The Nevada County Bulldogs captured the championship trophy of last weekend’s 2012 Colfax Recreation Men’s Fast Pitch Softball Classic and believe it when you’re told that the Bulldogs’ road to the title was one filled with numerous chuck holes and plenty of obstacles. But such is the way the sport of fast pitch can work. If you weren’t there to see it, you would probably not believe it. When the dust settled last Sunday at Colfax’s Living War Memorial Park, the Bulldogs, who had captured tourney titles in 2008 and 2009, rose to the top by coming from behind in the title game to defeat the defending champion Roseville Eagles, 6-3. “It was amazing weekend for us,” said Bulldogs player-coach Jeff Nye. “We just kept battling and our bats stayed hot.” Trailing 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning of the championship game after the Eagles’ Josh Van Meter had blasted a three-run home run, the Bulldogs were down to their final six outs. No worry. The Grass Valley team then came up with a four-run rally that turned the tide in the game. Justin Nicholson, who would be named the winner of the Ed Fontana Memorial Award as the tourney’s MVP, led off the sixth with a tying solo home run. Chad Garvey kept the rally going with a base hit. After Ryan Carlson drew a walk, Rob Waldman successfully sacrificed both runners to second and third. Nye, batting from the leadoff spot, gave the Bulldogs the lead for good when he doubled in two runs to make it 5-3. Brad McKenzie’s ensuing hit and error on the play that followed allowed Nye to score. Bulldogs “pick up” hurler Brandon Scherer then sat the Eagles down 1-2-3 in the sixth and after allowing a hit to Nick Ullom to start the seventh, got a strikeout and two ground ball outs to ice the title. While the Bulldogs’ title win seemed pretty standard, their trip to the title game was not. After following home runs from Jarrett Roenicke and Garvey to win their opening game, 13-7, over U-Save Liquor on Thursday, the Bulldogs took on the Oroville Dirt Bags on Saturday morning. Things looked bleak for the Bulldogs when they lost starting pitcher Chris Friedman to a shoulder injury and they fell behind 13-3 after three innings. But Nye’s 3x5 game with five RBIs, a 3x4 effort by Nicholson and two-hit games by Friedman, McKenzie and King rallied the ’Dogs for six runs in the fourth inning and seven more in the fifth for an improbable, 16-15, victory. But while the Bulldogs’ win gave them a 2-0 start, the team’s bid for top-tier seeding suffered a blow later Saturday. Forced to use the mound rotation of 57-year-old Bodie Smith and 60-year old Ken Claxton, the Auburn Brewers took the wind out of the ’Dogs sails via a 12-4 drubbing that featured 19 base hits. Both Brian Varvas and Josh Cornell went 3x4, while Andy Launier added a home run for the Brewers. But the Bulldogs were resilient. The team opened Sunday with 14-1 drubbing of Air Tronics of San Jose as King went 4x5 and Nicholson 3x4. The Bulldogs then used a three-hitter from Scherer and a pair of homers from Roenicke for an 8-0 semi-final win over Nevada. The Eagles also showed their moxie. Playing without all-world outfielder Mark Summers who was in Kansas for a national slo-pitch tournament, the Eagles overcame numerous injuries to key players Mario Periera (career-ending shoulder injury), Tyler Phillips (hamstring), Kevin Fontana (knee) and Josh Van Meter (gash to the head) to take a thrilling 3-1 semi-final win over Anything Green and almost repeat as champs. “We were a play here or there from winning it again,” said Fontana who was selected to the all-tournament team. “If Ty Phillie doesn’t get hurt, we probably win it.” 47th Colfax Men’s Classic Championship – Bulldogs 6, Roseville Eagles 3 Semi-Finals – Roseville Eagles 3, Anything Green 1; Bulldogs 8, Nevada 0 Ed Fontana Memorial Award (MVP) – Justin Nicholson, Bulldogs. Doug Hess Memorial MVP Pitcher – Ed Gasper, Roseville Eagles. Bulldogs – Jeff Nye, Jarrett Roenicke, Evan King, Chad Garvey, Brandon Scherer. Roseville Eagles – Tyler Phillips, Kevin Fontana, Josh Van Meter. Anything Green – Nate Dinero, Justin Allen, Daniel Frazier.