The Colorado Freeskier continues its domination over men’s league softball in Crested Butte.
While their 27-game winning streak came to an end earlier this season, it was merely a bump in the road on the way to their third title in a row as they defeated the Bearcats 14-9 on Thursday, August 14 at Tommy V Field.
If there was any team that had a shot at dethroning the Freeskier, it was the Bearcats but consistency both in the field and at the plate proved to be the difference when it came to crunch time.
David Jelinek and Nathan Lacy knocked in the first two runs of the game for the Bearcats in the top of the first inning, but solid hitting by the Freeskier matched with shaky defense by the Bearcats gave up seven runs to the Freeskier in the bottom of the first.
Freeskier Ben Somrak singled and scored on a base hit by Kevin Abila. Phil Martin reached first base safely on a mix up in the Bearcats infield and Rice Owens drove two more runs in with an error-assisted double to give the Freeskier a 3-2 lead.
Another Bearcats error gave up another Freeskier run and Jay Misare capped the opening inning rally with an RBI single to the opposite field to put the Freeskier on top 7-2.
Abila crushed a stand-up RBI triple to the gap in left center to push in another Freeskier run and by the third inning the Freeskiers were sitting comfortably on a seven-run lead.
After the first two innings, the Bearcats relaxed to find their rhythm on offense.
Ryan Houseman and Jeff Snyder connected for base hits and Jackson Cooper blasted a two-RBI triple to the fence. Jelinek scored Cooper with a triple down the right field line and a sacrifice-fly RBI by Lacy cut the Freeskier lead down to three runs.
The Bearcats defense followed suit settling down to hold the Freeskier scoreless for two consecutive innings. While their first defensive stand was relatively routine, the Bearcats efforts in the bottom of the fourth inning were anything but run of the mill.
Bearcats right fielder Chris Wiig chased down a drifting fly ball to shallow right with a sliding grab for the first out. Houseman then pulled off a play that was, without question, Sportscenter worthy. I mean it was the real deal.
Somrak cracked a sinking line drive to the gap in center field. Houseman got an instant read on the ball from shallow centerfield and sprinted to his left and laid out for the fully airborne sno-cone grab to rob Somrak of the hit.
Robbie Vandervoort joined in the highlight reel swallowing a hot grounder to third base and firing it to first for the third out.
The Bearcats failed to capitalize though as the Freeskier defense held tough led by the work of Abila at third base. Abila turned three of the next six outs executing perfect fundamental fielding in the hot corner to hold off any chance of a Bearcats comeback.
The work of Abila and the Freeskier defense opened the door for the Freeskier offense to strike the final blow. After scoring just one run over the past three innings, the Freeskier hitters connected for a series of base hits in the bottom of the sixth inning to put together a two-out rally.
Singles from Shaun Bowker and Misare put two runners on for Mark Fontenot. Fontenot came through with an RBI single and Luke Martin bashed a three-RBI triple off the fence in leftfield to pull the Freeskier ahead 14-7.
Lacy connected for an RBI triple in the top of the seventh inning and the Bearcats scored one more on a sacrifice-fly RBI but Rice Owens pulled in a line drive to second base for the final out to seal the Freeskier’s third title in as many years with the 14-9 win.