Geckos’ red-hot bats scorch Summit
CARBONDALE — Jason Galeano figured that his big day at the plate on Saturday shows just a snippet of what the Glenwood Springs Geckos college summer baseball team is capable of.
“In my mind, I think we have the best time in the conference as long as we play the way we did today,” said Galeano, who hit home runs in both games of the Geckos’ doubleheader sweep against the Summit Black Diamonds out of Frisco. “The only time when that’s not the case is when we make a bunch of mistakes and beat ourselves.”
Glenwood’s lineup did everything it needed to at Ron Patch Memorial Field during the team’s 6-4 and 9-7 wins. Galeano, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, and attends Iowa Central Community College, hit two of his team’s five homers in helping the Geckos (6-10) rebound after they were swept at home by Grand Junction this past Thursday. Glenwood trailed for only one-half inning, when Buddy Ahlstrom scored from third base on a throwing error by Geckos right fielder Tanner Nieslanik.
“That [start on offense] was huge,” Glenwood coach Mark Goodman said. “Today we were able to jump up early and keep that momentum shifted in our favor for the rest of the day. That was a great thing to see.”
Also homering for Glenwood was Xavier Trujillo, Zach Rehner and Julian Wilcox, with the solo shots from Rehner and Wilcox coming in the second game. all of that turned out to be more than enough offense for Anthony Race, a righthander who earned the pitching win in the second game. He allowed four hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings, allowing only a pair of unearned runs.
He left the game with an 8-2 lead, but Summit did its best to rally in the final two innings.
Ahlstrom’s two-run homer off of Glenwood reliever Ken Williams in the top of the sixth brought the Black Diamonds within 8-5, but an RBI groundout by Anu Smeigh in the bottom of the frame pushed the Geckos’ lead to four runs. In the seventh, former Summit High School star athlete Thomas DeBonville drove in the first of two runs scored for the Black Diamonds, but Geckos reliever Will Ray induced Summit’s Tyler Brown and Ahlstrom into flyouts for the final two outs off the game.
Former Roaring Fork standout and Geckos right fielder Tanner Nieslanik had a banner day in the nightcap, going 3 for 3 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Nick Balkenbuch finished 2-for-3 batting with a double and a run scored for Summit.
In the opener, just like in the second game, the Geckos opened the game with a three-run first inning. And also just like the second game, Galeano capped the scoring with the first of his two two-run homers. Jake Ekstrom earned the win on the mound for Glenwood, striking out five with one walk and two earned runs in five innings.
The Geckos continue Mountain West collegiate Summer Baseball league play on Tuesday when they host a doubleheader against the Vail Vipers followed by a doubleheader against Eagle Valley on Thursday.
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