Bears baseball sweeps Elizabeth
RIFLE – Over 5 hours of baseball is grueling to play. But when you sweep both games of a doubleheader, like Rifle did against nonleague Elizabeth Saturday, the grind is a lot easier.
“A lot of it is mental” said coach Troy Phillips after the Bears’ twin victories over the Cardinals from the Denver Metropolitan League.
“The guys have to not let their heads wander when they’re out there for a while.”
Rifle kept its focus in both games, earning 8-2 and 7-1 wins to raise its unbeaten record to 3-0.
In the first game, Jason Enewold pitched a complete game four-hitter, with 10 strikeouts for his second win of the year.
The senior also broke the game open offensively.
His steal of home, part of a double steal in the third inning with Josh May at first, sparked a three-run rally.
Enewold’s score, along with RBI singles from Scott Van Slyke and Shane Fazzi, gave Rifle a 4-0 lead.
The lead was more than enough for Enewold.
Elizabeth came back with two runs in the top of the fourth. It turned out to be the largest run production the Cardinals would have all day.
After a scoreless fourth, Rifle retaliated in the fifth. The Bears pushed across four runs in the inning on RBI singles by Owen Madison, Van Slyke and Nick Babler, to go up by six.
Enewold closed the game by allowing Elizabeth one base runner in the final three innings.
Van Slyke, who had four hits in six at bats in the doubleheader, provided the key hit of game two.
In the second inning, The senior blasted a two-run homer over the right-field fence off Elizabeth starter Joe Gibb to break a scoreless tie.
Rifle added three runs the next inning and solo tallies in the fourth and fifth for comfort as Madison and reliever Josh May limited Elizabeth to a single run.
It was Madison’s first win as a varsity pitcher. The senior went five innings and had four strikeouts before turning the ball over to May for the last two innings.
The outings were encouraging to Phillips, who said they will be successful “as long as they throw strikes.”
“We weren’t ahead as often as I would like to be in the count. But luckily we came back and got ground-ball outs.”
Rifle’s infield turned a double play in each game and had a number of force-outs at second base to kill potential Elizabeth rallies.
The Bears have four games scheduled next week – all on the road. Rifle begins the trip Tuesday for a single game at Montrose. On Thursday, the Bears travel to Denver Thomas Jefferson for another solo contest, then finish with a doubleheader at Canon City on Saturday.
Rifle 8-7, Elizabeth 2-1
Elizabeth 000 020 0 -2 4 3
Rifle 013 040 x-8 9 2
Simon Berry, Jeremy Mironas (6) and Nathan Mironas; Jason Enewold and Scott Van Slyke.
ELIZABETH – Gibb 0-4, Berry 1-3, Weber 0-3, Lucero 1-3, Wilson 0-2, Lessard 2-3, Nathan Mironas 0-2, White 0-2, Gee 0-1, Jeremy Mironas 0-3.
RIFLE – Krick 0-3, Enewold 0-2, Madison 3-4, 2B, Josh May 1-2, Van Slyke 3-3, 2B, Fazzi 1-2, Jessup 0-1, Cook 0-1, Babler 1-3, Travis May 0-2, Jones 0-1.
Rifle 023 110 0-7 9 1
Elizabeth 001 000 0-1 8 4
Owen Madison, Josh May (6) and Scott Van Slyke; Joe Gibb, Jeremy Mironas (4), Aaron Hanson (5) and Nathan Mironas.
RIFLE- Babler 1-3, Enewold 2-4, Madison 2-4, Josh May 1-4, 2B, Van Slyke 1-2, HR, Fazzi 0-2, Snead 0-1, Jessup 2-4, Travis May 0-2, Cook 0-1, Krick 0-3.
ELIZABETH-Gibb 1-4, 3B, Berry 3-4, Hansen 1-4, Lucero 1-3, 1-2, Wilson 0-2, Weber 1-3, Mironas, 0-3, Derring, 2-3.
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