Niwot Legion B plays three games before losing to Colorado Khaos in 12-inning heartbreaker
August 1, 2016
Thursday, July 21, to Sunday, July 24, Niwot Legion B competed in the 2016 Colorado American Legion Baseball State Tournament at Arvada High School. The tournament used a 12-team, double elimination format.
Niwot faced the Brighton Bulldogs in its first game of the tournament on Thursday, July 21. Brighton ended the season with a 12-8 record in league games, while Niwot finished 15-7 during the regular season.
After jumping ahead courtesy of a Niwot error in the second inning that led to three unearned runs, Brighton refused to relinquish its lead for the rest of the game. During his five innings on the mound, pitcher Caleb Martinez pitched well, allowing no earned runs and striking out nine. Despite outhitting Brighton, Niwot Legion B lost the game 6-2.
What Niwot lacked in energy against Brighton, it made up for in a hard-hitting game against Eaglecrest on Friday, July 22, coming away with an 8-6 win in the loser's bracket.
Eaglecrest managed only four hits, but Niwot had 13 hits off of Eaglecrest’s three pitchers. After scoring four runs on two doubles by Trevor Green and Joey Neve in the second inning, Niwot held onto the lead throughout the seven-inning game.
Niwot Legion B’s victory over Eaglecrest earned the team a spot in a game against Faith Christian later the same day. Niwot endured a slow start, but a run scored by Chandler Snead in the second inning led to a six-run surge, ushering Niwot into a temporary lead.
The teams traded the lead seven times throughout the seven-inning game, with Niwot winning in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the seventh inning, 8-7.
Niwot advanced into the fourth round of games on Saturday, July 23, competing for a place in the tournament’s quarter-finals.
After a legendary 12 innings, Niwot lost, for the third time this summer, to Colorado Khaos on Saturday, July 23.
Colorado Khaos held the lead through the first six innings, but Niwot scored a tying run in the top of the seventh, with the teams tied 8-8 after the regulation seven innings.
From the bottom of the seventh through the tenth inning, Niwot and Colorado Khaos remained locked in a stalemate with no earned runs. Both teams secured a ninth run in the 11th inning and Niwot scored a tenth run in the top of the 12th on an error. In the bottom of the 12th, a Colorado Khaos player doubled, bringing home two teammates, ending the game on a walk-off hit.
Niwot lost the game 11-10 and finished the tournament tied for fifth place, while Colorado Khaos made it to the championship game.
Following Niwot Legion B's loss to Colorado Khaos, Coach Craig McBride said of the team, "I am just really proud of how our boys finished the second half of the season and how they played in the state tournament. Caleb Martinez had a great year for us and was awesome in the state tournament on the mound. Joey Neve, Trevor Green, Terriq Maherra, and Aiden Galloway led the way offensively. The last game against Khaos was an epic battle, one of the best games we played all year. Our team learned a lot and improved over the summer. We are looking forward to fall and winter workouts, and [the season] next spring."
Niwot will continue practicing through the summer. Spring practices for the high school season will start on February 27, 2017.