Demons win season opener |

Demons win season opener

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson Glenwood's John Faris, left, slides into second base before Skyview's Joel Rodriguez can tag him out during Saturday's season opener. Glenwood won, 11-10.

The Glenwood Springs baseball team focused on defense in preseason training. It paid off in the season opener Saturday.With Skyview runners on first and third in the seventh inning, the Demons stymied a Wolverines rally with a double play and held on for an 11-10 victory over the Thornton school in Glenwood’s season opener at the Glenwood Springs Middle School field.”This whole week we’ve been stressing defense – hitting comes later,” Glenwood head coach Norm Bolitho said. “The double play in the seventh sealed the game for us.”With an 11-9 lead and no outs, relief pitcher Beau Chicoine enticed Joel Rodriguez into a grounder to second baseman David King. King calmly made the scoop and toss to shortstop Nick Zambelli, who completed the double play with a toss to Sam Houpt at first base.

“That was huge,” said Glenwood outfielder Jeremy Christner of the double play.One run scored on the play, but, with the bases empty, Chicoine struck out Skyview’s Eric Hern to end the game.After trailing 2-0 in the first inning, the Demons scored four runs in the second inning. Zach McCullough got the Demons on the board with an RBI single up the middle, and the Demons added three more runs with two outs.Taylor Wilde scored McCullough, and pitcher John Faris knocked in two more runs in the next at-bat.In the fourth inning the Demons took advantage of some walks and errors to extend the lead to 7-2, but Skyview stormed back with two runs in the fifth, and a sixth inning that sent Faris off the mound and included five runs for a 9-7 Skyview edge.

“Overall, I thought we played well (defensively),” Bolitho said. “We (gave up) one big inning, but, other than that, it was pretty good.”The lead didn’t last long. McCullough’s single up the middle scored two runs to even the score at 9-all in the bottom of the sixth. “The kids had well-timed hitting,” Bolitho said. “When they had to hit the ball and move a runner, they executed, and that was one of the differences in the game.”Glenwood took the lead for good later in the frame when Christner was caught in a rundown between third and home, but snuck home on an overthrow back to third base.”I just started running,” Christner said. “I heard the coach say, ‘Go,’ but he was talking about the guy on first. I tried to run back to third and saw the overthrow.”

Zambelli followed up the play with the eventual game-winning RBI single.Faris had a solid first outing with 5 2-3 innings pitched and five earned runs allowed. He also had five strikeouts. Offensively, he also finished with a pair of RBIs and a double.”John threw well. He’s a workhorse,” Bolitho said.Chicoine pitched 1 1-3 innings. He gave up doubles to his first two hitters, then settled down and allowed just one more hit with two strikeouts. He was also 2-for-3 from the plate and scored twice. Tim Stryker paced Skyview offensively with a 3-for-5 day, including two doubles. Hern was 3-for-5 with a double.Glenwood opens Western Slope League play Tuesday at Delta.

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