Demon baseball team bounces back
In high school baseball, success is usually measured by how well a team learns, then applies the fundamentals of the game.
Often for a young, inexperienced high school team like Glenwood Springs, it takes time and game experience for those elements to take hold.
Not in this case. It took the Demons all of two games to correct some key flawed fundamentals.
After absorbing losses to Emery, Utah (6-3) and Durango (16-2) on Friday in Glenwood’s opening games of the Lloyd McMillan Memorial Baseball Tournament at Montrose High School – where bright spots were few and far between – the Demons came through with a gem on Saturday against Aspen.
Andrew Blake and Josh Russo combined for a 10-0, two-hit shutout of the Skiers that was halted after the fifth inning by the 10-run rule.
The victory, according to head coach Mike Wilde, is a positive stepping stone for Glenwood (1-3), whose Western Slope League opener, tentatively scheduled at Steamboat Springs is less than a week away.
“There were a lot of plusses that came out of that game,” Wilde said. Especially in the pitching department.
After being roughed up by Durango the day before, Blake returned to the mound a day later against Aspen and was throwing a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
The Demons had build a 5-0 lead at that point. All of Glenwood’s runs came off Aspen errors.
But Pat Faurer’s single, combined with a Blake wild pitch and Eddie Monge aboard after being hit by a pitch, put the Demon junior in a bind.
With no outs and two runners in scoring position, Blake promptly worked himself out of the jam.
After striking out Jeff Brence (his seventh of the game), Blake forced Monge into a rundown between third and home after Monge broke to the plate on Ty Gartner’s tapper back to mound.
Demon third baseman Josh Russo applied the tag for the second out of the inning.
“The ball was hit right back at me. The coaches told me to run straight at (Monge). He followed, then he stepped back to third base and we tagged him out easy,” Blake said of the play.
Then Justin Jerome, the Demon shortstop, quashed Aspen’s rally with a perfect toss to catcher Brian Wren, who tagged a stunned Faurer out at the plate on Matt Fox’s ground single into the outfield.
Blake erased an earlier potential Aspen rally by striking out three straight batters after a Glenwood defensive lapse had put two runners on.
“That was a tough spot to get out of because there were runners at second and third with no one out,” recalled Blake. “Striking out those three batters … that was very big.”
Both defensive stands helped fueled Demon rallies.
Jeremy Ureche and Blake scored in the bottom of the third. Then the Demons put the game out of reach the following inning.
The Demons scored three times in the fourth on RBI singles by Ureche and Roberto Olivas.
Olivas was Glenwood’s leading hitter in the tournament with four hits in seven at-bats. One of those hits was a three-run homer against Emery, Utah.
The Aspen game concluded when Brence, in relief of Monge, threw back-to-back wild pitches, allowing pinch-hitters Alex Voda and Seth Smith to score from third.
The Demons’ new-found ability to manufacture runs off opponents’ mistakes is another positive, according to Wilde.
“We were able to get runs when we needed them. That’s the hallmark of a good club, and we’re going to be OK,” Wilde said.
“We just have to keep putting the pieces together.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.