Steamboat sails past Huskies in Eagle
EAGLE, Colorado ” Before it accumulates some mileage, Steamboat Springs baseball accumulated some miles.
Sailors shortstop Elliot Girard is off to Costa Rica and slugger Lars Johnson is bound for New York. But spring break didn’t start for the Steamboat officially until the Sailors wore some ruts in the infield of the Eagle County Fairgrounds, knocking off Battle Mountain, 21-4 and 12-2, Friday.
The sweep throws the Sailors (5-7 in the 4A Slope and 6-11 overall) into playoff contention when they return for a season-ending doubleheader at Moffat County April 29. Steamboat will need some help from some other teams, but it’s spring and anything is possible.
“We have an outside chance to make the playoffs,” Steamboat manager Dave Roy said. “It would be a first for Steamboat.”
The losses dropped the Huskies to 0-11 in the Slope and 1-13 overall, but they did score runs in league play for the first time this season.
“It was nice to get on the scoreboard,” Battle Mountain skipper Jason Spannagel said. “It’s been a while since we put any tallies up. Actually, I think we got a little over-anxious and ran ourselves out of a few extra runs. That comes with the experience and the practice.”
Steamboat picked up the pair Friday behind stellar outings from starting pitchers Alex Estes and Cody Miles. Estes won the first game while whiffing four, while Miles was one bad bounce away in the fourth inning from a shutout in the nightcap.
“The wind was tough, and they were throwing strikes,” Roy said. “It’s a chore. That’s all we wanted to do today was throw strikes, just make sure (Battle Mountain) hit the ball. We got that accomplished.”
And the Sailors pitchers got all the help for which they could have asked from their offense. The Sailors pounded out eight runs in the first inning of the opener and had a seven-spot in the fourth. Girard set the table, nicely reaching base every time he came up and scoring six runs during the twinbill.
“Any way I can, stealing bases and just getting into position for the heart of the order,” Girard said.
“He gets me RBIs,” Johnson said appreciatively.
Johnson went 2-for-4 with a triple, a double and five RBIs in the first game. The double cleared the bases in the fourth. Left-fielder Carson Baker also had a three-run, two-bagger in the sixth as part of a 2-for-3 day. He also knocked in five. First-baseman Alan Capistron added to the onslaught, going 2-for-4 and batting in three.
In the nightcap, Miles helped his own cause with three ribbies, despite getting absolutely robbed by two brilliant catches by Battle Mountain center-fielder Dustin Martin. Josh Carlson also drove the Sailors attack with a 3-for-4 outing with 3 RBIs.
His single in the bottom of the fifth ” Steamboat was the home team in the second game ” ended it via the 10-run rule.
Battle Mountain showed some punch at the plate with R.D. Cordova who was a combined 5-for 6 Friday.
“Offensively, R.D. is probably our most polished hitter,” Spannagel said. “He understands the game. He understands counts, probably moreso that anybody else. He has the physical ability to do something when he gets his pitch.”
Cordova also caught both ends of the doubleheader, leading Spannagel to joke, “We told him he didn’t have to chase any foul balls during the JV game.”
Cordova knocked in Daniel Rascon in the first inning of the lid-lifter. In the third, Cameron Brown plated Chad Wilkinson with a single down the left-field line. Cordova scored later in the frame on a wild pitch. In the fifth, Cordova rapped a double, bringing in Rascon again.
In the second game, the Huskies rallied in the fourth inning. Cordova singled and moved to third on a Mike Jones double. Chris Schmidt scored them both with a RBI single.
Schmidt, though he took the loss, had a pretty solid start in the nightcap. His side-armed delivery caused the Sailors some problems and the movement on his pitches was good.
“Chris is definitely one of our top pitchers,” Spannagel said. “He has an unorthodox delivery. If we can get him to throw some offspeed pitches for strikes and jump ahead in the count early, he can be effective.”
With the school’s diamond finally drying out, Battle Mountain actually hopes to host Eagle Valley Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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