Florence tops Roaring Fork | PostIndependent.com

Florence tops Roaring Fork

Brandon Hopper
Canon City Daily Record
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

FLORENCE, Colorado – There were only six hits on Saturday. The Florence Huskies and Roaring Fork Rams split them evenly.

Unluckily for the No. 28-seeded Rams, the fifth-seeded Huskies hogged most of the runs, winning a 3-1 elimination game in the first round of the 3A District 4 baseball tournament.

The Rams’ season ended at 11-9. Florence improved to 12-8.

Huskies senior ace Ryan Hobgood struck out 11 Rams and walked only one to pick up the win. The Rams’ first four hitters in the lineup combined to go 0 for 12.

Outshined by Hobgood was Roaring Fork starting pitcher Thomas Cerise. The Rams senior gave up three hits and allowed just two earned runs. He struck out four and walked three.

“[Hobgood] threw well,” Rams coach Marty Madsen said after he gave his team a postgame speech for the final time this season. “He kind of outdueled Thomas there. We spotted them a few runs in the first, and then Thomas settled in and threw the way he has all year.”

The Huskies got all three of their runs in the first inning when Cerise gave up his three walks – one came with the bases loaded. The Huskies got just one hit in the inning when Hobgood singled.

“The first inning was just a little rough but my defense made some plays for me,” Cerise said. “After that, I just trusted them and they made great plays.”

Rams right fielder Danny Javalera made two diving catches and first baseman Johnny Nieslanik made a sliding grab right in front of the Rams’ dugout to end the sixth.

“We made the plays behind him, but [Hobgood] kept us off-balanced [at the plate],” Madsen said. “We just didn’t get enough hits. It seems like there were a couple innings where we were just one hit away from getting back into it. … It’s that crazy game of baseball.”

The Rams stranded two runners in scoring position and one made the final out at third. After singling in the fourth, Shea Nieslanik stole second. The ball got three feet away from shortstop Zach Hoxie, but the Rams senior didn’t seem to see where it went when he committed to go to third. He was tagged out to end the inning.

Shea Nieslanik and brother Tanner combined for the team’s only hits, the run and the RBI.

Hobgood went 2 for 3 for the Huskies.

Florence coach Shane Reeves was worried about the Rams’ speed on the base paths going into the game. Shea Nieslanik and Tanner Gianinetti each stole two bases and Tanner Nieslanik snagged one.

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