Eagle Valley gets it done against Huskies in Eagle-Vail
EAGLE-VAIL – Scoreboard watching in April?
Well, actually, yes. The fight for the Slope flag and playoff positioning is on as the regular season heads into the final two weeks, and if anyone in the league has learned has learned anything, no game can be taken for granted.
After all, Glenwood Springs beat league-leading Delta, 13-3, recently. As Delta is the defending champion and came into Gypsum and swept a pair from Eagle Valley 10 days ago, and before that the Devils made mince meat of Glenwood in a twinbill, this is cause for a little head-scratching.
“In my wildest dreams, I don’t know what scenario could have happened. Maybe they had Roy Halladay show up in a Glenwood uniform and shut them down,” joked Battle Mountain manager Jason Spannagel, whose team earned its first conference win in five years against Glenwood last week. “And even then, he must have got some hits.”
And this is a roundabout way of saying that while it wasn’t surprising in the least, Eagle Valley got a much-needed win Tuesday in Eagle-Vail, completing a season sweep of Battle Mountain with a 15-5 victory.
“We took two and that’s good,” said Devils senior Nick Pietrack, who was 1-for-2 with three RBIs. “They’re very improved. I’ll give them that.”
Battle Mountain did keep it close early and had some scoring chances in the second and third innings, only to leave some base runners stranded. Eagle Valley closed the door with a seven-run fourth and put an exclamation point on things with a two-run homer by Seth Williamson in the fifth.
While Williamson’s shot was a no-doubter and the Devils did gather some very legitimate knocks, offense is a concern going into Saturday’s twinbill at Steamboat Springs as well as the postseason for Eagle Valley (9-3 in the Slope and 11-6 overall).
“We’re doing all right. We’ve got to do better hitting-wise,” Devils skipper Ken Reagan said. “We’ve kind of been in a lull for the last couple of games. We’ve had some big innings here and there, but we’ve got to sustain some offense.”
The Huskies gave the Devils two base runners in the first, and Eagle Valley obliged, as good teams should, putting up a three-spot behind RBI singles from Jack Barbella and Adam Horst.
Barbella, who went 4-for-4, knocked in James Van Dyke in the third. Pietrack brought him home with a very long flyball to center. Later in the inning, Zach Linder plated Horst with a single for a 6-2 lead.
Bryce Zerhring started the Devils’ eruption in the fourth with a run-scoring double. James Van Dyke and Barbella followed with two-baggers and Eagle Valley was on its way.
Cameron Brown and Joe LyBarger knocked in runs for the Huskies in the first. Mike Jones led off the fifth with a triple and scored on a Davey Honda single. Chris Duran later brought home Honda.
Eagle Valley hopes to take care of Steamboat Saturday and watch Delta, Palisade and Moffat beat each other up in the last week or so of the season. Meanwhile, Battle Mountain hosts Steamboat Wednesday in Eagle-Vail in a make-up of Saturday’s snowed-out twinbill. First pitch is at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.