Boyle’s two-hitter ticket for Rams
CARBONDALE – Jake Boyle didn’t pitch a no-hitter against Gunnison, but a two-hitter was OK.
In the most important game of Roaring Fork’s season, Boyle threw the Rams to a 11-1 mercy-rule shortened win over the No. 5 Cowboys on Tuesday to advance to Friday’s semifinal round of the Class 3A Western Slope District baseball tournament.
“Any time we have Jake on the mound we’ve got a chance of winning,” said Roaring Fork coach Eric Nieslanik. “When he’s on, he rallies the team.”
And while Boyle was limiting the Cowboys’ offense, the Ram hitters rallied to their teammate’s aid with plenty of offensive support.
Roaring Fork opened the game by getting its first four hitters aboard. All four of them scored.
Boyle, who also went 4-for-4 at the plate, Dan Markoya, Ben Wright and Miseal Fernandez all had RBI’s in a five-run first inning rally.
That turned out to be plenty.
Gunnison never got close to the Ram lead. Roaring Fork made sure by adding three runs in the third. Two came on Boyle’s two-run Boyle double, plus an RBI base hit from Chad Minor to raise Roaring Fork’s lead to 8-0.
Meanwhile, Boyle who had allowed a leadoff double back in the first, recovered and retired the next 11 straight Gunnison hitters in order before making a rare mistake.
In the fourth, Boyle gave up a long home run to Gunnison clean-up hitter Shawn Hawk – it turned out to be the last basehit the Cowboys would have.
“I still had command. I made a bad pitch,” Boyle said. “(Hawk) is a good hitter and I was trying to throw too hard and the pitch got away from me.”
Boyle ended the threat by striking out Taylor Hofftner to end the inning.
The Ram pitcher also survived a mild scare in the next inning when he allowed Gunnison to load the bases by hitting two batters and walking another.
No problem. With the bases full, Boyle stemmed the rally by catching a short pop-up in front of the mound.
Roaring Fork earned its mercy-rule win by scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning.
On Friday, the Rams face No. 1 seeded Eagle Valley at 4 p.m. in Delta. Eagle Valley advanced on a 21-1 win over Basalt on Tuesday.
Nieslanik said that the Rams will have to be at the top of their game when the face the Devils.
“We will have to play our best,” the coach said. “Eagle Valley is solid with good pitching. We will have to make the plays given to us. If we give them anything, it will hurt us.”
Roaring Fork 11, Gunnison 1
Gunnison 000 10 – 1 2 3
Roaring Fork 503 03 – 11 14 1
Rob Viehman, Taylor Hefftner (2), Klingmuth (5) and Grafton Singer; Jake Boyle and Quinn Garvik.
GUNNISON – Grafton Singer 1-2, Kerry Brown 0-3, Ryan Stuckey 0-2, Shawn Hawk 1-2 (HR), Taylor Hiefftner 0-2, Steve Szaller 0-2, Tyler McGovern 0-1, Chris Coleman 0-2, Cody Bemis 0-1.
ROARING FORK – Max Green 2-4 (2B), Chad Minor 3-3, Dan Markoya 1-3 (2B), Jake Boyle 4-4 (2-2B), Quinn Garvik 1-4, Ben Wright 2-3, Jake Boman 0-2, Misael Fernandez 1-2, Nate Cheney 0-3.
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What had been scheduled as a multi-team high school girls swim meet at Summit High School on Saturday ended up being a three-way affair due to multiple factors including COVID-19 and transportation issues.