Devils 10-run Basalt to improve to 4-1 in 3A Slope
Sean Bartlett was stumped.
When asked if there was anything that the Eagle Valley baseball team could have done better after its 12-2 trouncing of the Basalt Longhorns on Tuesday, the senior shortstop shrugged his shoulders and drew a blank.
Finally, there was this.
“We played pretty well. It was a pretty good game. I guess if there was anything, Coach will find it and we’ll work on it in practice,” Bartlett said.
Devils coach Derek Cordes won’t be able to find much. Bartlett along with the rest of his Eagle Valley teammates outhit, outfielded, outpitched and flat out outplayed the Longhorns to notch their fourth 3A Slope win in five tries.
The Longhorns only scoring offense of the afternoon came in the top half of the second inning when designated hitter Zach Southward drove in A.J. Hobbs and Zach Hayes.
Otherwise, it was a frustrating day for the Horns as Eagle Valley starter Kyle Rivera made quick work of the Basalt batting order in four innings of work before turning the ball over to reliever Evaristo Jara to finish the game.
Rivera faced only eight batters in his last two innings and struck out four, while Jara gave up only one hit.
“There was no need to pull Kyle, but we like to keep our guys fresh,” Cordes said. “I had (Steve) Evancho warming up (for Jara) between innings, but we didn’t have to use him. We got to pitch ahead (in the count), and then when you get ahead, whatever pitch it is, that makes it easy. When you are working back in the count and they’re looking fastball, you basically have to throw a fastball.”
While the Horns were having a hard time figuring out Rivera and Jara, the Devils were having an easy time catching up to pitches from Basalt starter J.T. Donovan who gave up six runs in 5 1/3 innings.
After Basalt had tied the game in the top half of the second, the Devils rallied in the bottom frame for three runs.
First, Andrew Pietrack laced a line drive into left center for a standup double. Charles Faulhaber then walked. Then, with Faulhaber on second and Pietrack on third – both advancing off a passed ball – Nar Gallegos hit a single to left
See Devils, page A26
that scored Pietrack.
Faulhaber then scored on another passed ball, and Gallegos got knocked in when Keegan Keltner ran out a ground ball that was hit to Longhorns shortstop Nick Harris.
Then, Bartlett put the Devils up four in the bottom of the third when he mashed his second home run of the season – a solo shot – over the center-field fence.
“My brace really helped today,” said Bartlett, who has been fighting a bad back since football season. “I definitely enjoyed the snow day (Saturday). It allowed me to rest up a little.”
After another two runs in the fifth, the Devils finished off the Horns in the bottom of the sixth. Brett Klahr got things going when he advanced to first off an error from Horns center fielder Brian Brown. Bartlett followed and nearly drilled his second home run of the day, belting an 0-1 pitch from Harris – who had relieved Donovan – that would have been out if it had gone five feet farther.
Klahr scored on a passed ball but Bartlett waited around on base to see the second Eagle Valley home run of the afternoon, this one coming from Owen Stanford. Stanford blasted a 3-2 pitch from Harris over the right field-fence, allowing for Bartlett to trot home.
Keegan Keltner finished the game with an infield single to score Faulhaber that put the score at 12-2, enacting the 10-run rule.
“Our bats are coming around,” Cordes said. “We have power all through this lineup. But, we’re not going to rely on power. It’s nice to have that ace in the hole, but we’re bunting were hitting and running and we’re sacrificing. That’s what our team is all about. We’re starting to come together.”
The Devils next play a doubleheader at 3A Slope-leading Roaring Fork Saturday.
Contact Nate Peterson at 949-0555, ext. 608 or via e-mail at vaildaily.com