Longhorns rally past Huskies in extras
EAGLE — It may have not been the result for which Huskies baseball was hoping, but it certainly wasn’t dull.
Wednesday’s game against Basalt had:
• The average 9-6 force out to end an inning.
• Batter interference after said batter was walked.
• The visiting Longhorns scoring nine times in the seventh inning, including an inside-the-park grand slam, only to see the Huskies rally to force extra innings.
• A Battle Mountain pitcher recording four outs in an inning.
Another Ordinary Day
It was just another ordinary day at the Eagle County Fairgrounds, as the visiting Longhorns outlasted Battle Mountain baseball, 13-12, in eight innings in nonconference play.
Tough loss? No doubt. Sign that Battle Mountain baseball is turning the corner? Quite possibly.
“It’s awesome. We were glad to get out here and play. Some of those went our way. Some of those didn’t,” Huskies manager Jose Meza said of the game’s oddities. “This is better than being inside the gym right now.”
While several Huskies could wear the goat horns for this one — pitcher Robert Reddinger got roughed up in the seventh; second-basemaan Andrew Herrera had a key error in the same frame and catcher Wyatt Harwood was errant in his throw to first base on a dropped third strike in the eighth — this loss happened before any of those events. Battle Mountain scored four in the first inning and three in the second, and led 7-2. It’s not on Reddinger, Herrera or Harwood. It was on the team as a whole not collectively stepping on the gas pedal to finish the Longhorns early.
“I felt we got a little complacent early. We needed to keep hitting,” Meza said. “We didn’t score for, what, three innings? We scored early and didn’t keep going.”
Actually, Skip, the bats were silent for four innings, but the point remains.
Done Like Dinner?
Battle Mountain appeared done like dinner after Basalt’s Michael Glen touched them all with an inside-the-park grand salami, giving the Longhorns a 13-8 lead. Reilly came in and put out the fire with what seemed like two meaningless strikeouts in the top of the seventh. But the Huskies did not go quietly. Herrera, Ray Trillo and Reddinger got on base via walk or hit batsman. Herrera scored on a wild pitch. Reilly, Brian Biggs and Jake Singleton all delivered run-scoring hits and the game was knotted at 12.
“We’ve been trying to preach that for three years, and this is the first year we got it. That’s all a coach can ask for,” Meza said of the comeback.
Reilly, unfortunately, got tagged with the loss in the eighth, despite recording three strikeouts and a ground-ball out to second in one inning. Keeping in mind that this is a family readership, stuff happens.
Battle Mountain used five pitchers against Basalt — Sean Weller, Danny Caballero, Hunter Meier, Reddinger and Riley because it was trying not to have any one hurler go long with Saturday’s conference-opening double-dip looming at Glenwood Springs. Weller went three frames, overcoming some early control problems. Caballero whiffed two batter during his inning and Meier soaked up two frames nicely.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, firstname.lastname@example.org and @cfreud.