To the Tigers' credit, their team was made up of two seniors, a junior and a bunch of underclassmen. On the other hand, Battle Mountain's roughly eight or nine seniors posed for a photo after their 13-0, mercy-rule win on the Frisco peninsula Tuesday.
Defense was the Tigers' primary issue, racking up a number of errors during Vail's 11-run third inning, which deflated the home team.
"We didn't play our best defensive game of the year," said head coach Tom Looby. "I don't know how many errors we had, but it was pretty loose on defense, and that kind of let the floodgates open."
The Tigers stayed in the game through two innings, holding off the Huskies, who loaded the bases at one point in the second.
But in the third, Battle Mountain's Joe Lybarger got things rolling off a Tiger error. Three straight walks put the Huskies on the board. Then, a rip down the first base line knocked in two more runs, putting them up 3-0.
Another hard ground ball made it 4-0 and ended freshman Thomas DeBonville's day on the mound. He was replaced by Luke Egging, who faced the top of the order.
A quick bunt loaded the bases, and Vail's Riley Robbins creamed the day's only dinger - a grand slam.
Graduating senior and team captain Gabe Stuhr, who didn't start because he pitched a full game on Saturday, came in to relieve but couldn't immediately stop the bleeding, as the Huskies made it an 11-run third inning. They tacked on a couple more in the fourth, and it was curtains for the Tigers.
"We hit the ball hard, actually, quite a few times, but they played really good defense," Looby said. "A lot of our hits were right at people, and we didn't have very many strikeouts. We hit the ball where they were, and they played good defense."
After the game the team honored senior captains Stuhr and Jason Looby.
"I'm really excited about the skill level of our young players," said Tom Looby, who plans to return as coach next season. "We had four freshmen starters in the lineup, and I'm optimistic that as they get stronger and grow, as their pitching gets stronger, as they get older - we'll be able to compete."
The baseball team is one of the SHS programs that will benefit from the upcoming switch to the Western Slope league, which will pit the Tigers against more mountain-town schools.