Devils walk off against Sailors
Senior photo wanted
OK, we really mean it this time. Come Saturday, if you have a photo of the Eagle Valley baseball seniors, we’ll take it at email@example.com.
GYPSUM — It’s April and it’s scoreboard-watching time.
That sounds a little strange, but Eagle Valley baseball is still in the hunt for the postseason after a 9-8 walk-off win against Steamboat Springs on Tuesday in Gypsum.
Three teams from the 4A Slope make the state playoffs. Palisade has clinched the pennant at 12-0. Summit County is in second place at 8-4, followed by both Delta and Eagle Valley (7-5).
The kicker is that Summit’s at Delta on Saturday for a pair, while the Devils host Rifle for two. There are numerous permutations for Eagle Valley to get into the playoffs, but the easiest to comprehend is a Devils’ sweep of the Bears. Win and you’re in, gents.
“They’re absolutely excited,” Devils skipper Jesse Meryhew said. “They realize they control their own destiny and are looking forward to the challenge.”
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT
Eagle Valley clawed its way into that position by overcoming deficits of 3-0 and 8-3 on Tuesday to come back against the Sailors.
Starting pitcher Wade Ticer went six innings, allowing eight runs, only one of which was earned. The takeaway from Ticer’s performance is that he’s a tough cookie. He kept his team in the game, despite some tough defense, and soaked up innings, a pitching quality needed from Little League to Major League Baseball.
What was also encouraging from Tuesday’s game was that the Devils were down, but not out. Their offense kept grinding.
Down 3-0 in the first inning, Harrison Stevens led off with a triple and scored. Eric Boyd left the yard and Eagle Valley matched Steamboat’s three-spot.
Down 8-3 after three-and-a-half innings, the Devils responded with four runs. They loaded the bases with a Boyd double, a Logan McCanless walk and a Tyler Greear single. McCanless scored on an error by Steamboat’s right fielder. After Sug Ellsworth walked, Stevens knocked in two with a double. Oscar Gallegos plated Ellsworth with a base knock.
In the sixth, the Devils tied it at eight when Ellsworth singled and got balked to second. Stevens promptly knocked him home.
After Connor McCanless came in to relieve Ticer in the seventh and post a critical goose egg, Logan McCanless walked for the Devils. (You will be quizzed on this later.) Kyle Jordan pinch-ran for Logan. Up came Joe Rivera. He beat out an infield hit. And in the process, Steamboat’s third baseman threw the ball wildly, allowing Jordan to race around from first for the game-winner.
“Now, I think we don’t get too high or too low, emotionally or mentally,” Meryhew said. “If you avoid the highs and lows, you can have some success.”
The Rifle twinbill will serve as Senior Day. The Devils will salute Stevens, Jackson Sandell, Slater Sabo, Boyd, Ticer and Ellsworth.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.