COLORADO SPRINGS — The Bayfield Wolverines have taken their show on the road and the results were very fruitful.
After topping St. Mary's Thursday, the Wolverines (4-2 overall) competed in a double-header Friday where they topped the CHSAANow.com No. 3-ranked Lamar Savages 10-5 before capping their trip to the Front Range off with a 7-5 win over Manitou Springs. Bayfield is currently ranked No. 5 in the state.
"We just wanted to play our game," Bayfield senior Kelton McCoy said. "We haven't been playing our game, we've been worried about other things. And I think we did a good job of playing our game today."
That game was pretty basic, at least on Friday. The Wolverines just wanted to put the ball in play and do their best to move the runners around the base paths. Ahead 1-0 in going into the top of the third inning against Lamar, a plain single from Logan Sabinski got the ball rolling.
A walk and two singles later, the Wolverines plated two runs, taking a 3-0 lead over Lamar (4-1). Two more runs would cross the plate before the end of the inning and before long, the Savages were up against the ropes.
McCoy ended the day going 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs and a run scored. But it was his work on the mound that was most impressive.
He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up only three runs and striking out 10 Lamar hitters. He was pulled in the seventh due hitting the maximum pitches allowed under CHSAA's new pitch count rule.
Lamar was able to score a few more runs, but couldn't fight all the way back, giving Bayfield the win.
"They're a good hitting team," Lamar coach Dave Fassiotto said. "We learned quite a bit about our team today. I'm really excited about these guys."
After a short break, the Wolverines hit the field once again, this time against Manitou Springs (1-2).
After two days of pitching being deflated, it seemed like the Mustangs would have a chance to steal one from Bayfield, especially after jumping out to a 3-2 lead after the first inning. But the Wolverines once again just needed to put the ball in play to make things happen.
Like a carbon copy of the win over the Savages, Sabinski found his way on base to start the third inning and it snowballed with the Wolverines scoring four runs.
"As long as we get a leadoff guy on, regardless of who it is, we can rally off that one single hit," Sabinski said.
Bayfield had to get creative with their bullpen, but it seemed like no matter who they threw out there, the Mustangs just couldn't manage to get a key hit when needed. The Mustangs went down looking five times in the game and left 10 runners on base in the 7-5 loss.
"I can understand that left on base stuff if you don't get a timely hit," Manitou coach Cory Archuleta said. "When you don't swing the bat, and that's what we've done too much of this season, we just look at too many called third strikes and we're not aggressive in the box."
For the Wolverines, this was a great opportunity to show the front range that they indeed have the talent and the mentality needed to come away with a state title.
"Lamar obviously has a great tradition of playing winning baseball in Colorado so to be able to play with them was a boost for the guys and the team," Bayfield coach Jonathon Qualls said. "Especially this early in the season and as we're piecing things together and figuring stuff out. It was a good day for us."