Devils shake off Huskies in the seventh | VailDaily.com
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Devils shake off Huskies in the seventh

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EDWARDS – One can understand why Eagle Valley wasn’t overly comfortable with a 9-6 lead going into the seventh and final inning of Tuesday afternoon’s game at Battle Mountain.

Yes, Battle Mountain beat Eagle Valley last season, but there’s also the fact that a funny bounce here and a swing there can make a three-run lead disappear rather quickly.

“Getting beat by them last year left a bad taste in my mouth,” Devils center fielder Tanner Coulter said. “I wanted to make sure we had a good lead to protect. I didn’t want to go into that last inning with a three-run lead.”

So to make life a little easier for the Devils, Coulter blasted a grand slam in the top of the seventh, icing a 14-7 win over the Huskies and a season sweep of their archrivals.

“That’s what we’ve been needing all year, to finish people off,” Eagle Valley skipper Jesse Meryhew said.

Coulter took the 1-1 offering from Huskies reliever Chris Duran and struck it well. Battle Mountain center fielder Joe LyBarger looked for a moment like he had a bead on it, but he ran out of room.

“I just wanted to get a good at bat. I hit it pretty well.” Coulter said. “The last time I (flew out) there, but I knew it had a good chance.”

And Coulter got appropriately mobbed at home plate upon his arrival.

The unsung hero of Tuesday’s game was Eagle Valley pitcher Dylan Trudeau. Devils starter Cordell Schofield has had some arm problems and struggled a bit for two innings. Trudeau inherited a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the third and went the final five innings. He struck out four and allowed three runs (just two of which were earned).

“Dylan just comes in and throws strikes whenever he’s asked to,” said Coulter, who is on the Eagle Valley staff when he’s not playing center. “That’s all you can ask. When you’ve got a good defense behind you, that’s all you have to do.”

Battle Mountain catcher Davey Honda, however, was one riddle neither Schofield nor Trudeau could solve. In his final game at home, Honda was 3-for-3 with four RBIs. He cranked a two-run shot to left in the first inning for the Huskies and ended the day by leaving the park via right field.

Eagle Valley batted around in the first inning, scoring five runs. Battle Mountain’s defense didn’t help starter Riley Robbins with errors in the first and second innings. Both Coulter and catcher Zach Linder knocked in five runs for the Devils.

After the game, Battle Mountain honored its seven seniors – Eric Weiss, Connor Cordova, Duran, Zach Wilkinson, Jonathan Roacho, Honda and Robbins.

“These were kids I needed coming in for my first year,” Huskies manager Jose Meza said. “They were leaders. They’re going to do whatever they want and be successful. It was nice to have a group of older kids.”

The Huskies are at Palisade for a doubleheader Thursday, while Eagle Valley hosts Glenwood for two on Saturday.

“We basically have to win out,” Meryhew said of the Devils’ postseason chances.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or cfreud@vaildaily.com.


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