The Fowler High School baseball team had quite a run at this year's Class 2A State Tournament at the Runyon Sports Complex in Pueblo.
Entering as the No. 15 seed, the Grizzlies knocked off three quality teams to advance to the championship game.
On May 18, Fowler defeated second-seeded Hotchkiss 12-2 and seventh-seeded Dawson 5-1. Then on Saturday, the Grizzlies downed third-seeded and Santa Fe League Rival Rye by a score of 4-2 at Andenucio Field.
But the magic ran out in the title game as Fowler lost to Peyton, the top seed, 3-0 at Hobbs Field.
"Peyton's a really good team," said Fowler coach Mark Lowther. "They returned all of their kids from off of their team last year. Their pitcher (Rupert Shaw) threw a great game. He kept us off-balanced and we couldn't string anything together.
"But I'm very proud of the kids. We had an emotional game against Rye and played solid defense. Holding Peyton to three runs still gave us a chance in the end."
Fowler 4, Rye 3
Fowler was the visiting team against Rye and the Grizzlies didn't take long to strike. Quinton Flanscha led off the game with a sharp line drive over the right fielder's head and Flanscha came around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the third when the Thunderbolts scored both of their runs.
Brock Benz started the rally with a single and he went to third on Johnny Marquez's single. Bryce Benz then drove in his brother to tie the score.
Robert Buford also singled to drive home Marquez to give Rye a 2-1 edge.
The Grizzlies regained the lead in the top of the fifth by scoring three runs. Braxton Bates' infield single started the inning, and Flanscha was hit by a pitch. Hunter Mason singled home Bates to tie the score at 2-2.
Flanscha scored on Gabriel Proctor's sacrifice fly, and Jackson Bates' single plated Mason to extend the Fowler lead to 4-2.
Rye mnaged only three base runners after that and all three were left stranded.
Johnathan Mobbley went the distance to earn the win. He allowed two runs and eight hits and he recorded four strikeouts, no walks and one hit batter.
The Grizzlies collected seven hits, which included singles by Proctor, Mobbley, Braxton Bates, Mason and Jackson Bates, a double by Zane Denton and Flanscha's inside-the-park home run.
Peyton 3, Fowler 0
The Panthers were the visiting team in the championship game and they scored a run in the top of the second. Brennen Meyers singled, and an error put him on third. Meyers scored on Austin Strobel's bunt for a 1-0 Peyton lead.
The Panthers scored another run in the fifth. Jaeden Meyers single and he stole second. Shaw singled to score Meyers to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Grizzlies had a chance to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth as they put two runners into scoring position. Luke Bitter was hit by a pitch and Drew Egan had an infield single. Both advanced a base on a wild pitch, but both were left on the basepaths.
The Panthers scored another run in the seventh. Brandon Hussey singled and stole second. He scored as Shaw reached on an error.
Fowler put a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh as Jackson Bates singled. But once again, he was left stranded as the game came to an end.
Denton started for Fowler on the mound and he took the loss. He allowed two runs and six hits and he struck out one, walked two and hit one batter.
Mobbley finished the game and he gave up one run and two hits with no strikeouts and no walks.
The Grizzlies managed only three hits against Shaw. The hits were by Proctor, Egan and Jackson Bates — all singles.
Grizzlies return five starters
Fowler finished the season with 15 wins and 10 losses. The Grizzlies lose four seniors to graduation, but return five starters for next year.
"We're excited and hopefully, we'll have a good summer," Lowther said. "We're trying to replace four seniors who gave us a lot of good innings."
Fowler 4, Rye 2
Fowler 100 030 0 — 4 7 0
Rye 002 000 0 — 2 8 0
Mobbley (W) and Bitter. Elarton (L), Bry. Benz (6) and Buford. HR — F: Flanscha (1st inn., none on, no outs).
Peyton 3, Fowler 0
Peyton 010 010 1 — 3 8 0
Fowler 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Shaw (W) and Strobel. Denton (L), Mobbley (5) and Bitter.