Bartels, Bears survive Sailors’ comeback |

Bartels, Bears survive Sailors’ comeback

Jon Mitchell
Post Independent Sports Editor
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Jon Mitchell Post IndependentRifle High School pitcher Danny Bartels prepares to pitch to Cutter Pasternak of Steamboat Springs during the first inning of the Bears' 8-5 Class 4A Western Slope League victory Monday at Deerfield Park. Bartels went the distance, striking out 15 and allowing two earned runs in seven innings.

RIFLE, Colorado – Five strong innings on the mound by Danny Bartels put Rifle High School’s baseball team in a position to win Monday. Two strong innings by the Steamboat Springs Sailors’ lineup made the game interesting.

Bartels escaped a stingy Sailors’ lineup, finishing with 15 strikeouts and just one walk despite a three-run seventh inning by Steamboat in the Bears’ 8-5 Class 4A Western Slope League victory at Deerfield Park.

“I was just hitting spots, really,” said Bartels, who earned all-state recognition while pitching in the 3A WSL last season. “I was able to hit the outside corner low and outside consistently and the curveball was right where I wanted it every pitch.

“Those other innings, I was hitting spots,” the senior righthander continued. “They were just getting hits that were, well, frustrating. They weren’t really hit hard, but you can’t really do anything about those.”

Bartels allowed just two earned runs in all and twice had the Sailors down to their final strike in the top of the seventh inning. But after Koby Bishop’s RBI single after a bases-loaded error allowed two runs to score, Bartels struck out Matt Regan looking to close the game out.

“They found ways to put the ball in play there at the end,” Rifle coach Troy Phillips said. “Danny was pretty dominant today, and they found some end-of-the-bat singles that allowed them to keep things going and keep things interesting.”

Rifle (3-1 overall, 1-0 league) got plenty of offensive production of its own, however. Bartels finished 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, Wyatt Robinson doubled twice, Angel Diaz had an RBI double, and Triston Quigley’s RBI double in the sixth inning gave Rifle an 8-2 lead.

Steamboat (1-3, 0-1) finished with six hits, with four of them coming in the top of the seventh inning. The Sailors also got a solo home run from Cutter Pasternak to lead off the sixth inning – the first real sign of life from the Steamboat lineup.

The Sailors had another chance early, however.

With Rifle up 5-0, Pasternak reached on a dropped infield pop up to lead off the Sailor’s top of the fourth inning. A bloop single from Bishop followed, and Regan walked to load the bases with nobody out. Ryan Jeep drove Pasternak in from third base on a groundout to second baseman Teig Hauer, but Bartels followed up by striking out Billy Clark and Jesse Pugh to end the threat.

The Bears answered in the bottom half of the inning. Bailey Hoffmeister singled, and, after Pugh struck Quigley out, Bartels and Diaz followed with back-to-back RBI doubles down the left-field line to give Rifle all the runs they would need.

Regan took the loss on the mound for the Sailors, allowing five earned runs and seven hits in three innings. Rifle finished with 11 hits.

The game was originally scheduled for this past Saturday before inclement field conditions moved it to a single-game matchup Monday and a matchup in Steamboat Springs on May 2. Steamboat hosts a doubleheader against Eagle Valley on Saturday, and Rifle hosts a single game against Delta on April 2.

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