Glenwood Springs Geckos wrap up regular season with a sweep
Post Independent Contributor
CARBONDALE — The inaugural season of the Glenwood Springs Geckos finished with a flourish as they captured a resounding sweep over the Vail Vipers. With the 4-3 and 11-3 wins, the Geckos head into the first ever Mountain West Summer Collegiate Baseball League (MWSCBL) tournament as the hottest team in the league. The Geckos posted 11 wins in their final 12 outings to round out the regular season at 15-11 and earn the second seed in the six-team double-elimination tournament.
Will Ray accounted for half of the Geckos’ runs in a 4-3 win in the opener. His two-out, two-run home run in the sixth inning built a 4-1 lead before Ray himself came in to close the contest with the final three outs on the mound. Anthony Race picked up the win with six plus solid innings of work. Local Tanner Nieslanik reached safely twice and scored a run for the Geckos.
Then, in the finale, Glenwood jumped all over Vail, as first baseman Anu Smeigh blasted a three-run home run to open the scoring. Then, after the Vipers closed to within one, the Geckos turned to Smeigh again in the fourth, where a two-RBI single built the lead to 6-2. Smeigh added an RBI sacrifice, bringing his personal total to six runs batted in, as part of a five-run outburst in the sixth that put the game out of reach. Julian Wilcox added a three-run double in the frame.
The offensive support supplied starter Rob Silvestre with an opportunity to take over, as he fanned six Vipers and only allowed one earned run over six innings.
After a rough start to the season, one which included limited housing and a roster short on pitching, head coach Mark Goodman was pleased with his squad’s resiliency.
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“We’ve seen here in the past two weeks how we’ve rallied from last place all the way to second — these guys are playing great.”
As for player improvement, Goodman saw adjustments made by the offense and pitching alike to the wooden bats in the MWSCBL.
“After the first couple of weeks, we’ve been able to figure it out. Some of these guys had a month off since their college seasons before picking it back up, but we’ve figured it out.”
Even with the league tournament still on the horizon, Goodman has been pleased with the community support and already looks forward to the future of the team and the league in coming summers.
“The host families and community have been great, they’re loving this success as much as we are.”
However, with the prospect of a championship in the near future, the Geckos’ coach is confident that Tuesday’s tournament opener at Ron Patch Memorial Field could be the next step in a memorable first season.
“With the roll that we’re on, there’s no reason we can’t take it all.”
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