Eagle Valley takes two from Battle Mountain
Is this the start of something?
Eagle Valley baseball would like to think so. The Devils made an emphatic opening argument by beating up on Battle Mountain, 16-2 and 21-5, to open 4A Slope play on Wednesday at Pete Nolan Field in Gypsum.
“We have 10 seniors, which is unheard of in the mountains,” Eagle Valley skipper Jesse Meryhew said. “That’s a good problem to have.”
While we get what Meryhew was thinking, it really isn’t a problem. The Devils came out mashing and rode some good pitching to two wins.
The ace in Game 1
Let’s face it, give Eagle Valley pitcher Garrett Martin 16 runs, and he can be tough. The senior, who started Game 1, really didn’t need that much, but he made his way through the Huskies for four innings. He was only lifted to keep him eligible under CHSAA pitch-count rules for Saturday’s game at Evergreen.
Martin pitched four shutout innings, with one hit, two walks and five strikeouts.
“It was nice and warm and I tend to pitch better when it’s warm,” Martin said. “My team behind me backed me up. (Catcher) Mathew (Sanchez) did a good job behind the plate framing pitches.”
Martin helped himself with a two-run double in the bottom of the first. Kyle Farris also plated two with a double and Kyle Jordan went opposite field for a triple and two RBIs as the Devils scored eight in the first inning.
Kyle Williams added two more runs with a double — yes, one-third of the Devils’ starting lineup has the same first name — while Sanchez added his two run double in the second inning and Eagle Valley breezed.
Joe goes yard
About the only thing that didn’t go well for the Devils was the Joe Rivera III managed to go 0-for-3 in the lidlifter, which is hard to do when your team is scoring 16 runs. Things got better for him in Game 2.
“It’s been a little bit of a rough go. I’ve squared up a few balls and hit them right at people,” Rivera said. “I was a little down on myself. I got a pitch where I liked it and put a good swing on it.”
That’s a new twist on the “hit ’em where they ain’t” strategy because Battle Mountain couldn’t put anyone behind the left-field fence, where Rivera homered in the third inning as part of a 3-for-3 game with 2 RBIs.
Eagle Valley already had a big lead in Game 2 as Battle Mountain’s Robert Redinger struggled with his control and got no help from his defense during ensuing at-bats.
“It’s tough to look at the positives sometimes, but we did cut down on our strikeouts against a good pitching staff,” Huskies manager Jose Meza said. “Last week, we had 13 strikeouts against Meade. We had two looking against good pitching. The more we see it, the more we’ll get into the flow.”
Both teams need to clean it up a little, which is understandable, given the amount of practice both teams have had inside so far, even though it’s been a relatively mild spring.
Battle Mountain (1-3 overall and 0-2 in the Slope) is at Rifle on Saturday, while the Devils (3-1, 2-0) face Evergreen at All-Star Park in Lakewood.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.