Bears rebound, split league twin bill against Panthers
DELTA — Wednesday afternoon’s doubleheader split against the Delta High School baseball team was pretty special to Rifle Bears coach Troy Phillips, and he made sure his team knew that.
“I told the guys that this was one of the more satisfying wins I’ve ever had in my time coaching here,” said Phillips about his talk to his team after a 7-6 victory that followed its 15-3 loss to the Panthers. “The fact that we played so poorly in the first game, didn’t get down and were able to play so much better in the second game. They were really able to rise above their own abilities against a quality team, and it was a great thing to see them do that.”
Rifle (8-6 overall, 4-5 class 4A Western Slope League play) got a pair of clutch hits from Gabe Marbas and a double from Wyatt Carter in the second game. The Bears snapped a 5-all tie when Marbas hit a no-out RBI single in the top of the seventh to drive in Takoda Chaney, then tacked on another run when Layton Stutsman scored from third base on a wild pitch.
Chaney finished it from there on the mound for the complete-game victory, finishing with three strikeouts, three walks and three hit batsmen.
In the first game — a game that only lasted five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule — Carter had a two-run double and Morgan Robinson also doubled to pace the Bears offensively. Delta (10-7, 7-5), however, took advantage of several Rifle fielding miscues and blew the game open with a five-run third inning and a six-run fourth.
The games, which were originally scheduled for April 18, were rescheduled for Wednesday after a spring snow storm wiped out much of Colorado’s prep sports schedule.
The Bears will continue league play on Saturday when they host league-leading Palisade (13-2, 10-0) in a league doubleheader.
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At long last, high school basketball teams return to the court this week as part of Colorado’s revamped winter sports lineup, which has been delayed since November due to the coronavirus.