Cardinals hit the road for ‘home’ opener
EL JEBEL – Give the Grand Valley baseball team solid marks for effort. At the very least, the Cardinals managed to get one game in before going on spring break.The process head coach Jeff Bradley had to endure to squeeze in the 8-7 nonleague loss to Aspen did take superhuman qualities to pull off.Originally, the scheduled doubleheader with the Skiers was slated for Parachute, but the field at Cottonwood Park was too muddy to play due to wet weather.
Unable to locate a ballfield nearby, Bradley was able to secure El Jebel’s Field.Then, the umpires came late. The 40 minute-plus delay put the faith of the second game in jeopardy due to Grand Valley’s having to vacate the field by 4 p.m. due to another area high school’s team practice.The Cardinals woes continued when they took the field.
Aspen, who absorbed a 16-1 thrashing from Paonia Thursday, jumped out to a 3-0 lead, on solo runs in each of the first three innings.Grand Valley pulled the deficit back to 3-2 with a two-run rally in the bottom of the third, due to an Aspen defensive lapse and Brandon Nelson’s RBI double.The score held to the fifth when the Skiers broke loose for five runs against losing pitcher Ty Jensen. Aspen used three singles, two walks and two infield errors to take an 8-5 lead.
Jensen threw more than 140 pitches with nine strikeouts in seven innings for Grand Valley.The Cardinals made it close by scoring four runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth. Grand Valley sent eight hitters up to the plate in the fifth, highlighted by Matt Thompson’s long RBI-triple. Danny Manzanares, on a two-out walk, scored the Cardinals last run when he came home from third on a wild pitch.As a final irony to their recent adventure, Grand Valley’s next scheduled game is only a few miles away – in Basalt – on April 6.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.