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Niwot baseball wins one, drops two during spring break


April 14, 2016

Photo by Ed Navarro Skyler Messinger had a good day of pitching for Niwot in its game against Centaurus on April 5, which the Cougars won 8-6.

The Niwot High School baseball team had a full schedule of conference play this week as the Cougars took on Centaurus at home last Tuesday, April 5, then played a home and home series with Mountain View, traveling to Mountain View last Thursday, April 7 then facing them at home on Saturday, April 9.

While the Cougars would have liked to walk away with three wins on the week, they had to settle for a win against Centaurus and two close losses to undefeated Mountain View.

Against Centaurus, Niwot had two opponents they were facing, the Warriors and the weather. On a gusty and cold afternoon, the Cougars had to fight through the wind to eventually defeat Centaurus 8-6.

Niwot Head Coach Craig McBride said his team would never use the weather as an excuse for their play, but it definitely affected the outcome of the game.

“Windy days like [Tuesday] have an effect on every aspect of the game,” McBride said after the win against Centaurus.

Even in the windy conditions, the Cougars had a very effective day on the offensive end, putting up eight runs on 11 hits for the day.

Niwot was down 1-0 going into the third inning, but five straight hits in the bottom of the third gave Niwot a 3-1 lead that they would never relinquish. Junior Jacob Simms started the rally with a double into right field, and senior Ford Ladd capped off the scoring in the inning with a base hit that brought two runners home.

Ladd ended up 3-4 on the night with four RBIs, a great way for him to end his early season slump.

“They executed well offensively,” McBride said of his team. “We got hits when we needed hits and they hit the ball hard when we had runners in scoring position. They really put good wood on the ball today.”

Junior Skyler Messinger got the win for Niwot, going five and two-thirds innings, while giving up three earned runs off of six hits and recording six strikeouts. McBride was happy with the way Messinger pitched even though it wasn’t his best outing.

“[Messinger] was good for five innings,” McBride said of his pitcher. “He wasn’t at his best, but [Messinger] not at his best is better than most. The only negative I think that was uncharacteristic of this team was the errors we gave up.”

Niwot did have too many errors against Centaurus, allowing two runs to score off of four errors on the day. In the sixth inning alone the Cougars allowed four runs to score while only giving up one hit, allowing runners to get on base via two walks, two hit batters, and two errors.

“The field was getting real choppy by that point,” McBride said of his team’s struggles in the sixth inning. “Getting that last out was big even though that ball took a bad hop. At the end of the day it’s a win and we will take all the in-conference wins we can get.”

It turned out the win against Centaurus was crucial because next up Niwot had to face the juggernaut that is Mountain View baseball.

In the first game of the series at Mountain View, Niwot had opportunities to get on the board early but came up short, resulting in a 3-0 loss to the Mountain Lions.

Entering the sixth inning the game was tied 0-0, and both Niwot and Mountain View had great performances by their pitching on the night.

Senior Tyler Meek had an outstanding night on the mound for the Cougars, going five and one-third innings while giving up two earned runs on two hits and recording six strikeouts.

“Tyler was awesome and their pitcher was awesome,” McBride said after the loss to Mountain View Thursday. “It was a good pitcher’s duel, unfortunately we just had trouble in the sixth.”

That trouble came in the form of another defensive lapse for Niwot, as they allowed three runs to score in the sixth inning on only two hits. A hit-by-pitch to start off the inning and an error did most of the damage to the Cougars and put Mountain View up for good.

“They lost their composure a little bit there in the sixth,” McBride said. “It was unfortunate we couldn’t get some of those early runners in scoring position in for [Meek]. It would have been a different game then I think.”

Niwot itself was only able to put up one hit on the evening, and when the Cougars had runners on base they couldn’t take advantage of the situation.

It was a similar story in the game Saturday at home against Mountain View. The Cougars again had a great pitching performance, this time by Ladd, but were unable to score runs to back him up.

They dropped their second straight game, this time by a score of 2-0, but were at least able to put up multiple hits against the Mountain Lions.

In fact they beat Mountain View in the hit tally 3-1, but Niwot again had two errors that allowed runners to score.

“They are a really great ball club and it’s always a challenge playing against them,” McBride said of Mountain View.

Ladd had a valiant effort in the loss, going six full innings and only giving up one earned run off of one hit and tallying seven strikeouts.

Meek had the most effective day at the plate for Niwot on Saturday, getting one hit in his two at bats. The only other Cougar players to get a hit were Messinger and senior Joe Wilson.

Niwot looks to get back into the win column this week as the team travels to Centaurus on Tuesday, April 12 to finish the season series with the Warriors. Then they face Greeley Central at home on Thursday, April 14 before traveling to Greeley Central on Saturday, April 16. The games on Tuesday and Thursday are both at 4:00 p.m., and the game on Saturday is at noon.Niwot 8, Centaurus 6

Centaurus (2-4, 0-3) 010 004 1 - 6 8 2

Niwot (3-4, 2-1) 003 041 0 - 8 11 4

W — Messinger. L — MacDonald. SV — Stephens.

Centaurus Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Manuel Gonzales 3-1-1-1, Balin Jessip 2-0-1-1, Eric Gambon 4-0-1-0, Joe Milano 4-0-0-0, Brandon Larson 3-1-0-0, Trevor Erickson 3-1-2-0, Mitch Koch 4-0-1-0, Lucas DiSabato 3-1-2-1, Anthony Losasso 4-1-0-0, Chris Varga 0-1-0-0. Totals 30-6-8-3.

Niwot Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Joe Wilson 3-1-2-1, Hunter Stephens 3-2-0-1, Skyler Messinger 4-2-3-1, Ford Ladd 4-0-3-4, Tyler Meek 3-1-0-0, Christian Cloar 3-0-1-0, Michael Agado 1-0-0-1, Romey Clement 3-0-0-0, Jake Sims 3-2-2-0. Totals 27-8-11-8.

Centaurus Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Brooks MacDonald 4.1-8-7-5-1-2, Nick Titus 1.2-3-1-1-0-0.

Niwot Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Skyler Messinger 5.2-6-5-3-2-6, Hunter Stephens 1.1-2-1-0-0-1.

Mountain View 3, Niwot 0

Niwot 000 000 0 - 0 1 1

Mountain View 000 003 x - 3 2 2

W – Bernhardt L – Meek

Mountain View Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Braden Barker 2-0-0-0, Holden Bernhardt 2-0-1-1, Locke Bernhardt 2-1-0-0, Michael Felton 1-0-0-0, TJ Felton 2-0-0-0, Reid Nichols 2-0-0-0, Dylan Norsen 2-1-0-0, Ivan Thomas 3-0-0-0, Taven Whitehurst 3-1-1-1. Totals 19-3-2-2.

Niwot Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) - Joe Wilson 3-0-0-0, Hunter Stephens 2-0-0-0, Skyler Messinger 2-0-0-0, Ford Ladd 2-0-0-0, Tyler Meek 3-0-1-0, Christian Cloar 3-0-0-0, Michael Agado 3-0-0-0, Romey Clement 2-0-0-0, Jake Sims 2-0-0-0, Trevor Green 1-0-0-0. Totals 23-0-1-0.

Mountain View Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Holden Bernhardt 7-1-0-0-3-10

Niwot Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) Tyler Meek 5.1-2-3-2-4-6, Hunter Stephens .2-0-0-0-0-0.

Mountain View 2, Niwot 0

Mountain View (6-0, 1-0) 010 001 0 - 2 1 0

Niwot (3-6, 1-1) 000 000 0 - 0 3 2

W – Bernhardt L – Ladd

Niwot Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) - Joe Wilson 3-0-1-0, Hunter Stephens 3-0-0-0, Skyler Messinger 3-0-1-0, Ford Ladd 2-0-0-0, Tyler Meek 2-0-1-0, Christian Cloar 3-0-0-0, Michael Agado 3-0-0-0, Zach Morgan 1-0-0-0, Jake Sims 0-0-0-0. Totals 20-0-3-0.

Mountain View Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Braden Barker 3-0-0-1, Holden Bernhardt 2-0-0-0, Locke Bernhardt 3-0-2-0, Michael Felton 2-0-0-0, TJ Felton 3-1-0-0, Reid Nichols 3-0-0-0, Dylan Norsen 2-0-0-0, Ivan Thomas 2-0-0-0, TJ Mendoza 0-1-0-0. Totals 20-2-2-1.

Niwot Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Ford Ladd 6-1-2-1-5-7, Skyler Messinger 1-0-0-0-1.

Mountain View Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) – Locke Bernhardt 7-3-0-0-3-7.


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