The first pitch following a 27-minute rain delay postponing play during Game 1 of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League championship series was sent to left field off the bat of Casper Cutthroats outfielder Kent Purkey.
The junior's single came with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the second inning at Mike Lansing Field, where the Cutthroats trailed the Northern Colorado Toros by one run before Purkey brought home fellow junior Blake Coffman to tie the game.
The score would remain stagnant until extra innings. By then, freshman right-hander Evan Fresquez's eight solid innings of three-run ball had escaped consciousness. It wasn't until the 12th inning that another run was finally tallied. With one out and the bases loaded once again, catcher Hayden Pewitt placed a perfect bunt down the right field line to give Casper the 4-3 victory.
The Cutthroats lost Game 1 of last year's championship series, a best-of-three set, to the Cheyenene Grizzlies before ultimately losing Game 2 for a two-game sweep. This year's series, a five-game set, will be played solely in Casper, as agreed upon by Toros manager Ryan Kolo, providing the Cutthroats with an inherent advantage as the series continues Wednesday for Game 2 starting at 6:35 p.m.
Extra innings to begin a series are a killer for any team, but they become an even greater obstacle after requiring a play-in game just to make it, which is the situation the Toros find themselves in now.