Baserunning key to Rifle’s 8-1 win over Palisade
RIFLE – Best defined baseball is a series of games played within games. And when it comes to playing Smartball, Rifle appears to be among the best.
Travis May’s wits, along with his ability to stop, then start again on the basepaths, allowed Shane Fazzi to steal home as part of a double steal to break open a 1-all tie with Palisade in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s Western Slope League contest.
The Bears’ adept baserunning led to a seven-run rally, which allowed Rifle to coast to a 8-1 victory.
“Any time you have a game with two good pitchers like today. You have to execute all the little things – the baserunning and the bunts – we executed the baserunning part and that’s what made the difference in this game,” said Rifle coach Troy Phillips.
The win raises Rifle’s overall record to 5-1 and 1-0 in the WSL.
Jason Enewold won his fourth game in five outings, with 12 strikeouts while limiting Palisade to two fourth inning singles for their only run.
The senior right-hander was given back the lead by the Bear offense in the fifth.
With one out, Fazzi worked losing pitcher Robert Golitz for a walk, then advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
After Golitz strikeout of designated hitter Matt Jones he unraveled.
A walk to Rifle’s next hitter, Chappie Cook set up the big inning.
Opting for more speed, Phillips inserted May into the game.
Two pitches later, May bolted to second.
At the same time, Fazzi started racing home.
Palisade catcher Todd Delessandro, whose single tied the game back in fourth, fired toward second to nail May.
It never happened.
May stopped, and the confused Palisade infield threw late to get Fazzi at the plate. The run scored, Rifle took the lead.
“That’s a play we run naturally. Whoever is in that position is to pull up two-thirds, then draw the throw and the other guy takes out for home,” said Rifle coach Troy Phillips.
The play worked to perfection. And it unglued Golitz.
After surrendering doubles by Nick Babler and Owen Madison for three Bear runs. The onslaught forced Golitz from the mound to the outfield for the rest of the game.
Reliever Chris Frobom didn’t do much better.
He managed to get the final out of the inning, only after Enewold added a RBI double for the Bears’ seventh run.
Enewold mowed down Palisade with little problem afterwards.
In the game’s last three innings, Enewold allowed one Palisade runner in 10 at bats while striking out seven.
Rifle 8, Palisade 1
Palisade 000 100 0-1 2 0
Rifle 010 070 X-8 6 1
Robert Golitz, Chris Forbom (5) and Todd Delessandro; Jason Enewold and Scott Van Slyke.
PALISADE- Andrew Barney 1-3, Chris Frobom 0-3, Jake Moore 0-3, Todd Delassandro 1-3, John Hakes 0-3, Robert Golitz 0-3, Shelby Caster 0-2, Michael Embrey 0-2, Dustin Harris 0-2.
RIFLE-Nick Babler 1-4 (2B), Eli Snead 0-2, Owen Madison 2-3 (2B), Scott Van Slyke 1-1 (HR), Jason Enewold 1-3 (2B), Shane Fazzi 0-1, Matt Jones 0-3, Chappie Cook 0-1, Travis May 1-1, Adam Krick 0-2.
DELTA 11, GLENWOOD 5
DELTA – The host Panthers belted home runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings for an 11-5 Class 4A Western Slope League victory against Glenwood Springs here Tuesday.
The Demons pulled within four of Delta’s 5-2 early lead in third inning when they scored twice, but could not get any closer to the Panthers.
Justin Jerome led Glenwood with three hits in four at bats, which included a double and a RBI.
Jeremy Ureche stroked a pair of doubles in four at bats and Brock Milhorn also had two hits, that included an RBI triple in the contest.
Glenwood will have its first home game of the year on Thursday afternoon when they host Roaring Fork in a nonleague contest at Glenwood Springs Middle School.
The Demons return to Western Slope League play on Saturday with a home doubleheader against Moffat County.
Delta 11, Glenwood Springs 5
Glenwood 002 001 2-5 10 5
Delta 411 041 X-11 15 2
Tiernan Conway, Justin Jerome (5) and Kyle Millyard; Michael Abayta and Helesing
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