Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley
Sports@lhvc.com 

Niwot Legion drops doubleheader to Boulder

 

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Dylan Ferrero on the mound in the first game of Niwot Legion B doubleheader at Boulder.

Charles Dickens had something headier in mind when he made his “best of times, worst of times” formulation, but it just so happens to also be a pretty good tagline for Niwot’s doubleheader last weekend against Boulder. In game one, senior Dylan Ferrero turned in the Cougars’ most commanding pitching performance so far this summer, going the full seven innings, while allowing just three hits. They got some timely hitting, exhibited patience at the plate, and held on to a slim lead until the bottom of the seventh, where, alas, a Niwot throwing error gave the Panthers a walk-off 3-2 win. It was a victory in all but the win column, and a hopeful glimpse of the much better team just lurking under an inexperienced exterior.

But losing a heartbreaker seemed to take the fight out of the Cougars. In the second game, poor defense and inconsistency reared their ugly heads once again, leading to the most lopsided loss of the summer (23-3). Niwot used five pitchers in the shortened game’s six innings, including three in that last frame alone. They committed at least seven errors, and Boulder stole bases seemingly at will. Head coach Adam Strah was understandably frustrated following the losses, but hoped the strong showing in game one would form the players’ lasting impression of the day.

“We’re going to hold on tight to all of the positives we can,” he said, noting in particular the key individual performances of Ferrero and Aidan Galloway, who reached base four times in game one and had a crucial stolen base in the fifth inning that led to a Niwot run. “That’s what they’re capable of. They’re capable of the close game. They’ve got to hold on to whatever positives they find in that. That’s all they can do at this point.”

It would be hard to characterize Ferrero’s start as anything but the biggest positive on the day, even if it didn’t quite look that way at first. Two of the first three Boulder hitters reached base, and a throwing error by Ferrero led to runners on first and second with just one out. But he settled down after that, retiring twelve of the next 14 batters he faced, and didn’t give up another hit until the fifth inning. Ferrero would go on to throw a complete game for the Cougars, finishing with five strikeouts and just three walks.

“Pitching is definitely fun when you do well like that,” Ferrero said following the game, adding that he hopes to assume a more prominent role in the pitching rotation going forward.

Niwot pitching coach Mike Newton had nothing but praise for the 6-foot-2 right-hander’s performance, saying that it was “by far his best outing of the season.”

“That’s something we want to see more consistently out of him,” continued Newton, noting the senior had especially good command of the outside corners in the game. “He had great command all over the zone. He went deep in the pitch count, the farthest he’s gone all year. As we talked about after the game, that’s the type of ball game he needs to throw.”

Newton also applauded the Cougars’ solid defensive performance in the game, saying a ground-ball pitcher like Ferrero benefits when the players behind him “field the ball and play catch.”

Other notable performances on the day included junior Jaryd Meek, who doubled and scored a run in game one, and singled in game two. Sophomore Will Douthit had a single in game one, and a number of sharp plays in the field.

The Cougars will get a chance to redeem themselves against the Panthers on Friday, July 14 at home. On July 18, Niwot hosts Windsor for another doubleheader.

 

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