Eagle Valley blanks Battle Mountain
GYPSUM – Just about everything went right for Eagle Valley on the diamond Tuesday against Battle Mountain. The Devils’ bats were moving and they had the Huskies’ bats whiffing in a 13-0 win over their Eagle County Rivals.”Our guys hit the ball well, and our pitchers threw well,” said Eagle Valley skipper Ralph Carlson.Eagle Valley hurlers Zach Coe (four strikeouts) and Craig Wilmers (three Ks), in their first appearances this year, combined for a one hitter.”I was just trying to throw strikes. I got a couple of strike outs and had a good pickoff,” Coe said.
Coe started the game by striking out the first two batters, and ended the inning by picking off Battle Mountain’s Jeremy Windham, who got on base with an infield single, then advanced to second on a walk.Wilmers did Coe one better, striking out the side when he made his entrance in the fourth inning.”It was nice to have him come in,” Coe said of the southpaw Wilmers. “He’s got some junk he can get some guys going with.”Carlson was pleased with his hurlers’ performance.”They threw a lot of strikes,” Carlson said. “They needed those innings.”For the Huskies, Joe Ortega went three innings, earning three strikeouts. Ortega showed good control, hitting the strike zone and forcing Devils to hit ground balls. Unfortunately, there were fielding errors that prolonged some innings.”I felt pretty good, but it kind of wears you down,” Ortega said. “I can’t really do anything about it. I was happy, though, for not throwing since spring break.”
Battle Mountain manager Jeff LaRoche was happy with Ortega and relievers Chris Schmidt and Zach Domenico.”All you can ask for is strikes out of our pitchers,” LaRoche said. “When you can’t make the play, it can be frustrating.”Bats ablazingEagle Valley got things started in the first inning when the Devils scored two runs on three hits. Alex Dorothy sent a single to left field and then took second on a passed ball. Bear Barkman walked, and Tim Peters then smashed a triple to deep left that scored Dorothy, but Barkman was tagged out at the plate. Nick Whitehead’s single scored Peters.”I was telling our guys to get as few walks as possible because we wanted to swing the bats today,” Carlson said.In the third, the Devils’ Joe Felix fouled off several pitches in a row before knocking home Whitehead on a sharp single to left.
“He must have fouled off 24 pitches in a row before he got that hit,” Carlson said.The Devils batted around in the fourth inning and scored nine runs in the process. Hunter Blevins and Dorothy each had singles and two runs.”We got some solid hits and kept it going,” Coe said, who was 2-for-3 with two runs. “I haven’t been hitting too well, so it feels goo to get a couple.”Smart ballThe Huskies’ Mitch Hendrix had a solid game at catcher.”He’s a team leader and does a really good job behind the dish,” LaRoche said. “We like having him back there.”
LaRoche noted that his team had several errors, but he was happy with the Huskies’ performance considering how little time they have had outside of the gymnasium.”We definitely need to work on some things,” LaRoche said. “But it’s baseball, and it’s supposed to be fun. All we want is good attitudes. It’ll be nice to get the guys outside and work on some fundamentals.”The Huskies will travel to Rifle Saturday for a twinbill, while Coe hopes the Devils will continue their success going into Thursday’s game also at Rifle.”We needed the win,” Coe said. “It’ll help us build some confidence and get out heads on straight.”Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado