Controversial call sinks Roaring Fork | PostIndependent.com
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Controversial call sinks Roaring Fork

Post Independent Photo/Jim Noelker Roaring Fork's Jake Boyle is mobbed by his teammates after hitting a three-run homer during the Rams Class 3A Regional playoff game against D'Evelyn High School. The homer gave the Rams a 5-2 lead, but D'Evelyn came back to win 8-7.
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GRAND JUNCTION – D’Evelyn had a lot to do with it, but an umpire’s decision also had some clout in cutting short Roaring Fork’s baseball season.

By Phil Sandoval

Post Independent Staff



GRAND JUNCTION – D’Evelyn had a lot to do with it, but an umpire’s decision also had some clout in cutting short Roaring Fork’s baseball season.



No doubt, the Jaguars should revel in their 8-7 Class 3A regional semifinal victory over the Rams.

But, if the fifth inning had played out differently, Roaring Fork might have been in the regional title game and vying for a state playoff berth.

Instead, Roaring Fork fans left Canyon View Park shaking their heads and asking a lot of questions.

After watching a 2-1 lead slip to a 2-all tie in the fourth inning, the top of the fifth was a great rejuvenator for the Rams. Jake Boyle smacked a tremendous home run with two aboard over the 360-foot marker in left field for a 5-2 lead.

That’s normally enough of a lead for Boyle to the bring the Rams home. But D’Evelyn is a different breed of cat.

Boyle plunked leadoff hitter Justin Hinz with a pitch in the bottom of the fifth, then made up for it by retiring the Jags’ next batter.

Then the dam broke and the ball rolled all D’Evelyn’s way.

“This was a good hitting team,” said Roaring Fork coach Eric Nieslanik of D’Evelyn. “They are going to hit the ball and Jake got high in his pitch count and they put the ball in play.”

Three of D’Evelyn’s next four batters got hits. Nathan Gillespie’s two-run triple, combined with Josh Goetz’s RBI-single, knotted the game at 5-all.

With one baserunner on, Boyle struck out pinch-hitter Cory Cranston to restore order.

The calm didn’t last long.

Josh Schneider, who went on to win the game in relief of starter Jay Soneff, hit a shot that

Roaring Fork: see page 16

Ram fans swear never traveled as far as the umpires claimed.

“The umpire said that (Schneider’s) ball went over the (center field) fence and came back somehow,” said Nieslanik, who contended the ball never left the park. “I don’t know what they saw. I think it was pretty obvious that’s not what happened. We definitely got the short end of the deal.”

But, the ensuing discussion between the Ram coach and the two umps was to no avail. Schneider’s homer stood, and gave the Jaguars an 8-5 lead.

“This was the first time I’ve ever seen a call like that deflate a baseball team,” Nieslanik said. “It took us a couple of innings to rebound from that and it’s tough, because their hearts were in it and they knew that ball didn’t go over the fence – it was a tough situation.”

Schneider made things tougher by retiring the Rams in order in the sixth.

Still reeling from Schneider’s homer, Roaring Fork teetered on the brink of being blown out in the bottom of the sixth.

The Jags loaded the bases with two outs before Taylor Arbaney, Roaring Fork’s second reliever of the game, rang up Peter Ives with an inning-ending strikeout.

The play seem to rev up the Rams, who used an infield error, stolen base, a Schneider wild pitch and Dan Markoya’s single for a run. A couple of batters later, Markoya came home on Arbaney’s single that put Markoya in scoring position to cut the lead to 8-7.

But, the rally died when Schneider whiffed pinch-hitter Misael Fernandez to end the threat.

“I’m proud of them,” Nieslanik said. “It shows the character of these guys, we get down three and we let them get right back in the game and then these guys rally and get after it again. It was beautiful and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.””I’m proud of them,” Nieslanik said. “It shows the character of these guys, we get down three and we let them get right back in the game and then these guys rally and get after it again. It was beautiful and I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”


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