Bears end summer with tourney win
RIFLE – Usually, hammering out a nine-run inning is enough to win a baseball game.That wasn’t the case for Rifle on Sunday as the Bears fell 15-11 to Fruita in the last game of the Rifle Tournament.Down 10-1 going into the bottom of the third inning, Eli Snead jump-started a rally for the Bears by smacking a triple to right field. He later scored after Fruita made an error on a Bryce Enewold grounder.
Then Fruita did its part to help Rifle’s comeback effort, walking six consecutive batters. After Rifle scored four runs, Snead knocked in another with a sacrifice fly, and Enewold picked up an RBI with a triple. Eight Bears scored in the inning, and Enewold scored twice to tie the game at 10.Fruita put together a rally of its own in the fourth inning, scoring five runs after hitting one triple, one double and three singles. Rifle scored one more run in the bottom of the inning before the game was called due to a two-and-one-half hour time limit. “The guys stepped up and really hit the ball well,” Snead said of his teammates. “Then (Fruita) came back, and we ran out of time.”Despite losing the last game, Rifle still managed to win the tournament by winning three games earlier in the weekend. The Bears first defeated Elizabeth 10-2 on Friday and then downed Machebeuf 7-1 and crushed Denver South 31-1 on Saturday. Uriel Quezada, Asa Fix and Zach Whitmore all threw complete games in Rifle’s wins.
The tournament wrapped up Rifle’s summer season, which included numerous tournaments all over the state. “It had some rough times,” Enewold said of the summer season. “We struggled a little bit, but we came through in the last tournament. It was pretty fun.”For a number of players, like Snead, Enewold and Quezada, the tournament was their last time playing in Rifle jerseys. Enewold, who played catcher for the Bears for four years, said he enjoyed playing baseball for Rifle.
“It’s been amazing – all four years coming through the program. First playing with my brother (Jason) and now trying to teach the younger kids and keep the program going,” Enewold said. “It’s been amazing.”Enewold plans to attend Mesa State in the fall and will walk on to the college’s baseball team. Quezada will go to Colorado Mountain College and play soccer, and Snead will be heading to Western State College, but said that he won’t be playing baseball.Even though his time on the diamond is done, Snead said he liked the time he spent there.”It has been great. Coach (Troy) Phillips has been an awesome coach all four years I have been here. He teaches you great stuff about life,” Snead said. “It’s been fun to hang out with the guys – a lot of fun.”
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.