Broadhurst, Good drive in three runs each as Rams top Demons
Seniors Drew Broadhurst and Ralph Good drove in three runs each Wednesday afternoon at Ron Patch Memorial Field, helping the Roaring Fork Rams’ baseball team top the visiting Glenwood Springs Demons, 11-0, in a nonleague matchup in Carbondale.
Broadhurst added 10 strikeouts on the mound in the win, limiting the Demons to just three hits as the Rams bounced back from a tough loss Tuesday at home to the Moffat County Bulldogs.
“We beat a solid club today, and that’s a good win for us,” Roaring Fork Head Coach Marty Madsen said following the win. “This will help our RPI rankings for sure, because Glenwood is a very good team. To get six RBIs from those two was key for our team today.”
As the Roaring Fork offense found its stride on the day, Broadhurst dialed in on the mound after a shaky top of the first inning.
The standout senior recorded the first two outs of the game quickly, but Glenwood junior Chano Gonzalez slapped an infield single into the hole at shortstop, and senior Jake Brown roped an opposite-field single to right, putting runners on first and third with two outs.
Broadhurst buckled down for the Rams with runners on the corners, getting his mound counterpart — Glenwood senior Davis Deaton — to ground into a fielder’s choice at second base, sending the Rams into the bottom of the first inning with some momentum.
Following Broadhurst’s escape from the first-inning pickle, the Roaring Fork bats came alive quickly, as sophomore Eli Nickamin led off the game with a walk before advancing to third base on two passed balls. With one out, Broadhurst helped himself by lining an RBI single into right-center, giving the Rams an early 1-0 lead. A single by junior Dawson Kuhl put runners on the corners for the Rams with one out, before sophomore Frankie Harrington reached first base on a catcher’s interference, loading the bases in the bottom of the first inning.
Senior Hector Pelayo came through in the clutch for the Rams, drawing a two-out walk to plate Broadhurst, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead before Glenwood escaped the bases-loaded jam and limiting the damage to just two runs.
With a lead behind him, Broadhurst settled into a zone on the mound for the Rams, allowing just two runners to reach base in the next three innings for Glenwood, thanks to an error and a hit by pitch. The error and hit by pitch occurred in the top of the third inning, as senior Tyler Boyd reached first on an error and Gonzalez reached first on a hit by pitch, putting runners at first and second with two outs. Broadhurst escaped trouble once again, getting Brown to tap a grounder back to the mound before flipping the ball to first baseman Megan Nieslanik to end the inning.
Deaton held the Rams scoreless in the second inning despite allowing singles to sophomore Isabella Hernandez and Good, but in the bottom of the third inning, the senior lefty ran into trouble. Kuhl led off the inning with a sharp single to left-center before senior Layne Crisp reached on an error, allowing Kuhl to score from second and giving the Rams a 3-0 lead.
Two batters later, another Glenwood error allowed Crisp to score, pushing Roaring Fork’s lead to 4-0. Deaton then walked back-to-back hitters, as Nickamin won an 11-pitch battle to reach base, loading things up for the Rams for the second time in three innings at the dish.
“Off and on all season, Davis has been inconsistent on the mound,” Glenwood Springs Head Coach Eric Nieslanik said. “It was just one of those nights where he came out strong, but then struggled with consistency, mainly with walks. It’s not just Davis, either. It’s been our whole pitching staff this season. When we get in trouble, it’s because we give up those free passes, and then you give up that big hit. It just got to us today.”
Facing a bases-loaded situation, Good stepped to the plate and jumped all over a first-pitch fastball, roping a bases-clearing double to right-center and pushing the Rams in front 7-0.
“Before Ralph got to the plate, I thought Isa[bella] and Eli did a great job of passing the bat back by drawing walks,” Madsen said. “That’s something we’ve been talking about lately, is passing the bat around to out top hitters at the top of the order. We were finally able to do that consistently today, and Ralph was due. He put a good swing on the ball.”
Broadhurst took the mound in the top of the fourth inning with a big lead and mowed down the Demons, striking out two batters in the inning, allowing the Rams to get back to the plate.
The Rams continued to show patience at the plate, as Harrington and Crisp led off the bottom of the fourth inning with walks before Pelayo reached on a second catcher’s interference by the Demons, loading the bases with no outs. Following two straight strikeouts with the bases loaded, Nickamin came through in a big spot for the Rams, drawing a walk to push home Harrington to make it an 8-0 game.
A passed ball allowed Crisp to sprint home, making it 9-0, before Broadhurst lined a two-run single to left, making it an 11-0 game.
With the lead in hand, and needing just three outs to end the game, Broadhurst struck out the first batter of the top of the fifth inning before Glenwood junior Leo Anchondo singled to left, giving Glenwood some life late in the game. Broadhust then induced two straight groundouts to end the game, picking up his fourth win of the season.
“When Drew is on the mound, we know we have a chance,” Madsen said. “He’s like a security blanket for us, and when we know we have him going, all we need to do is make some plays behind him and we’ll be in every game.”
Roaring Fork improves to 6-8 (1-5 3A Western Slope League) on the season, while Glenwood Springs drops to 7-6 (5-2 4A Western Slope League). The Rams will host Olathe on Saturday afternoon in Carbondale for Senior Day, while the Demons will have off until April 30, when they host the Eagle Valley Devils.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.