Demons take on Spartans in districts

Staff Report

Glenwood Springs Demon baseball coach Mike Laster has a relatively simple game plan headed into Saturday’s district-round playoff matchup against Greeley West.

“We’re going to have to be able to capitalize on their mistakes and, if they do happen, we’re going to have to manufacture runs and we’re going to have to play defense,” Laster said. “It comes down to those three things.”

In other words, the 26th seeded Demons have to play like they’ve played the past three games in order to upset the seventh-seed Spartans.

Glenwood (8-7) enters Saturday’s 9 a.m. contest against host Greeley West (14-5) on a three-game winning streak, which the Demons capped Monday with a 7-1 dismantling of Western Slope League power Delta.

A big part of the win over Delta was the pitching arm of Andrew Blake, and he’ll be on the mound again.

“If Andrew Blake can hold off the third or fourth ranked hitting team in the (Class 4A), then he can probably keep Greeley West off balance too,” Laster said.

While the Tri-Valley League team doesn’t have the numbers of Delta, it does have some dangerous players. Aaron West brings a .426 average to the plate and has four homers this season, while Josiah Ziegler hits .352.

Ziegler, however, is more dangerous on the mound than at the plate. Ziegler boasts a minuscule 0.66 ERA and has 58 strikeouts on the season. If he doesn’t pitch, Glenwood may see Matt Meyer and his 0.69 ERA.

“I think in order for us to have success we can’t count on three or four people,” Laster said. “We need contributions from all nine. And in the past three games we’ve had it.”

Senior Justin Jerome leads the Glenwood attack with a .464 average, while sophomore John Faris joins him in the 400 club with a .413 average. Brock Milhorn, Mike Hoban and Brian Raymond also have averages in the high 300s.

The winner of the early game will play the winner of the contest between No. 10-seed Broomfield and No. 23-seed and fellow Slope team Moffat County at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

The winner of the district quadrant advances to the State Tournament round of eight. The round of eight changes to a double-elimination format.

“I think the team right now is hungry and playing some good baseball,” Laster said. “If they continue to stay focused, they can go down there and have a shot. Baseball is a game where you’ve got to play the game – anything can happen.”

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