Collegians help Greys win RMBL All-Star game in Boulder
BOULDER — Sluggers, coaches, and pitchers shined at the Rocky Mountain Baseball League’s All-Star Game Wednesday night at Scott Carpenter Park. The Boulder Collegians sent nine All-Stars to compete against the top talent in the league.
The festivities began with something new, a coaches challenge. Coaches from every team in the league embraced in some friendly competition doing what they do best, hitting the pre-game infield and outfield warmups. Points were awarded based on the quality of the hit and the Fort Collins Foxes fungo couldn’t be matched.
After the coaches competition, came the highly anticipated home run derby. Representing the Collegians was power-hitting first baseman Turner Davis. While Davis couldn’t escape the first round, it was an experience he enjoyed and learned from.
“If I had to do it again, I would probably do a lot better,” said Davis, who is second on the Collegians with four home runs.
Taking home the derby crown was Rough Riders’ Nik Levensteins. The short porch at Scott Carpenter Park certainly helped the left handed Levensteins when he capped off his victory with a bat flip.
The fun continued when the actual game began. Team White, comprised of the Colorado Sox, Rough Riders, and Foxes, faced off against Team Grey (Gameday Saints, Collegians, Denver Pirates and Cougars).
Collegians hurler Jackson Hullet took the hill for Team Grey and pitched a scoreless inning. Also starting at first base was Turner Davis, representing the Collegians in the home run derby and the game.
“It felt pretty good just going out there, wearing the (Collegians) jersey, and getting to see a lot of guys compete against each other,” said Davis. “It was fun, I had a blast.”
Also on behalf of the Collegians was local pitcher Caleb Martinez who was able to pitch the Grey’s out of a jam in the sixth inning.
“I just tried to play the same way I normally play,” said Martinez. “Just trying to throw strikes (and) keep hitters off balance, I wasn’t trying to do anything special.”
While winning the game wasn’t a high priority, Team White edged Team Grey 7-4. More importantly, the players had fun and showcased the best talent around the league.
“We got a great bunch of guys and I loved representing them,” said Martinez. “I loved coming out here for the All-Star Game, it’s awesome.”
You can catch the Collegians back at Scott Carpenter Park on Friday at 5:30 p.m. for a doubleheader against the Gameday Saints.
By Jack Carlough, Public Relations
Collegians top Rough Riders
The rain stopped as the first pitch was thrown. The dirt and grass were still wet as the Boulder Collegians took the field. Losing their last three games, the Collegians looked to take a game to start their first of the projected 7-inning double header against the Rough Riders.
The Collegians dominated the Rough Riders by a score of 11-3 as the second game was rained out.
RHP Jake Olofsen started the game for the Collegians and threw great. Lasting five total innings, Olofsen held the Rough Riders to only two runs on a moonshot home run hit by the nine-hole catcher Harris.
The Rough Riders’ starting pitcher for the night struggled to maintain the dominant lineup of the Collegians. RHP Sanjay Solomon took the mound and had a difficult time controlling his pitches as he fell behind a large amount of times against batters. Solomon’s tenure as pitcher this game was cut short after giving up a mass of runs. RHP David Kirby came into the game in relief in the fourth inning with two runners on. Kirby allowed a few more runs totaling 11-2 in the sixth inning. The Rough Rider’s scored a run in the top of the seventh inning before ending the game getting thrown out at second.
The job done by starting right fielder Kelby Richardson propelled the Collegians on offense. Batting sixth in the lineup, Richardson delivered a single, double, and steal while driving in 2 critical rbis. Richardson showed great prowess at the plate getting good base hits when it mattered most. Everytime he was at the plate he hit the ball hard and gave his all running the bases. The right fielder also won the player of the game honors.
A strong performance by the starting pitcher Olofson went a long way to putting his team in a position to win. Olofson performed extremely well in his 5 innings on the mound. Before the last out of the fifth inning he was pitching a scoreless game and limiting contact into ground outs and pop flys and garnering great success with his offspeed pitches.
Rough Riders’ catcher Hayden Harris hit a two run home run to left center field in the top of the fifth inning sparking a two out rally bring the Rough Riders within one run. Harris’s home run temporarily shifted the momentum of the game. The catcher seemingly creating the only offense for the Rough Riders with the exception of a single garbage time run scored in the seventh.
The rainy afternoon was a good one for the Boulder Collegians, although it wasn’t the double header they had hoped for coming out, one hundred percent win percentage for the day is fantastic. Fantastic pitching, dominant hitting, and one win for the day is the story of the Boulder Collegians.
The Collegians look to carry their momentum in the next game on Monday June 24, 5:30 p.m. on Suitts Field at Scott Carpenter Park.
By Brady Pieper
New Mexico Round-up
FARMINGTON-The Boulder Collegians first road trip of the season was a learning experience to say the least. The team made the trek down to Farmington, New Mexico on Thursday for a three game series against the Farmington Frackers at Ricketts Park. While the Collegians lost the series two games to one, the trip was a successful learning experience.
The series opened up on Thursday with a challenging travel day for the team. College athletes are programmed for a grueling travel schedule, but a seven hour drive and a 7 p.m. game is no easy task.
Fresh off the road trip, the team woke up for five runs fueled by four walks in the first inning. Walks and hit batters were an issue for both teams throughout the series and that theme showed itself early in game one.
On the mound for the Collegians, Jake Olofson bounced back from a rough start against the Fort Collins Foxes. The right-hander dominated over six innings and held the Frackers scoreless when his day was done.
“I was able to throw any of those offspeed (pitches) in any count,” said Olofson. “When getting to 3-2 or getting behind, I could throw those changeups when they’re not sitting that (and) that’s what helped.”
Unfortunately for Olofson, the bullpen was not able to hold the now 7-0 lead. A combination of Collegians relievers allowed five free passes and hit three batters over three innings. This formula, along with two errors, tied the game at seven.
With the bases loaded in the Frackers half of the ninth, Collegians reliever John Kea induced a sky-high flyball to shallow left field. Boulder’s infield was playing in and the ball was misplayed by left-fielder Logan Cowart, the Frackers walked off the Collegians 8-7.
“We just didn’t finish them off,” said Olofson. “We’re pretty mad so I think we’re going to take that into the next game.”
Game two of the series was a similar roller coaster of emotions. Boulder jumped off to an early lead once again aided by poor Fracker starting pitching. For the second night in a row, the Collegians knocked their starter out of the first inning.
Joe Milano took the ball for the Collegians and put up a solid outing in his second start of the season. The Centaurus High School product threw five innings allowing three runs and striking out four.
Boulder held a 7-3 lead in the sixth inning, but once again the bullpen faltered. Through the middle innings the lead dwindled, and Boulder’s offense was held stagnant. When the Collegians high leverage reliever John Kea appeared in the ninth, he was protecting a three-run lead.
Farmington, for the second night in a row, rallied in the ninth. Aided by four walks and three singles, the Frackers broke the hearts of Collegians fans again, walking them off 9-8.
On the positive side, infielder Brennan Rozell showed his upside in game two of the series. The Long Beach State freshman collected two hits and drove in two runs on Friday. Despite his efforts, the Collegians did not score after the fourth inning.
For game three, Boulder came in with a renewed attitude. The team woke up early and hit in the cages, and prior to the game held a defensive based practice, with pitchers running wind sprints. It was obvious this team was tired of losing.
The extra work paid off with five players producing multi-hit games en route to scoring 19 runs. Boulder worked 11 walks and the base paths were busy in the final game of the series.
Collegians head coach Eddie Toledo was pleased with the improvements.
“I liked how we finished the game out tonight,” said Toledo. “Everybody was still aggressive even in the later innings and getting their hits. That’s what they’re here for… to get better, so nobody took the day off.”
Boulder also showed resiliency on the mound. Starter Reggie Paris allowed two runs in 3.1 innings and the bullpen walked just one. The improved pitching held Farmington to four runs on the night.
“We just threw strikes, got groundballs, pitched with confidence,” said Toledo. “I think as long as we throw with confidence it doesn’t matter how hard someone’s throwing.”
With the growing pains apparent in the first two games of the series, the team was able to learn from their mistakes and develop as a team.
“I think we finished out nicely,” said Toledo. “We’re here to learn this weekend and then go back and get into conference play.”
The Collegians will be back on the road Monday in Sterling for a non-league game against the Xpress. You can catch the game live on our YouTube and Facebook pages.
Collegians Youth Camp is a love of baseball for both campers and counselors
From June 3 through June 5 the Boulder Collegians approached baseball from a different angle. The team’s annual youth camp gave more than just the campers a chance to appreciate the game of baseball.
For three straight mornings, the team held a three hour clinic at Iris baseball fields. Participants were given instruction from the Collegians and a chance to rub shoulders with college players. Infielder Logan Cowart recognizes just how much these camps can mean to aspiring ballplayers.
“I remember growing up I always went to these type (of) camps,” said Cowart. “Getting instruction from guys who’ve played at a high level and that I really looked up to definitely helped out so I’m glad I have the opportunity to spread the knowledge that I know to these kids and help them out.”
Collegians assistant coach Danny David Linahan helps plan the camp to focus on every aspect of the game. Monday’s camp focused on defense, while Tuesday’s edition focused on offense instruction. The final day of the camp, Wednesday, brought it all together with a game.
But most importantly, the Collegians want every camper to leave with a smile on their face. Baseball is after all a game, and the exuberance a college player demonstrates can rub off on younger ballplayers.
“We want them (the campers) to have fun,” said Linahan. “They get to interact with our players and see what a college baseball player looks like.”
Miles and Dawson were two of the youth campers looking to improve their game. From improving their outfield defense to throwing harder, both admitted a college player’s perspective was beneficial.
“All of our players were in these kids shoes at one point in time,” said Linahan. “We hope the kids can takeaway that if they can dream it, it’s possible, and if they work towards it, they can achieve it.”
The next Collegians Youth Camp is from June 24-27.
Collegians catch fire en rout of Rough Riders
WHEAT RIDGE — The Boulder Collegians offense had a day to remember on Tuesday. The Collegians tallied 13 runs on a bakers dozen knocks to tab their second win of the season.
Boulder’s pitching staff tossed a shutout to boot, an overall dominant victory over the Rough Riders. Following a winless first three games, Boulder’s nine appears to be turning things around (2-4, 2-3).
Outfielder’s Nick Arrivo and Kelby Richardson impressed for Boulder. The two combined for six runs, five hits, and three runs batted in.
“It feels great,” said Arrivo. “The first few games we were all just scratching our heads. We have good players, but we just need to play well, so we put it all together finally.”
The Eckerd college outfielder has gotten off to a scorching hot start to the season, hitting .429. Arrivo spoke about his work with head coach Eddie Toledo, saying he’s helped to simplify his approach and lock in on pitches he likes. The Rough Riders had no answer for Arrivo and the rest of the Collegians offense, who not only collected 13 hits but worked 11 walks.
Starting pitcher Jackson Hullet recognizes the team’s recent success at the plate and on the hill. Hullet didn’t allow a run in his short four inning stint while striking out 6 Rough Riders.
“I think the entire team has picked it up at the plate,” said Hullet. “And on the mound, we’re throwing more strikes for the most part.”
The right hander from Saint Mary’s said his fastball was working well and he didn’t have to throw many offspeed pitches to keep the Rough Riders off balance. He was also able to get ahead in counts and blow hitters away with his tough fastball.
“It felt really good,” said Hullet. “It’s great to win games, it’s a lot more fun than losing.”
Hullet’s day wasn’t wasted by an improving Collegians bullpen. Trent Hlafka threw two scoreless innings, and Jon Kea put an exclamation point on the victory. The Hawaiian struck out the side in the seventh inning of a run-rule shortened game and sent the Collegians home with their second win in as many games.
WHAT’S NEXT: Boulder will be back in action Thursday at 7 p.m. in New Mexico. The team will play a major league style three-game series against the Farmington Frackers before coming home.
By Jack Carlough, Public Relations
Opening Day Grand Slam spoils festivities, but not too much
BOULDER – The seventh season of Boulder Collegians Baseball 2.0 started off with a bang on Friday night at Scott Carpenter Park. The game also ended with a bang, but not in the Collegians favor. Propelled by a ninth inning grand slam from Denver Browns shortstop Zac Baldini, the victors spoiled opening day 9-6.
On the bright side, it was Opening Day and the Collegians faithful showed up in hundreds to support the local nine. Collegians first baseman Hunter Hudson treated them well with an RBI single to get Boulder on the board first in the bottom of the fourth. The scoring didn’t stop there for the Collegians. Aided by a pair of run-scoring wild pitches, Boulder took a 3-0 lead into the fifth.
Things were looking pretty good for the Collegians as they held a 5-1 lead in the seventh inning until the Browns offensive surge began. The aforementioned Browns’ Baldini tied the game at 5 with a 2-run shot in part of his 6-RBI night. For a team still searching for their identity early on, the Collegians piecemealed pitching staff struggled to find outs in key situations and navigate a tough Browns lineup.
The team did show some resiliency in the bottom half of the seventh when centerfielder J.J. Reeves laced an RBI double down the left field line to put the Collegians back on top 6-5. The lead held until the top of the ninth when it was the Baldini show once again. This time for a go-ahead grand slam to push the game out of reach for Boulder, 9-6.
Fortunately for Boulder, the game was a non-conference affair and one that shouldn’t hurt them too much down the road.
Left fielder Nick Arrivo impressed in his Collegians debut with a 2-4 night. The Eckerd college standout played solid defense in left field and set the table for the Collegians three- and four-hole hitters to do damage. Arrivo’s high contact rate should yield a high average this season. He may not hit for a lot of power, but he places the ball well and is exactly what the Collegians are looking for in the two-hole.
WHAT’S NEXT: The next home date for Boulder will be a June 15 doubleheader against the Denver Cougars, first pitch at 5:30 p.m.
By Jack Carlough, Public Relations
Eddie Toledo is back in bigger role: looking to help bolster BoCo baseball
BOULDER — After taking over the head coaching position midway through last season, Eddie Toledo is back with the Collegians for the 2019 season.
Now as the full-time head coach, Toledo, doesn’t see the need to make drastic changes but wants to put an extra focus on preparation.
“I don’t so much want to do anything different just more of getting kids better prepared than the last few years getting them ready to go into their fall season of college,” Toledo said
This preparation is at the forefront of Toledo and his staff’s goals for his summer.
“That’s the reason were in existence as a college prep league,” Toledo said, “that’s all summer baseball is at this level.”
For the Boulder native, evaluating the talent before the first game was one of the big challenges of last year and coaching a summer ball team.
“You just have no idea what you’re looking at,” Toledo said.
With the Collegians featuring players from twenty one different schools this summer Toledo wants to take more time to see the players in action prior to the season.
“This year we’ll have a couple practices be able to see kids work a little bit,” Toledo said, “see how they throw, hit, run that way you can kind of formulate a little bit of a line up rather than just throw them out there and hope.”
Toledo, who grew up going to Collegian games, graduated from Boulder High School before going on to play for Seminole State College and the University of Texas. He has been coaching baseball for nearly a decade including both legion and high school ball while also working individually with college level hitters.
“Coaching kids a the college level is much easier,” Toledo said, “In highschool you have kids that are still growing it’s hard to tell whether they want to be there on a daily basis or if they have other things they’ve got to be doing.”
When it comes to the Collegiate level Toledo has noticed a different kind of focus.
“The college kids they’re here for a particular reason. To get better,” Toledo said.
Toledo and the Collegians begin their season May 31st at 6 p.m. against the Denver Browns at Scott Carpenter Park.
By Ethan Jordan, the Play-By-Play voice of the Collegians
The Boulder Collegians- a staple in the Boulder community and an organization I am proud to join this summer
BOULDER – This won’t be the first time I’ve sported the iconic “BC” logo. Now entering my sophomore year at CU Boulder, I once had the pleasure of playing for the Collegians youth team during the fall of my junior and senior years at Silver Creek High School.
I’m Jack Carlough and I love baseball. Finding a place to play during the fall was no easy task. Affordable club baseball teams are sparse to say the least. Fortunately for myself and a slew of other players in the front range area, the Collegians were just what we were looking for. I had a great experience and learned how much this team cares for its ballplayers and the Boulder community we call home.
We are lucky to play the game of baseball, and giving back was at the heart of the Collegians. Our team volunteered at organizations such as Share-A-Gift and Calwood, giving us high schoolers an experience more prized than simply playing a game. The value of a connecting with your community was highly ingrained into our team. When my playing career came to an end after my senior year, I hoped to rejoin the Collegians, but this time in a different fashion.
Now seeking a career in sports journalism, the Collegians are helping me out once again. Transitioning from a middle infielder to a sports information director is no easy task, but it’s something I am thrilled to pursue with a team that means so much to where I grew up. The Collegians organization has welcomed me, and now welcomes you to the greatest show on dirt.
By Jack Carlough, Public Relations