Summit scores 11 runs in top of fifth inning to doom Battle Mountain
Huskies fell to 3-11 on the season with home loss
Through four innings on Wednesday, Battle Mountain looked well positioned to pull off a nice late-season upset on their Vail Pass baseball rivals. It was the top of the fifth where Summit shifted the script.
Cooper Irwin had eight strikeouts and no runs allowed until the Summit Tigers put up seven on the senior pitcher in the top of the fifth — and scored four more before the inning ended — en route to a 12-2 victory in Edwards. The loss dropped the Huskies to 3-11 on the season and moved the Tigers to 7-5.
“Just typical baseball story — walks and errors,” Huskies head coach Jeff Townsend said. “They scored two, it kind of deflated us a little bit and then we just let them get into our heads and the floodgates opened.”
After both teams’ pitchers stifled their opposition in the first three innings, the Huskies got the bats going in the bottom of the fourth. Henry Regrut doubled to center for the Huskies’ first hit of the game. Grady Devins followed up with a single and Irwin was intentionally walked to load the bases. Aaron Santillano singled to right field, scoring Regrut and Devins and advancing pinch runner Jack Reed to third base.
Summit pitcher Sam Eldredge eventually got out of the bases-loaded, no-out pinch with three-straight strikeouts, but it appeared the Huskies possessed all of the game’s energy at that point. Summit, however, responded immediately.
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The visitors loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch, single and two walks, tying the game on a passed ball at the plate. They would proceed to score on a walk, single and double before finally bunting into their first out of the inning. But by that point it was 7-2, and Battle Mountain was forced to make a pitching change. By the time Husky hurler Finn Sullivan retired Summit’s Jack Shierholz, the Tigers would have an 11-2 advantage.
Battle Mountain didn’t give up in the bottom of the inning, though. Regrut, who finished 2-for-3 at the plate, and Devins would get on first and second with one out, but their efforts proved fruitless after Irwin struck out and Santillano’s pop to right left both runners stranded. The Huskies battled right to the end, putting two more runners into scoring position in the bottom of the seventh as well. All things considered, the majority of the game was more positive than negative.
“We played six good innings,” Townsend said. “We had one inning where we kind of gave it up and collapsed. I think the guys need to learn that a little bit of adversity doesn’t mean that the game is over. That’s what we have to take from it.”
Battle Mountain will look for its first league win of the year in Saturday’s home doubleheader against Steamboat Springs (1-9 overall, 0-6 league).
“I think we bounce back from today and we have to be mentally strong,” Townsend said. “We have to not make mental errors in the field that then translate to physical errors. If we can be mentally strong and have decent games out of our pitchers, we’ll take that.”