Niwot baseball splits


Photo by Ed Navarro Niwot’s Joe Wilson awaits the throw at second base in recent action.

Spring weather in Colorado means the Niwot High School baseball team had to battle both the elements and its opponents this week as it split two games, winning against Skyline and losing to league opponent Northridge.

With the split, the Cougars remain two games under .500 for the season with a 7-9 record, but drop back to below even in league play with a 5-6 league record.

Niwot Head Coach Craig McBride said despite his team not getting two wins this week they are putting themselves in good position to finish strong.

“I thought we swung the bat better today than we have in the past few weeks,” McBride said after the loss to Northridge. “We had a couple of loud outs, deep fly balls that they ran down. It comes down to not taking care of a few plays on the defensive end.”

In the win against Skyline, senior Ford Ladd was outstanding on the mound. He went seven full innings, allowing only three hits and one run while striking out 11 batters.

McBride said pitching like that can make up for other lapses on the defensive end.

“[Ladd] had a phenomenal day,” McBride said. “When he is on like that we don’t have to make a bunch of plays behind him.”

Senior Zach Morgan had the most effective day at the plate for the Cougars. In three at bats, he was walked twice and had one hit. Morgan also scored two runs and had an RBI on the day.

Junior Skyler Messinger also continued his hot batting streak, going 2-4 at the plate while scoring a run and bringing home two more runners.

“We played more inspired baseball than Skyline on the day, that was the biggest difference,” McBride said of his team’s effort.

Niwot didn’t quite have enough to take down Northridge in Greeley on Thursday however, as they played the Grizzlies in a cold and rainy game.

The Cougars got off to a great start in the first inning, managing to get the bases loaded with only one out. A pop up and a strike out ended that scoring chance without anyone reaching home though, and through a series of unfortunate events in the bottom of the first, they found themselves in an early 4-0 hole.

“We didn’t make a couple of plays that would have ended that inning,” McBride said after the loss Thursday. “That was when the bleeding started.”

Senior Tyler Meek was on the mound for the loss, though he really didn’t have a bad game. Meek went five innings, giving up five hits and only two earned runs while striking out two batters.

“I was proud of Meek today, he did what he needed to do for us to win,” McBride said of his pitcher. “When plays aren’t happening behind you it’s definitely hard on your psyche. He did a pretty good job of being mentally tough and maintaining his composure.”

On offense for the Cougars, it was again Messinger who had a fantastic day. He reached base every time he was at the plate, going 3-3 with a walk, three hits and scoring two runs.

Senior Joe Wilson did well as the leadoff man for Niwot, going 1-2 with two walks, scoring a run.

With three games left on the schedule, the Cougars really need to win out for a chance to be in the post season. Since they play in such a tough league, their RPI isn’t hurt too much when they drop a game but they still need to have a winning league record to advance.

McBride said his team can’t focus on the math of the situation, they just need to have the attitude that if they win out, their destiny is still under their control.

“We’ve worked on everything as much as we can,” McBride said. “They just have to play inspired baseball. There’s not really anything left to work on. There are three games left in the season and we are who we are at this point.”

Niwot will finish off the regular season this week, completing the series with Northridge at home on Tuesday at 4 p.m., then facing Thompson Valley to finish things off, first at Thompson Valley on Thursday at 4 p.m., and closing out the season at home on Saturday at noon.

Niwot (7-8) 011 021 5 – 10 6 3

Skyline (6-9) 000 100 0 – 1 3 3

W – Ladd. L - Seger.

Niwot hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Joe Wilson 3-2-1-0, Hunter Stephens 3-1-1-1, Skyler Messinger 4-1-2-2, Joey Neve 0-0-1-0, Ford Ladd 2-0-0-0, Tyler Meek 4-0-0-0, Christian Cloar 3-1-0-0, Michael Agado 4-1-1-0, Zach Morgan 1-2-1-1, Jake Sims 2-1-0-1. 3B —Morgan. SB – Morgan. Totals 26-10-6-5.

Skyline hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Ben Alexander 3-0-2-0, Alex Shernecke 3-0-0-0, Josh Angstead 1-0-0-0, Daniel Terao 3-0-0-0, Chris Seger 3-0-0-0, Nick Hamby 3-1-1-0, Caleb Zietlow 2-0-0-0, Avery Riddoch 3-0-1-1, Nate Higgins 2-0-0-0, Brayden Blick 2-0-0-0. SB – Alexander. Totals 25-1-4-1.

Niwot pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Ford Ladd 7-3-1-0-1-11.

Skyline pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chris Seger 4.2-3-4-4-4-1, Daniel Terao 1-0-2-0-1-1, Josh Angstead 1.1-2-4-1-2-2.

Niwot (7-8) 001 000 3 – 4 7 2

Northridge (10-6) 401 103 x – 9 7 1

W – Eben. L – Meek. S - Hammer.

Niwot hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Joe Wilson 2-1-1-0, Hunter Stephens 3-0-0-1, Skyler Messinger 3-2-3-0, Ford Ladd 3-0-1-1, Tyler Meek 4-0-1-1, Christian Cloar 4-0-0-1, Michael Agado 4-0-1-0, Zach Morgan 3-0-0-0, Jake Sims 3-1-0-0. 2B —Meek, Messinger. Totals 29-4-7-4.

Northridge hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) – Justin Frye 4-1-0-0, Chance Eben 1-2-0-1, Giovanni Morfin 3-1-2-3, Korbin Reed 3-0-0-0, Jake Hammer 3-2-1-1, Kaylor Werner 4-1-1-1, Isidro Arellano Jr. 1-0-1-1, Tayler Aguilar 4-2-2-0, Jared Hinrichs 3-0-1-2. 2B – Arellano. SB – Aguilar (2), Hinrichs. Totals 26-9-8-8.

Niwot pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Tyler Meek 5-5-6-2-3-2, Skyler Messinger 1-2-3-1-0-1.

Northridge pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Chance Eben 6-4-1-1-4-8, Jacob Lombardelli 0-3-3-3-0-0, Jake Hammer 1-0-0-0-1-1.


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