The gears in the mind of Rocky Mountain High School coach Mike Crockett’s mind were turning. How, just how, could he get this to stop?
Early in the season, however, Crockett decided to let his team play out a top of the seventh inning that never seemed to end. And in the end, it meant a 12-10 loss to Fountain-Fort Carson in a game the Lobos led 10-4.
The Trojans scored eight runs in the top of the seventh to cap an improbable comeback to spoil Rocky’s home opener.
“All kind of things were twisting through my mind,” Crocket said. “I just wanted to let them play.”
Fountain-Fort Carson had seven hits in the inning, including three doubles. The Trojans scored four runs before the first out and seven before the second. They sent 12 batters to the plate, and cleanup hitter Brooklyne Harbert had two RBI singles in the inning.
It didn’t seem to bother Crocket, however, that his team gave up that big a lead and lost. His plan from the start was to play his players and see exactly what his team is. Rocky had 13 different players get at-bats in the loss.
The Lobos opened the season Saturday with a 5-2 win at Chaparral and will play this weekend in the Triple Crown Invitational here in town.
“We’ve got so many new players that we’re trying to develop an identity. I don’t know where we are now,” Crockett said. “We won or first game and were looking good in this game.
“I wasn’t going to make changes and make re-entries and things like that. I was going to leave them where they were and see what they got. I need to know what these kids can do.”
Crockett didn’t regret that decision.
“I’m not angry. I’m not angry at them. I’m not second-guessing myself, he said. “Yes, I would have loved to win this game, but I have to find out who’s going to be where.”
Rocky had been impressive until that dreadful seventh inning, which started just as a steady rainfall ended. The Lobos scored three runs in the first inning and added four more in the second for a 7-4 lead.
They then tacked on three more in the fifth and took the 10-4 lead into the seventh. Fountain-Fort Carson’s first four runners reached and all came around to score.
“I just told them to stay confident the whole time, to work hard and just play softball,” Trojans coach Jennifer Daigneault said. “They kept their spirits up.
“It’s been a long time (since I’ve seen something like that). It’s exciting and the girls continued to pick each other up and coming out with a win as far down and we were.”
For Daigneault’s team, it could be a win that could carry over to the rest of the season. For Crockett, he once again wasn’t worried about a long-term effect.
“We might have relaxed a little bit,” Crockett said. “You always want to try to put a team away. But my plan was to make substitutions anyway. … It is what it is and we’re just going to go for it.”
Sydney Rios was the offensive star for the Lobos. She went 2 for 4 with a home run and four RBIs. Megan Rhead added two hits and a pair of RBIs.