Vail Valley preps: Battle Mountain baseball finishes with fourth win
BASALT – OK, so it wasn’t a moment of great significance warranting Jack Buck to yell, “Go crazy, folks. Go crazy. It’s a home run and the Cardinals have won the game by a score of 3-2 on a home run by The Wizard.”
But Battle Mountain baseball roughed up Basalt, 13-1, Thursday to earn its fourth victory to cap the 2010 season. And after four seasons which amounted to two wins over hapless Lake County, a 4-15 campaign is enough to make Huskies celebrate just like the Cardinals did after Ozzie Smith homered to win Game 5 of the 1985 NLCS.
“Absolutely,” Battle Mountain manager and Cardinals fan Jason Spannagel said. “That’s what we talked about when we were thanking our four seniors after the game. We let them know how much we appreciate all the work they’ve done in going from getting 10-runned in every game to winning two league games and making our program more competitive.”
Battle Mountain was on the right end of this delightfully-uncompetitive game. Sophomore pitcher Chris Duran gave up a leadoff single and a run scoring double to start the bottom of the first and that was it. No Longhorn reached base after that. Duran wasn’t over-powering with two strikeouts, but he threw strikes and let his defense take care of the rest. Most impressively, he allowed no free passes in the form of walks or hit batters.
And as Huskies fans have discovered this year, their team can hit. Joe LyBarger tied it up in the second with an RBI single, scoring Donnie Cuomo. Mike Jones had two-run double in the fourth and then the Huskies hung up 10 on the Longhorns to close the season.
Jones went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Donnie Cuomo was 2-for-4 and Cameron Brown was 2-for-3. Jon Simpson definitely brought his hitting shoes, going 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Battle Mountain added Basalt to its win column along with Coal Ridge, Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs. Within the 4A Slope, Delta, Palisade and Eagle Valley are still well above Battle Mountain, but the team was also competitive in contests against league foes like Moffat County and Palisade.
“Two years ago, if you told me that we would start winning league games, I’d have said you were crazy,” Spannagel said. “The separation between us and the league was so huge.”
Next up for the Huskies is informal summer ball.
Coal Ridge 2, Vail Mountain 1
SILT – Coal Ridge clinched the 3A Slope soccer title for the second year in a row by defeating Vail Mountain, 2-1, Thursday.
The Titans built a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first half, before VMS made it interesting late. Bridget Moffet fed Ell Knust, who beat three Titans defenders and hit a left-footed rocket into the right panel to halve the lead.
“They’re a very strong side,” Gore Rangers coach Bob Bandoni said. “I think our kids stepped up and I think we played within ourselves. We were disciplined and we gave ourselves some chances. Hats off to Coal Ridge for winning the league.”
Both teams are not done before next week’s playoffs begin. The Titans visit storied Bandoni Alumni Field today at 4 p.m. in the regular-season finale.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.