Eagle Valley baseball rallies to beat Aspen 16-10
Devils come back from 7-2 deficit to defeat Skiers at home
The Devils had to bring out the rally monkey — circa the 2002 Anaheim Angels — a little earlier than they had hoped on Wednesday afternoon. Down 7-2 in the bottom of the second inning against visiting Aspen, Jack Josef and Jack Robinson got the comeback going.
“The vibe in the dugout was actually rather positive,” said Robinson, who finished 2-for-4 with three runs. “We were open to coming back. We kept it real that we could get those runs on the board.”
With one out in the inning, Josef hit an RBI single to right field, driving in Kenneth Mickley before stealing second a pitch later. Then, Robinson split the shortstop and second baseman with a line drive to centerfield, scoring Josef and Nicholas Rahe. Robinson proceeded to steal second as well, scoring himself off an RBI double from Peter D’Agostino. P.J. Lombardo drove in the tying run with a bomb to right field. The junior stole home with two outs a few minutes later to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
“They didn’t give up — nobody did,” said coach Bret Moyer.
“We knew this was a game that we could battle and win and we knew we weren’t playing to our ability.”
The Devils’ pitching woes continued in the third inning, where they found themselves trailing 10-8 before coming to the plate. Once again, Robinson’s hot bat was there to strike life into the order as he drilled an RBI triple to the right-field fence.
“Jack Robinson and Jack Josef kind of brought things up because we knew could beat this team,” pitcher Camden Carle stated. Josef finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate, scoring four runs.
Robinson noted a recent practice focus on hitting to the opposite field. “I think that showed in the game,” he said. “We were seeing the ball well and driving it.”
Lombardo hustled for runs in the third as well, dashing from first to home off Jacob Loupe’s RBI double. The 12-10 score would hold through the next three innings, as Carle’s pitching stole the narrative.
“Cam came in and pitched great,” Moyer said.
The pivotal moment came in the top of the sixth inning. Carle worked Tanner Benson to a 2-2 count before throwing just outside and barely low, walking the ninth man in the order to put two Skiers on base. After Benjamin Godomsky popped out, Caleb Seward reached first safely when Robinson failed to control a grounder at shortstop.
“A lot of mental and physical mistakes in the field today — I definitely had my share,” Robinson admitted of the moment. “We just need to get those reps in, communicate in the field and practice.”
With the bases loaded and one out, Carle struck out the side to preserve the lead.
“He was huge. It was not looking good. To be in that spot – he got us out of that,” Robinson said of the clutch moment by the sophomore pitcher.
“I just knew I had to throw strikes,” said Carle, who finished with six strikeouts in just over three innings of work. Was he nervous?
“A little bit, but I knew I could do it.”
The Devils would finish with four six-inning runs to pad the lead before Patrick Reno struck out two to earn the save.
Afterward, Moyer praised his team’s mental strength, “which they showed today by coming back.”
“Something we’ve been talking about a lot is pre-play,” he continued.
“Thinking about what we are going to do with the ball if we get it. What are we going to do if the ball is hit to somebody else — where are we going to be?”
Eagle Valley improved to 5-4 and travels to Grand Junction Central for a non-league game on Friday.
“We could have done a lot better today but a win’s a win,” Carle said.