Vail Valley preps: Huskies baseball downs Coal Ridge, 12-9
NEW CASTLE – Joe Webb threw the pitch. He jammed the Coal Ridge batter, who meekly popped the ball up to shortstop. Mike Jones was there to glove it, and with that, Battle Mountain baseball is the win column for the first time in 2010.
The Huskies downed Coal Ridge, 12-9, Thursday, snapping a 10-game losing streak dating back to last year’s season finale against Lake County. And for a program usually snow-bound and looking to gain its footing, this is a big one.
“It feels crazy. I never thought it be like this,” Jones said. “Any win is a win. We’re just happy to get a win. It was a great team effort.”
Battle Mountain baseball has been playing better this year, but with minimal outdoors time even during a pretty mild spring by mountain standards – the team’s home field at the new campus is still not ready yet – it’s hard to tell looking at scores against the better teams in the 4A Slope like Delta, Palisade and Eagle Valley.
“It’s huge,” said Huskies manager Jason Spannagel, who’s done well to keep the squad in good shape during an 0-10 start. “The guys are really excited. This will give them a boost of confidence going into Glenwood.”
The Huskies take on Glenwood Springs Saturday for a pair, starting at 11 a.m. at the old diamond at Eagle-Vail. But at least until practice today, it’s time for the Huskies to savor the win.
Chris Duran got the start for the Huskies against the Titans and did his job, keeping his team close and soaking up 5 2/3 inning. While he got touched up in the sixth when he was tiring, his solid pitching was critical because Battle Mountain was struggling at the plate.
Down 3-0 in the fourth Guy Garth got it going with a triple. He, Jones and Davey Honda helped tie the game. But more importantly it set the stage for the fifth.
Jones said that Garth’s triple gave him a little confidence at the plate and that paid dividends. Jones launched a three-run homer down the left-field line that gave the Huskies the lead for good.
“It’s crazy holding back your smile as you’re running around the bases,” Jones said. “It feels great getting to home plate with everybody waiting.”
Battle Mountain added some insurance with a six-run sixth. The Huskies brought the lumber with Garth, Jones, Honda, Donnie Cuomo, Joe LyBarger and Jon Simpson all knocking in runs. Andrew Pellerito also went 2-for-4.
Webb came in to get the final four outs for the save for Battle Mountain (1-10, thank you very much.)
Battle Mountain 5, Rifle 0
EDWARDS – Quite tidy.
Battle Mountain soccer made short work of Rifle, dispatching the Bears, 5-0 on an unseasonably warm night in Edwards.
Lizzie Seibert got the first two for Battle Mountain. The senior scored on a helper from Haille Hogfeldt in the 11th minute. In the 20th minute, Maddie LyBarger served up a perfect corner and Seibert headed the ball toward the net. A Rifle defender instinctively shielded her head with her hands to protect herself. While not intentional, that is a red card and a penalty kick which Seibert converted.
LyBarger assisted on the next two for the Huskies (Rosie Davies and Kelli Lindsay). And then No. 9 got her own penalty for well-deserved one-goal, two-assist night.
“She’s really playing well,” Huskies coach David Cope said. “She’s been our stalwart. We’ve had other girls missing games because of spring break. Maddie’s there and gets the game-winner in (overtime) against Moffat. We have kids going on college trips, and Maddie’s there, holding down the fort.”
Battle Mountain (8-2) hosts Moffat County Saturday at 2 p.m. and then has a big one against Glenwood Springs Tuesday, also in Edwards.
Glenwood Springs 9, Eagle Valley 0
GYPSUM – The Eagle Valley soccer team had a tough outing against one of the best teams in the league, losing to Glenwood Springs, 9-0.
Eagle Valley hits the road Tuesday for a game at Montrose.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.