Sailors unload on Huskies for 18 runs in five innings
It was the worst of times for the Battle Mountain baseball team on Tuesday, and the best of times for Steamboat Springs.
The Sailors hit two three-run home runs, one of which came in a huge 12-run, third-inning rally to roll past the Huskies, 18-7, on a blustery afternoon in Eagle-Vail.
“Anytime you get a bunch of runs in one inning, no matter who you are, it kind of takes the life out you a bit,” said Steamboat coach Sean Hicks. “This is my third year coaching, and I don’t remember ever 10-running anybody before. I feel bad for them, but it’s kind of nice for us. We’ve never done this before. It was a cold day, and everyone wanted to get out of here in five innings.”
The Huskies had taken an early 3-1 lead after the first inning of action but couldn’t keep up with Steamboat in the second and the third, as the Sailors went on to belt in five runs and 12 runs, respectively.
Steamboat Springs’ Kevin Martin hit the first of the Sailors’ two homers in the second inning when he drilled a 1-2 pitch from Huskies starting pitcher Ivan Orduno over the fence in center field. The home run drove in both Nick Hughes and Tyler Fosdick.
After Martin had closed out the Sailors scoring in the second with his blast, Matt Engle opened up the top of the third in similar fashion, knocking another Orduno pitch over the right field pitch. The three-run shot was the beginning of a stream of hits from the Sailors, coupled with four errors from the Huskies that led to 12 Steamboat Springs runs scored in the inning.
The Huskies held the Sailors scoreless in the remaining two innings, along with scoring four runs themselves. After the game, though, Battle Mountain coach Jim Gannon was still fuming about the tortuous third inning and the impetus his team needs to place on not letting things snowball in the future.
“We’ve got to pitch the ball, throw the ball and catch the ball,” said Gannon. “We have the tendency of letting a bad inning or a bad play take us out of the game and it’s my job to stop it. I tell them to get their heads on straight and play the game the way God meant it to be played. Right now, God is embarrassed by us.”
The Huskies’ first three runs in the first inning came from Orduno, Fran Saucedo and Jimmy Feeney. Feeney drove in Saucedo from second after belting a double into right-center field and then scored himself when Phil Vanburen hit a single. Orduno scored from third when Sailors’ catcher Charlie Cogburn threw down to second base after Saucedo had taken off for a steal.
In the bottom of the third, Christian Nagel scored Feeney from second when he hit a line drive down the right field baseline, but then was thrown out at second by Steamboat Springs outfielder John Reese.
Vanburen also scored for the Huskies, with Thomas Pacheco picking up the RBI.
The Huskies’ final two runs in the bottom of the fifth came from Orduno and Feeney. Orduno scored on a passed ball and Feeney was brought home off a bunt from Vanburen.
“I think we did some good things both ways,” said Hicks. “We did what we were supposed to do. We had a few errors, but I don’t think we’ve played a game this year where we haven’t had an error. The wind was blowing in and because of that I told them not to pull the ball and they did that. That was one of the keys to our success.”
Steamboat’s Ben Montoya threw a complete game, giving up 11 hits in five innings of work and striking out five batters.
Battle Mountain’s Orduno was replaced in the third by Nick Libertini after giving up nine runs. Libertini finished with two strikeouts and Orduno with four.
With the win, the Sailors improved to 7-10 overall.