Eagle Valley powers past Huskies, 15-5
GYPSUM – And now it’s time to tangle with the big dogs, or rather, big Panthers.
Eagle Valley baseball took Round 1 of the local rivalry on the diamond Tuesday, dispatching Battle Mountain, 15-5, in Gypsum. Delta comes to town Saturday for pair, starting at 11 a.m., and it’s likely the Devils’ shot a winning the 4A Western Slope flag.
“It’s definitely important to win this, going into Delta,” said Seth Williamson, who went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer Tuesday. “The rest of this week, we’ve got to buckle down, and come out and get our work done.”
Safe to say, Eagle Valley manager Ken Reagan wouldn’t mind if his team’s bats stayed as hot as they’ve been recently. After five home runs in a twinbill against Glenwood Springs Thursday, the Devils belted out three more Tuesday against the Huskies.
Nick Pietrack had a two-run double and Adam Horst and a run-scoring single as the Devils took a 5-0 lead after one inning. To their credit, the Huskies showed some fight, replying with RBI double from Chris Duran and Guy Garth in the top of the second to make it 5-2.
Eagle Valley blew out the baffles with a seven-run second inning, highlighted by back-to-back homers from Williamson and Pietrack. Williamson’s was a three-run shot.
“I just sat on the curve ball and hit,” Williamson said. “It’s not we’re trying to hit it out. You just hit it square and it goes.”
James Van Dyke made it three round-trippers in as many games with a three-run shot in the fourth off Huskies pitcher Mike Jones, who took the loss.
“Eagle Valley earned it,” Huskies skipper Jason Spannagel said. “They hit the ball. Mike threw strikes. He mixed it up a little bit, but they hit the ball. Give them credit there.”
The good news for Battle Mountain is two-fold. The Huskies have gotten through the gauntlet-portion of their schedule. While they have one more with Eagle Valley April 27 at Eagle-Vail, they’re done with doubleheaders against Delta, Palisade and Rifle. While Battle Mountain can’t enter any game thinking it’s favored to win, the schedule becomes a bit more manageable, starting with a nonleague tilt at Coal Ridge Thursday.
The Huskies also are looking a bit better than years past. Donnie Cuomo homered in the third and Battle Mountain added two more runs in the fourth.
“They need to get on the other side of the hump,” Spannagel said. “They’ve been climbing that hill the last couple of years. It’s going to take a really well-played game on the defensive side, and the pitching side and, if we can put it together, good things can happen.”
Meanwhile, Eagle Valley braces itself for Delta. Devils manger Ken Reagan split the pitching up Tuesday among Pietrack, Van Dyke and Tanner Coulter to keep his staff fresh. Jack Barbella will doubtless get the call for one of the games against the Panthers Saturday.
“(Delta’s) got a couple of good pitchers and big hitters,” Reagan said. “We’ve got to work on our fielding. They’re obviously going to put the ball in play. We’ll turn our (pitching) machine up to face some faster pitching. Again, you’ve got to do what you’ve been doing. You can’t change things up much.”
Fruita 7, Eagle Valley 2
FRUITA – Eagle Valley’s Kayla Gagnon and Cori Cramer scored in a 7-2 loss Tuesday at Fruita.
“Right now, we’re focusing on stick skills,” Devils coach Jamie Mayne said. “A lot of the time when we have the ball, we either turn it over or make a good pass and can’t get to it. We’re focusing on moving the ball up with passes rather than running with it.”
Eagle Valley hosts Battle Mountain Friday at the Gypsum Sports Complex at 4 p.m.
Steamboat Springs 6, Eagle Valley 0
GYPSUM – Steamboat Springs soccer cruised to a 6-0 win Tuesday against Eagle Valley at Hot Stuff Stadium.
Steamboat got goals from Courtney Garth, Emi Birch, Kiersten Henry, Carly Fox, Haley Brookshire and McKenzie Worden.
Eagle Valley hosts Glenwood Springs Thursday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.