, the American Legion Post 62 baseball team was unable to beat Summit and fell, 10-5, on Friday in the second round of the district tournament.
Because it was the Bulldogs second loss, the team was bounced from the tournament in Glenwood Springs.
Manager Justin Folley said the game was closer than the final score.
“It was actually a pretty good ballgame,” he said. “It was really close for most of the game.”
But, in the sixth inning with the Bulldogs threatening, a base running error turned a rally into a double play.
“After that, (Summit) put on a couple of extra runs,” Folley said.
Ivan Nielsen started for the Bulldogs on Friday.
Folley said the incoming junior threw the ball well, but was stung by errors in the field.
“He left a couple of balls up in the zone in the first inning,” Folley said. “In the second inning, he should have been out of the inning early, but we couldn’t do it.”
In Thursday’s first round game, the Bulldogs fell, 7-1, to Steamboat Springs.
Folley said starter Bubba Ivers threw well in the loss, but like Friday’s game, mistakes in the field gave No. 3-seeded Steamboat all the offense they needed against the No. 6 Bulldogs.
“He only gave up three hits with three or four walks, but we made too many mistakes,” Folley said.
Ivers created his own offense, hitting a home run off Steamboat’s Tyler Brown, accounting for the lone Craig run of the game.
Although ousted from the tournament, the Bulldogs’ season isn’t over.
The team received an automatic bid to the state tournament given Moffat County is the host.
The Tigers will continue their district tournament play today against the loser of Friday night’s Steamboat Springs-Rangely match-up.
The top two teams from the district tournament also advance to state play.
Because the district tournament is ongoing, the final bracket for the state tournament has yet to be finished, but games will start at 9 a.m. Thursday at Craig Middle School, 915 Yampa Ave.
Folley said the Bulldogs will likely go into the tournament as the eighth seed.
If the Bulldogs are the eighth seed, they will play the No. 1 seed at 6 p.m. Thursday at CMS.
But, before the Bulldogs can play for the state title, the team needs to improve in several areas, Folley said.
“We need to find our focus point,” he said. “Sometimes, it doesn’t seem like we are 100 percent into the game all the time.
“We need to cut down on our physical and mental mistakes. We’re a young team, so we’re still growing.”