Late offensive push lifts Devils
Vail, CO Colorado
GYPSUM ” For the third game in a row, Eagle Valley baseball only needed five innings to pull out a victory, but Tuesday’s 17-6 win over Coal Ridge in Gypsum didn’t come as easily as you would think.
The Devils (9-5 in the 4A Western Slope, 14-5 overall) held a 7-6 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth before rattling off 10 runs to end the game early on the 10-run rule.
“It was nice not to go ahead and be up the whole time by a lot,” said Eagle Valley skipper Ken Reagan. “The guys had to buckle down. It wasn’t just fun-and-games.”
A solid 3A Coal Ride team used a three-run homer to pull close to the 4A Devils before the home team flexed its offensive firepower.
“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but they hung with us,” Reagan said. “We had to buckle down, and I was proud.”
Eagle Valley’s Jack Barbella pitched three innings and collected the win, fanning three and giving up just one hit.
“He did a good job of getting strikes in there,” Reagan said.
Robert Padgett, whose slugging percentage skyrocketed in the past two games thanks to five homers, pitched 1 and 1/3 innings, and gave up a dinger.
“Someone on the bench said that, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta take what you receive,'” Reagan said. “Robert will be one of our pitchers next year, so it was good to get him on the mound.”
Dan McKiernan replaced Padgett and recorded two outs for Eagle Valley in the top of the fifth.
Cody Coulter, the Devils leadoff hitter, had a great day from the plate, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and batting in four. Paul Suther came into the game at first base and was 2-for-2 with a double, while catcher Willie Williamson went 2-for-4.
Eagle Valley finds out who it will play in the first round of the playoffs today. Check http://www.vaildaily.com later today for a preview of the postseason matchup.
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.