GREELEY — As with most playoff games, momentum is a key driving force that will allow any team to come up with a victory.
This continues to ring true as momentum carried University to two big wins in the Class 3A state baseball tournament.
The Bulldogs went 2-0 with victories over Delta and Eaton during the first day of the tournament. Likewise, Faith Christian also went unbeaten by beating Kent Denver and Lamar.
The two squads will matchup as the two remaining unbeaten teams at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Butch Butler in Greeley. The winner of that game will assure itself a shot at playing for the 3A championship.
In its first game, which went extra innings, University used a large eighth-inning to score five runs to come up with the late 7-2 victory over Delta.
"Every win is big at this level, but just the way that we came back and the way that we scratched and clawed to be able to climb out of it has continued to work for us," Bulldogs coach Casey Miller said.
After their victory over Delta, the Bulldogs secured a 8-6 victory over Eaton. The victory was highlighted by a large comeback in the first inning, and Bulldogs pitcher Colton Widler having a phenomenal game.
Eaton jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the first inning, but University started their comeback bid in the third inning with a three-run frame. The Bulldogs then tied the game in the fourth, and took the lead for good with two more runs in the fifth. That put them up 6-4.
"It was tough, because you never like to give any team a four-run lead, especially a good team like Eaton," Miller said. "At that point I just challenged the guys to put balls in play and make something happen."
The performance of Bulldogs pitcher Colton Widler helped his team secure the win over Eaton, which earlier beat Peak to Peak 13-3 thanks in large part to 12 combined runs in the third and fourth innings.
"He laid it all out there, and he is one of those guys that every pitch is high intensity," Miller said. "There is no middle ground with him."
Faith Christian beat Kent Denver 7-5 thanks to a six-inning start from Tyler Mattingley, and the senior also had two RBIs as the plate.
In the second game, the Eagles got a complete game from Michael Thorne, who struck out 12 and allowed just two hits as his team beat Lamar 2-0.
Earlier, Lamar rallied to beat Lutheran 5-4 as Dalton Chandler struck out 18 batters.
The 3A state tournament resumes at 9 a.m. Saturday with games at University High School and Butch Butler.