Bears’ rally falls short of win
Post Independent Staff
RIFLE ” Their bills were turned up.
The insides of their hats were out.
Down by five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rifle Bears turned to the rally cap.
And it almost worked.
The Rifle baseball team scored three runs in the last inning, but left the bases loaded when Matt Petree struck out and lost 7-6 to Palisade under the lights Thursday night.
After getting only six hits and scoring two runs through five innings, the Bears finally got back in the game in the final frame.
Kyle Bond started the inning with a pinch-hit walk that was followed by a Steve Wilson double to left field. Charlie Anderson, who got the first hit of the game for the Bears in the third when he slugged a triple, hit an RBI single to make the score 7-3.
Andrew Schmidt then laid down a flawless bunt, leaving Palisade’s pitcher no options for an out and loading the bases for Bryce Enewold, who was the tying run.
But Enewold went down swinging. Uriel Quezada, who pitched a complete game for the Bears, giving up seven runs on 11 hits and striking out three, came up next.
He flied out to the first baseman Matt Munger, leaving two outs and the tying run still at the plate, but this time in the form of Zach Whitmore.
Whitmore hit a sharp grounder to first that was bobbled by Munger. He failed to get anyone out, Wilson scored and Asa Fix, who represented the winning run, came to bat.
Palisade took out starting pitcher Cory Swetnam, who went 6 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and striking out 10, and put Leevi Krable in to face Fix.
Krable threw four balls and walked in Schmidt.
With the go-ahead run on second base, Petree swung with half effort on an inside pitch to strike out and end the game.
Enewold finished the game with two hits and two runs scored for the Bears, while Anderson and Wilson also smacked two hits and scored one run apiece.
With the win, Palisade moves to 9-1 in the Western Slope League and 11-5 overall, and only needs one more win to clinch a playoff berth. Rifle (5-6 WSL, 6-10 overall), on the other hand, has only a slight chance of making the playoffs if it wins the rest of its games and Delta loses to Battle Mountain this weekend. Battle Mountain has yet to win a game this season.
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