Big second inning does in Demons against Indians
A nine-run second inning propelled the Montrose Indians to a 14-5 win over the Glenwood Springs Demons Wednesday afternoon in Glenwood in a non-league matchup.
Facing off against the Demons for the second time in five days, the Indians’ bats went to work once again, scoring at least one run in five of the seven innings played on the day, highlighted by the nine-run second that busted the game wide open.
“We had three errors in that inning, and misplayed a ball,” Glenwood head coach Eric Nieslanik said following the loss. “Those plays really hurt us. I don’t know how many hits they even had in the inning, but if you compile the errors and free passes and give that to a good hitting team like Montrose, that put us in a hole real quick.”
Coming off of an 11-1 win Saturday over Glenwood in the Montezuma-Cortez tournament, Montrose rode into town Wednesday riding high, and quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Junior Indy Laird led off the game for the Indians with a single to left-center, before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Jayden Lopez, putting a runner in scoring position quickly. Junior Dustin Boone drew a walk to put two runners on with just one out, which led to a groundball by senior Jared Miller that should have resulted in a double play behind Glenwood starting pitcher Chano Gonzalez, but the exchange at second base was slow to develop, allowing Miller to beat out the throw, while allowing Laird to score from second for a 1-0 Montrose lead.
Holding the one-run lead heading into the bottom of the first, Laird took the mound for the Indians and struggled to settle in, allowing an infield single to Glenwood senior Tyler Boyd. With Boyd on first, Montrose’s catcher tried to pick off the Glenwood senior, but the throw sailed into right field, allowing Boyd to race to third with no outs in the bottom of the frame.
Two batters later, Gonzalez hit a towering home run to left field on a 2-2 count, giving the Demons a 2-1 lead. Following Gonzalez’s blast, senior Davis Deaton blooped a single into centerfield, and senior Jake Brown doubled down the right field line, putting runners at second and third with just one out in the inning.
Laird then spiked a pitch into the dirt, allowing Deaton to race home from third to give the Demons a 3-1 lead, but Glenwood couldn’t drive home Brown, stranding the senior at third.
With a 3-1 lead to work with, Gonzalez continued to throw well on the mound, but he was in the zone too much, allowing the Indians to make solid contact early and often in the second inning.
Montrose junior Dylan James led off the top of the second inning with a single into center before stealing second. Sophomore Dillon Shaw walked and senior Tristan Church reached on a Glenwood error, loading the bases.
Senior Lucas Roy then roped a shot to third base that the Glenwood defender couldn’t handle, allowing James to score from third, keeping the bases loaded with the Indians trailing 3-2.
Four straight hits later — back-to-back singles, a double and a triple — pushed the Montrose lead to 8-3 with none out in the second inning.
Following the two-run triple by Miller that cleared the bases for Montrose, senior Justin Welch walked, but James then popped up into shallow right field. The Glenwood second baseman struggled to get enough depth on the play as the ball popped out of his glove, allowing James to reach first. Fortunately for Glenwood, the Demons were able to throw out Welch at second, making up for the error on the play.
Two batters later the Indians pushed across two more runs to take a 10-3 lead after just two turns at the plate.
“They’re going to be one of the best teams we’ll end up playing all season,” Nieslanik said. “They’re a real strong team; they’re going to come at you. They put the ball in play and do a number of things right offensively.”
Glenwood looked to wake up the bats again after a lengthy top of the second inning. Junior Dylan Lee led off the bottom of the second with a walk, before junior Kai Kanzer singled, and Boyd reached on an error, loading the bases.
Sophomore Ashlan Stolley stepped to the plate and promptly drove in Lee with a sacrifice fly to make it a 10-4 game, but the Demons went on to strand two runners in scoring position, trailing by six runs.
Montrose tacked on another run in the top of the third as Miller singled to right, driving in Boone, making it an 11-4 game.
Glenwood ran into some base-running issues in the bottom of the third, as Brown reached first on a leadoff walk. With one out, sophomore Cole Houston hit a towering drive to left that banged up against the fence for what should have been a double, but Brown misread the ball in the air, getting hung up between first and second. Realizing the ball hit the fence, Brown tried to beat the throw to third, but the Glenwood backstop was called out, keeping Kanzer at first for a long single.
An error on a fly ball to center in the top of the fourth allowed Montrose to push its 12th run of the game across home plate, but that would be all for two innings as Stolley came on in relief for Glenwood, shutting the Indians down.
“We told him [Stolley] to go in there, relax, and get us through a couple of innings,” Nieslanik said. “He kept the ball down, mixed his speeds and did a fantastic job for us. He’s not going to blow it by anybody, but for a young kid, he came into a tough situation and did a really nice job for us.”
Still trailing 12-4 late in the game, Glenwood couldn’t seem to get much going against Roy, who came on in relief of Laird. Brown doubled in the fifth down the rightfield line for his second extra base hit of the game, but two groundouts sandwiched his double before a strikeout looking left him stranded at third.
In the sixth, the Indians put the game away as Roy doubled to right-center, before Laird moved him to third with a single to left. An errant pickoff throw from Stolley allowed Roy to score and Laird to advance to third, making it a 13-4 game.
Boone then drove in Laird two batters later with a single to left to make it 14-4.
With their backs to the wall, Glenwood battled back to extend the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kanzer reached on a hit by pitch, while Boyd and Stolley beat out groundballs for infield singles, loading the bases for Gonzalez. Down to his final strike, Gonzalez lifted a fly ball to deep center that drove in junior Leo Anchondo, who came in as a pinch runner for Kanzer.
Despite pushing the fifth run of the game across the plate to extend the game, Glenwood left two runners in scoring position again, and couldn’t mount an offensive attack in the bottom of the seventh inning, dropping their second game of the season to the Indians.
Sitting at 1-3 on the season, Glenwood welcomes the Steamboat Springs Sailors to Glenwood Saturday morning for a league doubleheader, starting at 11 a.m.