Leuallen gives solid early start
Brandon Leuallen is in midseason form.The Rifle High School pitcher faced just one batter over the minimum in an 11-0 shutout Saturday against Centaurus High School in Lafayette to salvage a split for the Bears in the opening weekend doubleheader.”He pitched incredibly,” Rifle coach Troy Phillips said. “He hit his spots extremely well. We couldn’t ask for a better pitching performance at any time of the season, let alone early in the season.”Leuallen allowed just two baserunners in the game, a hit and a hit batsman, but the Bears quickly erased one of those baserunners by turning a quick double play.”He pitched exactly like we ask our pitchers to pitch, and it makes it easier on our defense when they do that,” Phillips said. Leuallen finished with four strikeouts and no walks in the mercy-rule-shortened five-inning contest. He also got some good help offensively. Eli Snead and Matt Jones both went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, and catcher Bryce Enewold had three RBIs in the contest. As a team, the Bears were successful on seven steal attempts.”A lot of those steals were just green lights where I didn’t give them a sign, I just let them choose when they wanted to go,” Phillips said. “They made good decisions.”In the first game the Bears lost a tight contest, 9-8, after Centaurus notched the winning run in the bottom of the final inning.The Bears gave up six runs in the first inning, but rallied back to tie the game and eventually take a short-lived lead in the top of the sixth. Centaurus scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game.Jones recorded the pitching loss, but only five of the nine runs were earned. The Bears committed four errors in the game.The Rifle offense was solid despite the loss. Enewold was 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a towering homer. Snead posted three RBIs, and Leuallen and Uriel Quezada both went 2-for-4. Quezada’s two knocks were both doubles.”I felt like Bryce Enewold really had a good day,” Phillips said. “Quezada crushed a couple of balls in the first game off the right-center wall. They were just really well-hit balls.”Rifle (1-1) is on spring break for the next week and next hosts Delta on March 22.Rifle (1-1) is on spring break for the next week and next hosts Delta on March 22.
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Former Rifle Bears standout turned starting running back for Western Colorado University Ty Leyba remembers it like it was yesterday.