Blues confounded by Hit Streak, finish regular season
By J. LEVI BURNFIN
Falling twice to the same team, the Finney County Blues took third place at the Palmer Pikes Peak Tournament in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
The Denver Hit Streak were the Blues' Achilles' heel in the four-day tourney, as the Colorado club beat the Blues 5-3 in the Blues' second game of the tournament and then duplicated the feat on Sunday, this time blanking the Blues 12-0.
"We basically just had one team that we couldn't get around," said Blues' manager Lyle Befort. "But it's always good coming out of Colorado in one, two or three."
The level of play was high from the first game, according to Befort, but the Blues played well in their three wins.
The Blues handled Rampart, Colo., 8-5, in the tournament opener on July 11. Isaiah Rodriguez pitched the six-inning complete game for the win, striking out three and walking one. Rodriguez helped himself out at the plate with a 4-for-4 day with two RBIs and one run. Mario Montoya chipped in with two singles in three at bats and scored two runs for the Blues.
Then, after falling to Denver Friday morning, the Blues rebounded by defeating Carlsbad, N.M., 9-0 in Friday's nightcap. Montoya took the mound this time for the Blues, tossing the five-inning complete game for the win. He struck out four and walked three.
Jake Curran and Logan Dechant provided the thunder at the plate, going a combined 5-for-6 with a pair of walks, five runs scored and six RBIs.
However, after a Saturday rainout, the Blues met the Hit Streak again in their fourth game on Sunday, falling to the third-place game with the loss.
The Blues finished the tournament on a high note, defeating West Mesa, N.M., 12-7. The Blues were down 7-4 in the fourth, before scoring eight-straight runs for the win. Ivan Guttierez earned the win in relief after starter Frank Rosas was knocked out of the contest. Guttierez struck out one and walked one but did not allow any runs.
Addison De Herrera was the offensive support this time around, going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs.
Edgar Montoya and Rodriguez took the losses in the two games against Denver as both tossed complete games. After Lamar cancelled what was supposed to be the regular season finale for the Blues on Wednesday, the Blues finish the regular season with a 24-8 record. Finney County now will play in the zone tournament next week in Dodge City.