In baseball, each game is a new one regardless of how close in time it was played to the last one. Wednesday’s doubleheader at All Star Park was a prime example of this. The two games between Batters Box and the Colorado Lumberjacks ended in opposite fashion. One on a walk-off, the other by a mercy rule blowout.
Game 1 saw the two teams knotted up as each teams’ pitchers kept the oppositions offense grounded. Both teams emphasized better pitching and fundamental defense as the keys towards getting a competitive edge against the opposition as they each had something to prove. Batters Box was trying to climb their way up in the division while the second place Lumberjacks were looking to avenge their loss to Batters Box earlier in the season.
Left fielder and leadoff hitter Frank Shearn started and ended the action for Batters Box in Game 1. He led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single followed by an aggressive pursuit on the base paths where he stole second and came around to score the first run of the game on an RBI single by center fielder Austin Roybal.
After falling behind early 2-0, the Lumberjacks fought back. They scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game up at 2-2, via small-ball. Lumberjacks starter Connor Cumisky was a workforce for the team. He pitched them through the entire game allowing three runs through six innings pitched and striking out 13.
“We got too big in our approaches there,” Shearn said on his team’s struggles against Cumisky throughout the game. “It wasn’t until that last inning where we kind of stayed short and compact and didn’t do too much there and we got them on , got them over, we got them in”
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Shearn came up to bat and wasted no time poking a single to right field to score Will Fettus from third and win Game 1 of the doubleheader for Batters Box 3-2.
“My approach was just to pass the bat and sure enough it was just a line drive that hit the right hole,” said Shearn on his winning hit.
The Lumberjacks rebounded fast from that late disappointing loss and exploded with their bats in game two, as the top of the order once again had a big day for the team.
Each of the top four hitters had a multi-hit and multi-RBI game. The lineup only looks to be getting stronger as the biggest game came from the latest team edition, left fielder Micah Barkenhagen. In his Mile High Collegiate Baseball debut he homered twice, the first a solo home run to centerfield to tie the game 2-2 in the third. The second home run was a three-run-homer lined to right field in the fifth. This gave the Lumberjacks a commanding 10-4 lead and there was no looking back from there.
“The first one that I hit to center I was trying to just stay short to the ball I had two strikes on me so, I wasn’t trying to get too fancy with it,” said Barkenhagen on his home run. “You know piece it up, I didn’t think it was gone at first, she went. Second one just looked good so I just took a nice swing on it, didn’t try and do too much with it.”
The Lumberjacks swung the bat big in Game 2, letting Batters Box know that they were not a weakness to them. As if their was not already enough offensive display from both teams in Game 2, an eight run top of the seventh by the Lumberjacks put the game away as they mercy-ruled Batters Box by a debilitating 18-6 blowout. The run discrepancies between the two games gave fans a fine display of each team’s hitting, pitching, and fielding strengths at some point in the night at All Star Park.