Devils baseball sweeps past Huskies
Eagle Valley pulls the upset
GYPSUM — Simply put, this is what Eagle Valley does.
That’s the simple explanation of how Battle Mountain baseball entered Tuesday’s rivalry doubleheader with a 9-3 record, while the Devils were 1-7 and Eagle Valley ended up sweeping the Huskies, 10-5 and 16-9, at Pete Nolan Field in Gypsum.
“It feels good finally to hit the ball. Everything fell into place,” Devils senior Nick Wagner, who knocked in five runs during Game 2. “It’s expected. It’s amazing. Normally, it’s just one part of the lineup producing. I’m excited to see the future of Eagle Valley baseball.”
Eagle Valley simply has not been itself this year. Battle Mountain came in with terrific momentum, having run through most of the 4A Western Slope victoriously. Were there going to be a time that the Huskies were going to beat the Devils for the first time since 2011, it was going to be Tuesday.
“It’s been awesome to watch these guys work all year.,” said Huskies manager Harrison Stevens, who was returning to his alma mater on Tuesday. “That just proves on any given day you have to play all 21 outs and no one’s going to hand you anything.
“I think [Eagle Valley] just did a better job of hitting a ball on a line and putting pressure on. They were also able to throw strikes. It came down to them being able to put more pressure on us than them.”
The Huskies led, 9-8, going into the bottom of the sixth of Game 2. The Devils responded with an eight-run inning to sweep the doubleheader. In fairness, Battle Mountain opened the door with an error and a catcher’s interference call.
In fairness, Eagle Valley took full advantage of those opportunities. The Devils loaded the bases on an error, catcher’s interference and a single. Catcher Jack Josef laced a single to bring in the tying run.
With the sacks still juiced, Patrick Reno, the No. 8 hitter, ripped a triple into the gap to empty the bases for a 12-8 lead. Another Battle Mountain error extended the inning, allowing Lachlan Crick, Flaagan and Wagner to add to the damage.
“It just feels so great,” Flaagan said. “We really haven’t been playing well, and to come together for a game just feels amazing.”
Crick ended up hawking the win from Patrick, who went the first five innings, by pitching the final two innings with little incidence.
In the opener, Eagle Valley put up a four-spot in the first inning to take command. Wagner, Flaagan and Gabe Foster all had RBI hits in that frame.
And that was pretty much all Foster would need on the hill. After a slightly rocky start, Foster went all seven, whiffing 10 against one walk and two hit batsmen.
Battle Mountain finishes the regular season with a twinbill against Palisade on Saturday at 11 a.m. in Edwards. The Devils still have six games left on their slate, starting with a doubleheader in Steamboat Springs.
Since it was Eagle Valley’s last home date, the Devils saluted their seniors. They are Foster, Lachlan, Sam Osteen, Flaagan, Carter Josef and Wagner.