Chick digs the long ball in Rifle win
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
PEACH VALLEY, Colorado – Not the biggest of guys, Cody Chick doesn’t resemble a prototypical power hitter. But when he connects, the Rifle senior can send the baseball a long way.
“I’ve always somewhat had a little bit of power,” he said. “I’m not a very big guy, but it’s just the quick-twitch muscles and the little bit of strength I do have.”
Chick showcased that power in a big way on Tuesday, belting a grand slam and three-run home run to lift the Bears to a 12-9 win at Coal Ridge.
Rifle’s center fielder hammered a three-run shot over the right-field fence – an opposite-field blast – in the fourth inning and then capped a six-run rally in the fifth inning by muscling the ball off the scoreboard just beyond the fence in left field.
The latter gave the Bears the lead for the first time all afternoon. They trailed 6-0 after three innings and 8-3 after four.
“That second one was really clutch,” Rifle coach Troy Phillips said. “That kind of changed the momentum in one swing.”
Phillips’ squad has had a flair for fifth-inning rallies – through its first two games, anyway. After putting up 10 runs in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 10-1 win over Aspen, the Bears came alive for six in the same frame on Tuesday.
“It was the same exact thing as last weekend,” Chick said with a laugh. “We just feed off the positive energy from everybody.”
A disciplined approach at the plate drove Rifle’s latest fifth-inning heroics.
The Bears capitalized on six walks and an error. Chick’s slam was the only hit of the inning.
“They weren’t hitting the ball real well early,” Coal Ridge coach Joe Bledsoe said. “Then, when [starting pitcher] Nate [Terrin] started to get tired, they were waiting on him. When other guys came in, they made them work. They played a smart game. You can’t fault them for that.”
Rifle tacked on three more runs in the sixth. Triston Quigley drove in two of those on a triple into the right-center field gap. Danny Bartels chipped in with an RBI double
The Titans, who were playing their first game of 2011, scratched a run across in the seventh to round out the final count.
“Obviously, we had a little rust that needed to be kicked off, but I can’t complain too much,” Bledsoe said. “I thought we looked pretty good for the first time. We’re going to improve and keep going.”
Cameron Cotton, Cole Ryan and Korbyn Brown combined for eight hits to pace the Coal Ridge offense, which scored two runs apiece in the first through fourth innings.
Cotton went 3 for 3 with three doubles, four runs and an RBI. Ryan went 2 for 3 with a double, triple and an RBI and Brown was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Chick’s two-homer, seven-RBI performances coincided with a 2-for-4 showing at the plate for Rifle.
Hunter Finger rebounded from a shaky start to gut out the complete-game win on the mound for the Bears.
“At one point, we were thinking about making a change,” Phillips said. “He said, ‘Just give me one more inning.’ That’s about when he turned it around.”
Next up for Phillips and the Bears is a Saturday doubleheader at Olathe. The first pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Coal Ridge will play host to Basalt at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
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The Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge experienced vandalism in the form of significant water damage after a man removed a pipe valve with a fire extinguisher flooding four hallways. The lodge however remains open and operational.