Hotchkiss ends Devils season with 3-0 shutout
The Eagle Valley boys baseball team is coming home earlier than it expected.
After a 3-0 loss to Hotchkiss on Friday in the 3A Slope district tournament at Paonia, the Devils’ postseason is over after only two games.
If Roaring Fork would have lost to 3A Slope champion Olathe on Friday, the Devils would have earned a spot in today’s third-place game with the Rams, with the winner advancing to regionals.
With the Rams winning against the Pirates, 18-6, Eagle Valley was automatically eliminated from the postseason since the league champion earns an automatic regional bid. Olathe will be the No. 3-seed heading into regionals next weekend by default, while Roaring Fork and Hotchkiss will play today to decide the district chamionship.
“We’re usually a team that makes it into regionals, so when you don’t, it’s a disappointment,” Devils coach Derek Cordes said. “We’re all kind of disappointed because we planned on going a lot farther. We were hoping to make it to the state tournament.”
In a tight, defensive ballgame the Bulldogs relied on the pitching of Curt Morgan. The senior ace gave up only two hits in seven innings to earn the complete-game shutout and propel his team into the second day of district action.
Cordes said the Devils had their chances in the third and the sixth, with runners on the corners in each inning, but that Morgan managed to pitch himself out of a jam each time.
“We just had no offense. That was the difference,” Cordes said. “(Morgan) had a good fastball and a good slider. We had two innings that we had chances to score and just didn’t execute. We had some really nice defensive plays, but our offense was just absent.”
Devils starting pitcher Evaristo Jara had a strong outing himself in five innings of work, giving up three runs.
The Bulldogs’ Todd Queen hit a solo home run off Jara in the third inning and Morgan and Keaton Bell drove in the two other Bulldogs runs in a fifth-inning rally. Reliever Kyle Rivera held the Bulldogs scoreless in the remaining two innings of action.
With the loss, Eagle Valley finished with an overall record of 15-6.
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