Demons finish a rollercoaster baseball season
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. As Beau Chicoine and Barrett Jensen paired up for one more lap around the outfield, a somber, but proud feeling consumed the field at Glenwood Springs Middle School.Things may not have ended as the Glenwood baseball team had hoped, but for the eight seniors on the team, it was a good ride.Delta swept the Demons in a doubleheader on Saturday (14-8 and 7-1), eliminating them from the playoffs and ending their season. And even though the Demons didn’t get the win, they will be remembered as having one of the most talented senior classes in the school’s history.Chicoine, a four-year starter and all-leaguer who will end his prep career with a batting average near .500, went 2-for-7 with a double in his last day. Jensen, a starter in his junior and senior years after transferring from Roaring Fork, was a wall behind the plate as catcher both seasons. Jensen went 5-for-7 with a walk, a run and an RBI in the two games against Delta.Another standout senior was Chance Stevens, the Demons’ cleanup hitter who also earned a 6-2 record as a pitcher in his senior campaign. Tim Cashel, who batted around .500 on the year, was a perfect leadoff hitter in his senior year, reaching base in each of Glenwood’s games this season. Connor Jackson smacked three hits in his final day as a Demon, capping off a successful career. Dave King, a solid second baseman for Glenwood, also helped the Demons in his final year by reaching base a lot and leading the team in walks.Rounding out the senior class, Nate Forristall and Ryan Blake frequented the Demon lineup, adding power at the plate and skills at first base. Blake pinch hit twice on Saturday, serving up hits and RBIs both times. “This year has been fantastic. We have a lot of experience; unfortunately, we couldn’t take it to the next level and make it to the state playoffs. That was a team goal of ours, but these guys have been great,” said head coach Erik Nieslanik. “When you get to work with that many upperclassmen and that many seniors, it makes a really neat year.”Even with all that talent, as well as some gifted juniors and underclassmen, Glenwood couldn’t overpower Delta on Saturday. After falling behind, 7-2, the Demons busted out a six-run fifth inning in game one to take an 8-7 lead. Delta bounced right back with a seven-run inning, which included a grand slam, to regain the lead and seal the win.In game two, Glenwood hung close and trailed only 3-1 after five innings. Then the Panthers scored three unearned runs to secure their victory. Glenwood hit the ball well and had its chances, but left 13 runners on base in the second contest. “That’s been our season. Up down, great, bad, good, give runs away, steal runs. It’s just been a giant roller coaster and that’s what today’s been,” Nieslanik said. “… It’s one of those ‘what could have been’ things. We had a lot of guys with a lot of good talent, we just didn’t put things together. Today, Delta, they outplayed us.”Glenwood ended the 2007 season with a 7-7 Class 4A Western Slope League record and 9-8 overall. Delta finished 9-5 in the WSL and 10-8 overall and will be one of the four teams to advance to the playoffs from the league.
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.