The Rye Thunderbolts were not to be denied perfection at the 2A Colorado High School Activities Association state baseball final four on Friday and Saturday in Engelwood.
The Dolores Bears battled five pitchers duel innings on Friday at Englewood High School, before Rye third baseman Seth Keys broke open a 2-0 game into a 5-0 cushion with a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth-inning. The Thunderbolts added two more runs in the inning to go on to win the state semi-final, 7-0.
Rye (25-0) crushed Byers (14-9) 12-0 in the state championship on Saturday. Byers edged Burlington (12-7) 10-7 on Friday.
Dolores (17-5) only managed four hits against Thunderbolts junior ace Nick Highberger. Senior Austin McCracken (9-4) went six innings in defeat, striking out three.
It was a historic season for Dolores baseball nonetheless. The Bears made their first state tournament appearance since winning the Colorado Class A state championship in 1981 over Revere, 7-2, according to www.chsaa.org.
Brian Tobin was the head coach in 1981 and Phillip Nelson was the winning pitcher.