Eagle-Vail: Battle Mountain slams Panthers, 19-1 | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail: Battle Mountain slams Panthers, 19-1

BMBB Ristow 1 KA 04-24-09

EAGLE-VAIL ” Battle Mountain baseball won a game Friday and didn’t celebrate like it had just won Game 7 of the World Series.

Yes, wins remain few and far between for the Huskies, but they’re getting better and an easy 19-1 win over Lake County Friday was expected, instead of celebrated.

“Our record doesn’t show the steps that we’ve taken, especially in the last three years ” where we’re at from where we’ve been. It’s night and day,” Huskies manager Jason Spannagel said. “They know when they’ve done something wrong. It’s fun because we run some different defenses against bunts. We can do some things on offense on hit-and-runs. These guys come out and work hard, despite the conditions and the stuff that works against them. We are getting better.

“Of course we would like to get a win (in the 4A Slope), but we have to realize some of the small successes that have come along.”

Battle Mountain’s final chance for an elusive victory in league play this season comes today at 11 a.m. in Eagle-Vail when the Huskies host Moffat County in a doubleheader. In the meantime, Battle Mountain (1-16) broke into the win column emphatically against the visiting Panthers.

The Huskies greeted Lake County starting-pitcher Conor Laing rudely. Dustin Martin drove in Mike Jones to begin a seven-run first. Two batters later, Chris Schmidt smashed a hanging curve from Laing over the left-center-field fence for a 3-0 lead.

“It was a great start for us hitting the ball pretty well,” Schmidt said. “It feels pretty good when you know you’ve got a piece of it.”

Cameron Brown, Chris Duran. and Mike Jones all knocked in runs as the Huskies batted around. In the second, freshman Davey Honda ripped a two-run double and Wilkinson did the same to as a part of a six-run rally.

By the fourth inning, Spannagel got to empty his bench, but the runs kept coming, with RBIs from Elliot Ristow, Trevor Robbins and Brown.

Meanwhile, all Duran, the freshman starter, did is throw strikes, going the full five innings ” the Huskies were on the right end of the 10-run rule Friday ” while striking out 10, walking just one and scattering two hits.

This was Duran’s third consecutive solid start for the Huskies ” he went seven innings against both Palisade and Steamboat Springs. Combined with catcher Honda, also a freshman, the Huskies have a young battery, one of several reasons for optimism in future springs.

“Duran the magic man,” Spannagel joked. “Three games in a row he’s given us amazing outings. He’s put in positions to win, and compete in ball games. He doesn’t do anything flashy. He just throws strikes and he keeps the ball down.

“Davey is freshman who plays with the head of a junior. He understands the game. He’s been well-coached. He’s already leaps and bounds ahead of where a freshman normally would be.”

With Moffat coming to town today, the Huskies would like to finish the season on a good note. They also will be honoring the team’s four seniors, Schmidt, Martin, Ristow and Javier Riveros.

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

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