Moffat County baseball falls to Colorado Academy in playoff opener
With a goal of avenging a postseason loss from last year, the Moffat County baseball team made the drive down south this past weekend to start the Class 3A playoffs, but despite their best efforts, the Bulldogs saw history repeat itself.
MCHS fell 11-4 to Denver’s Colorado Academy Saturday in Alamosa to end the season 11-11 overall.
Seeded 24th in the playoff field, the Bulldogs were paired with the No. 9 Colorado Academy Mustangs in the Region 2 bracket alongside eighth-place Alamosa and No. 25 La Junta. Following a narrow 9-8 victory for the hosting Mean Moose, Moffat County took to the diamond against their familiar foe.
Colorado Academy defeated MCHS 10-5 last year, and the Bulldogs were eager for a rematch. Picking up two early runs, Moffat was on the right foot, only for the Mustangs to take back the advantage with four first-inning runs.
The Mustangs didn’t record anything more than a single, though Bulldogs coach James Romansky noted they caught more breaks.
“We played the best defense that we have all year. Our pitching, we just had a few walks and hit-by-pitches we could have done without, but that’s how the game works,” he said. “They didn’t hit the ball particularly well, but they did put the ball in play. Sometimes they drop that way.”
Colorado Academy got on a roll in the bottom of the fifth, with six runs that were the Dogs’ undoing.
MCHS maintained six strikeouts between starter Darek Squires and closer Carson Miller, both seniors.
“Squires pitched really well in three of those five innings, really gave it his best effort,” Romansky said. “Carson should be really proud of those two innings. He’s really come along pitching. He was really nervous about it last year, but he found some comfort in the mound.”
Romansky said he was hoping to start Daniel Running at pitcher in the hypothetical second game had it happened, though the senior still played an important part near the close.
“At the end of our game, there was opportunity for us to come back. He came up with two outs, he was at 0-2 and looked down at me at third base and he smiled. It was all confidence in that kid’s eyes,” Romansky said. “He got back to 2-2, then got a base hit up the middle to extend the inning. Easton Briggs hit a hard ground ball that he beat out to first base. Him and the first baseman collided, pulling Dan to third.”
Senior Ryan Peck was up to bat next, with the Bulldog bench hoping their top slugger had another big hit in him.
“He had a really good, strong swing, just didn’t connect and that’s kind of how it ended, but he was the right guy at the right time to give us hope at the end of that game,” Romansky said.
Colorado Academy went on to roll Alamosa 13-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.
With a break-even record this year in both the overall record and 3A Western Slope League play at 7-7, the Dogs had tough losses and blowout wins alike with a spring that was largely spent on the road with only six home games, all of which they won.
Still, Romansky said he was happy with the outcome.
“There was a lot of adversity this season, but at the end of the day I thank the kids for rallying around me and their captains. Not one time in our 22 games, did we lose heart and give up,” he said.
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