Demons, Rifle knocked out in district tourneys

Staff Report

GREELEY – Glenwood Springs Demons coach Mike Laster equated Saturday’s baseball game to David and Goliath.

Seventh seed and district tournament host Greeley West is near the top of the Class 4A enrollment cap, while Glenwood is near the bottom – a difference of almost 700 students.

Goliath won this battle.

The Spartans exploded for 14 runs in the second inning and cruised to a 15-1 five-inning victory here Saturday in the first round of the district tournament.

Greeley West went on to defeat Broomfield 5-4 later in the day to advance to the eight-team State Tournament.

“I knew all the moons would have to be aligned correctly for us to play with them,” Glenwood head coach Mike Laster said. “After the first inning we found out we could play with them. In the second inning their bats just came alive.”

The 26th-seed Demons took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the opening frame. Greeley West quickly made up for it in the bottom half as the teams headed into the second inning knotted at 1-all.

In the bottom of the second inning, things unraveled for Glenwood.

Josiah Ziegler tagged a three-run homer to open up the scoring in the stanza, and Aaron Phillips and Sean Belfiore each had two-run blasts later in the frame as the Spartans racked up 11 hits.

Glenwood went through a trio of pitchers during the run with starter Andrew Blake only lasting one out into the inning before being replaced by Justin Jerome. Jerome made it one more out before Tiernan Conway came in and closed out the inning.

“I think it stems from the fact that our best pitchers in the Western Slope are their normal pitchers they face every day,” Laster said. “They are a darn good hitting team. They are sound fundamentally at the plate and sound fundamentally in the field.

“Our boys held their heads high and tried their best, but it was definitely a long second inning.”

Neither team scored again in the game, as Conway stemmed the rush of runs and the Demons never got their bats going.

Glenwood finished with four hits in the game to 12 by the Spartans.

Conway led the Demons with a 2-for-2 showing that included a double. Blake, who was saddled with the pitching loss was 1-for-2 with a triple and drove in the team’s only run. Jeremy Ureche accounted for the other hit.

While the Demons certainly would have preferred a stronger showing in their final game, Laster, in his first season as head coach, was pleased with the progress of the squad.

“I’m really happy with the boys and I think we’ve come a long way as a team,” Laster said. “We went out there and beat Rifle, and beat Delta. Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and we did. We’d like to do more than that next year.”

Glenwood ends the year with a record of 8-8.

Greeley West 15, Glenwood 1

Glenwood Springs 100 00-1 4 3

Greeley West 1(14)0 0x-15 12 0

Andrew Blake, Justin Jerome (2), Tiernan Conway (2) and Jeremy Ureche. Wiedeman and Costinett.

GLENWOOD – Tom Suazo 0-2, John Faris 0-1, Blake 1-2 (3B), Ureche 1-2, Jerome 0-1, Brock Milhorn 0-2, Brian Raymond 0-2, Conway 2-2 (2B), Mike Hoban 0-1, Taylor Wilde 0-1.

GREELEY WEST – Jorgenson 2-3, Roth 2-2, Ziegler 2-3 (HR), Phillips 1-2 (HR), Roup 1-3 (2B), Costinett 2-3 (2B), Belifiore 2-3 (HR), Gregg 0-2, Bunting 1-2 (2B).

Widefield 10, Rifle 8

PUEBLO – Saturday’s Class 4A district playoff game between Rifle and Widefield was decided by the big inning.

Widefield, the No. 24 seed, scored six runs in the second inning and held off No. 9 Rifle for a 10-8 victory here Saturday. The loss ended the season for the Bears, while Widefield lost to Pueblo Central 10-0 later in the day.

The six-run second inning gave Widefield a comfortable 7-1 advantage until the Bears rallied for five runs in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead to one. It was as close as Rifle would get as the teams traded runs for the next four innings.

Rifle ace Jason Enewold, who was solid except for the second, was saddled with the loss after five innings of work.

The Rifle offense was led by Scott Van Slyke’s pair of doubles and Kip Jessup went 2-for-3.

Rifle, the Western Slope League champions, finish the year with a record of 15-5.

Widefield 10, Rifle 8

Widefield 160 101 1-10 17 2

Rifle 105 101 0-8 9 4

Parsons, Dusky (3), Porter (6) and Debusk. Jason Enewold, Owen Madison (6) and Scott Van Slyke.

No other information was made available to the Post Independent.

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