If you go ...
What: Moffat County High School baseball vs. Palmer Ridge High School in first round of 4A state playoffs
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Palmer Ridge High School, 19255 Monument Hill Road, Monument
— The cost of admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students
MCHS regular season batting leaders:
(Name — batting average — home runs — RBIs)
• Bubba Ivers — .610 — 3 — 21
• Ben Williams — .593 — 9 — 37
• Dylon Camilletti — .475 — 0 — 2
• Graig Medvesk — .426 — 0 — 10
• Carlos Maldonado — .356 — 0 — 9
MCHS regular season pitching leaders:
(Name — wins — strikeouts — ERA)
• Ben Williams — 4 — 52 — 4.26
• Bubba Ivers — 3 — 24 — 7.97
• Mark Doolin — 1 — 25 — 8.72
The Moffat County High School baseball team had one goal coming into this season — not to have a repeat of last year.
Last season, the Bulldogs went into their final four games needing to win one to clinch the fourth and final Western Slope League playoff spot.
MCHS was swept in Glenwood Springs and again by Delta at home and missed the playoffs by one game.
“We had a rough time last year because we missed the playoffs by one game,” head coach Justin Folley said. “We knew coming into the season we could get back into the playoffs.”
This year, the Bulldogs won their final four games of the season to take the third WSL playoff spot and head into the 4A state playoffs as the 32nd and final seed.
The Bulldogs (8-8) will play No. 1 Palmer Ridge High School (18-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The game will be played at Palmer Ridge, 19255 Monument Hill Road, Monument.
“I kind of figured we would be somewhere around the bottom,” Folley said after the seeding was announced. “We were 8-8 overall and it is what it is.”
MCHS is in the first of eight districts for the opening round. No. 16 Golden High School (13-5) and No. 17 Fort Morgan High School (14-5) join the Bulldogs and Palmer Ridge.
Palisade High School (12-6), the WSL champion, is ranked 19, and second-place finisher Delta High School (13-5) is ranked 27.
Knowing his team is facing a tough challenge, Folley said he doesn’t plan on changing much up.
“We are going in as an underdog without a doubt,” he said. “A team could definitely let down facing the No. 32 seed and we are going to try and shock someone.”
Senior Kulen Turner said he knows getting over the seeding numbers will be difficult for the team.
“It’s going to be hard, and Palmer Ridge will be the toughest game we will play all year,” he said. “We have to make them make mistakes and can’t have any of our own.”
Three of the four seniors — Turner, Dylon Camilletti and Ben Williams — made the playoffs their freshmen year, but haven’t been back since.
Camilletti said it is a “good accomplishment” to be back.
“Anything can happen,” he said. “We definitely have to play our top game, and I think if we come out and do what we have been doing, we will be alright.”
Folley is in his second year as head coach of the Bulldogs. No matter the seed, he said, making the playoffs is a big deal.
“We may be the last seed, but it feels pretty good,” he said. “I am happy for my seniors and for the whole team.”
In the days leading up to Saturday, Folley said he would work with his team on continuing to produce on offense.
The Bulldogs scored 54 runs in their last four games combined.
“We are going to do some batting practice and keep working on the offense like we have all year,” he said. “It got us where we are, so we don’t want to change much.”
Turner said the Bulldogs would have to also work on the smaller aspects of the game.
“Bunting, advancing runners and fielding are all stuff we can work on,” he said. “Errors will make us lose, so we have to fine tune as much as possible.”
If the Bulldogs beat Palmer Ridge, they will face the winner of the Golden-Fort Morgan game at 3 p.m. Saturday also at Palmer Ridge.
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