Steamboat holds off Battle Mountain
Down 5-2, entering the final frame, the Huskies rallied for two runs and had Chris Romero on second base with two outs and Jose Morales at the plate. Morales drilled Preston Stanfill’s offering right at Steamboat shortstop Tyler Fosdick, who snared it for the final out.
“I was getting a little nervous there,” Sailors skipper Sean Hicks said. “But a win’s a win. Between us and Battle Mountain, we’re always battling for that win. So we’re going to take it and run.”
“Jose just got out in front of it a little bit,” Huskies manager Colin Faherty said. “It was just a little unlucky.”
For Stanfill, it was one of the few anxious moments of the day. The Steamboat hurler went the distance, scattering just six hits, while fanning nine.
“Preston is our best pitcher right now,” Hicks said. “We’d like to help take the pressure off him. Each time he’s gone out, he’s pitched well enough to win.”
The Huskies did get to Stanfill for two runs in the bottom of the third, when Ivan Orduno scored on the back end of a a delayed double steal and Eddie Irgens knocked in Romero with an RBI-single.
From there, it looked like the two teams were in for a pitcher’s duel with Battle Mountain’s Nick Libertini throwing five shutout innings, before tiring in the sixth. In that inning, Stanfill helped his own cause with a triple, bringing home battery-mate Ryan Marsden. Stanfill later scored on a Battle Mountain error, tying the game at two.
Nick Hughes gave the Sailors the lead for good with a run-scoring single that sent Jeff Franks home. It was 4-2 after Steamboat’s Teal Taylor stole home.
“It was good for all except one inning,” Faherty said. “But we showed some heart coming back in the seventh.”
After Steamboat scored what would prove to be a very crucial run in the top half of the seventh, the Huskies rallied in their half of the inning. Fran Saucedo led off with a walk and took second on an error. Jimmy Feeney singled to put runners at first and third. On another delayed double steal, Saucedo scored and Phil Van Buren, running for Feeney, ended up at second. Chris Romero knocked in Van Buren, setting up Morales’ at bat.
Both teams will do it all over again Thursday up in Craig in the rematch. First pitch is at 4 p.m.
Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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