Devils baseball splits twin bill with Olathe
Jet airliners added to the wind Saturday during a blustery day of baseball, but the sun pierced through as the Eagle Valley baseball team split a doubleheader with Olathe.
The Devils came out swinging, winning the first game, 11-1, but the Pirates struck back in the second game with a 14-4 victory.
Eagle Valley has an overall record of 4-3 and a 2-1 conference record.
“Olathe’s one of the top teams in the league, and a split … we’re OK with that,” said Devils coach Derek Cordes.
Devils’ Drew Pietrack and Nar Gallegos led the hitters in the first game; each went 2-for-2 with 2 RBI. Brett Klahr added a walk-off home run, and Kyle Rivera threw a solid game in the Devils’ 11-1 win.
“Kyle threw a great game. Nar was really clutch, picking up his hits with two outs, and Brett Klahr hit a huge home run,” said Cordes. “It was a good team effort with a strong pitching performance.”
Everisto Jara pitched four solid innings in the second game, but the Devils fell apart from there.
Pirates first baseman Garrett Pietek smashed a three-run homer in the second inning to boost Olathe into an early lead.
Klahr walked to lead off the bottom of the second for the Devils. Devils shortstop Sean Bartlett doubled to left-center field, putting runners on second and third with one out. Eagle Valley’s Derek Baldwin singled to left, knocking the runners in. Later in the inning, Gallegos drove in another run, and the Devils successfully answered the damage from the top half of the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Gallegos picked up another clutch RBI with two outs, giving Eagle Valley a 4-3 lead.
Olathe picked up three runs in the fifth, three more in the sixth and five in the seventh, while the Devils changed pitchers four times.
The Pirates emerged with a 14-4 win, which included home runs by Pietek and Cody Sweet.
“Everisto Jara gave us four strong innings, but they got to him. After that, they got to everybody,” said Cordes. “We have to be able to throw off-speed pitches, whether it’s a change-up or a curveball. We’ve got to work on that.”
Owen Stanford made two impressive catches at first base for the Devils, and Baldwin ended an inning with a home run-saving catch in left field.
“Owen and Derek both made run-saving catches. We didn’t really hit the ball in the second game, so I’ve got to focus on the defense,” said Cordes. “They were both big-league catches. So, really great glove work by those two.”
Eagle Valley faces Aspen Thursday at 4 p.m. at home.
Andrew Harley can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 610, or at email@example.com.