Carmer’s big day lifts Glenwood
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Sam Carmer’s day at the plate Tuesday breathed new life into the lineup of the Glenwood Springs High School baseball team. To go with that, it also breathed life into the Demons’ postseason hopes.
Carmer went 4-for-4 batting with a double, triple and five RBIs for the Demons, who kept their hopes of reaching the Class 4A state playoffs alive with their 8-3 victory over Rifle at the Glenwood Springs Middle School baseball field.
“That was the best baseball game we’ve played this season so far,” the Glenwood junior said. “Everything was clicking, and we didn’t make any mental mistakes like we have in the past. It all came together.”
And it’s coming together at the right time for the Demons (9-7 overall, 6-5 Class 4A Western Slope League play), who won their second consecutive game following a three-game skid that put their postseason hopes in jeopardy. Now Glenwood, a year after posting a 5-14 overall record in 2013, still has a chance of reaching the 4A playoffs. The top three finishers in the league standings earn an automatic berth in the state playoffs.
“We’re still alive,” said Glenwood coach Eric Nieslanik, whose team plays at fifth-ranked Delta (14-2, 10-1) on Thursday and finishes the season with a home doubleheader against Summit (4-9, 1-7) on Saturday. “That Delta game is a pretty tall order, but we had to win ’em all headed into this stretch to make it anyway.”
Chase Nieslanik (6-2) went the distance for the Demons, allowing five hits and four walks with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. The junior lefthander allowed an RBI single to Teig Hauer in the first inning that gave the Bears a 1-0 lead, but Glenwood answered with eight unanswered runs to take control.
And the Demons did it off of Rifle starter Bailey Hoffmeister (6-2), whose 1.02 ERA coming into the game was ranked seventh among Class 4A pitchers. Hoffmeister went the distance, allowing seven earned runs and 11 hits with eight strikeouts and four walks, one of them intentional.
“That’s incredible the kind of season he’s having,” Carmer said. “It’s it’s also pretty good that we’re able to hit that well off a pitcher who’s that good.”
Rifle senior catcher Wyatt Robinson hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to pull the Bears (10-7, 7-5) within five runs, but Rifle wasn’t able to continue its rally. The Bears are also chasing the league’s third automatic state playoff berth, but only have a league doubleheader Saturday at Battle Mountain (4-10, 0-10) remaining. Rifle is also chasing Eagle Valley (8-6-1, 6-4), which still has to play at Battle Mountain on Thursday and has a doubleheader against second-place Palisade (11-6, 9-3) on Saturday before finishing the season at Summit on May 6.
Carmer, however, made sure the Bears were chasing the Demons from the start.
After Rifle took its initial 1-0 lead, Glenwood’s Keifer Brocker led off the Demons’ half of the first inning with a bad-hop double before Ian Scrunton’s bunt single that hugged the first-base line put runners on first and third base. Hoffmeister struck out Chris Sarabia for the first out, and Carmer followed with a two-run double before advancing to third base on an outfield error, and the Demons held a 3-1 lead.
Steve Romero drove in Chris Sarabia on a fielder’s choice in the third, making it 4-1. In the fourth, Scrunton drove in Quinn Kimminau on a groundout before Hoffmeister intentionally walked Sarabia to load the bases. Up came Carmer, who lined a triple to right-center field to clear the bases and give Glenwood an 8-1 lead.
“I think they were playing the percentages at that point,” coach Nieslanik said. “Sam made them think about that again, though.”
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The Glenwood Springs High School girls swim and dive team capped an undefeated season over the weekend, winning the Southwest Conference finals in dominating fashion.