Eagle Valley comes up short in twinbill | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley comes up short in twinbill

Ian Cropp
Vail, CO Colorado

PALISADE, Colorado ” In every baseball game, nine players take the field for each squad, but sometimes it’s all about the two guys on the mound.

On Saturday in Palisade, Eagle Valley’s Hunter Blevins and Palisade’s Jesse Kirstatter duked it out in the opener of a doubleheader.

Blevins tossed a dandy of a two-hitter, but Kirstatter’s one-hitter went in the books as the win, with the Bulldogs taking the game, 1-0.

“It was a pretty good ball game,” Eagle Valley skipper Ken Reagan said.

Eagle Valley held a 5-1 lead in the nightcap, but Palisade came back to win, 9-6.

In Game 1, Blevins and Kirstatter each fanned nine, and the Bulldogs’ only run came off a Devils’ error in the second inning. On the pitch after Eagle Valley failed to put out a Palisade runner stuck in a pickle between first and second base, the runner stole third and a fake bunt threw off the Eagle Valley infield, making for a vacancy at third base. The runner advanced home when nobody picked up the throw at third base in time.

While Blevins frustrated the Palisade batters all day, he also spoiled Kirstatter’s no-hit bid, recording the Devils’ hit. Jack Barbella reached base twice for Eagle Valley with a walk and hit-by-pitch.

Early in the second game, the once-dormant Eagle Valley bats came alive while Devils’ hurler Dan McKiernan stymied the Bulldogs’ lineup.

“Dan was doing great ” he had two hits through three innings and we were up, 5-1,” Reagan said. “Then, the umpire started squeezing the strike zone, and Dan winced at a few calls. The umpire didn’t like it and tossed him.”

Reagan called on Paul Suther to take the mound. Suther went 12⁄3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits before being replaced by Barbella, who finished the game for the Devils.

“We had three or four errors in the last four innings,” Reagan said. “The wind went out of our sails when Dan got tossed.”

Eagle Valley center fielder Nick Whitehead went 3-for-4, batting in one run and scoring two. Chris Brubeck came in at left field and went 2-for-2.

“The game had the feeling like we may have been able to get out of there early on the 10-run rule,” Reagan said. “We were really jumping on their pitcher.”

With the losses, Eagle Valley falls to 3-2. On Saturday, the Devils travel to Rifle for another twinbill.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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