No shortage of runs here |

No shortage of runs here

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado ” Garrett Hatch took a mighty rip at Chris Hesselberg’s 2-0 offering and peeked up to see where it was headed.

What did the Glenwood Springs catcher see? The ball sailing over the left-field fence at Rifle’s Deerfield Park.

Hatch’s three-run bomb in the top of the seventh inning tied Tuesday’s rivalry baseball game between Glenwood Springs and Rifle, a game the Demons would eventually win, 14-12, thanks to Carlos Hernandez’s two-run double later in the inning.

“What a crazy game,” Glenwood coach Eric Nieslanik said. “I don’t know what to say after that.”

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The coach didn’t stay speechless for long, quickly summoning the words to talk up Hatch’s clutch homer.

“That was huge,” Nieslanik said. “He stepped up to the plate and put a great little swing on it.”

“I got ahold of it, took a peek up and started running,” added Hatch, who was met by a mob of teammates at home plate.

And, true to the form of Tuesday’s back-and-forth affair, the Demons weren’t done.

Back-to-back singles by Matt Snyder and Dominic Gamba set the stage for Hernandez’s heroics. The No. 9 hitter stepped up and drove a gapper to the fence in left field to plate two and cap a five-run seventh inning.

“I just set my mind on hitting the ball hard somewhere,” Hernandez said. “I’m not a power hitter, so I knew I had to just make contact.”

Glenwood’s Patrick Hailey kept the Bears off the board in the bottom of the inning and the Demons officially celebrated what was perhaps their wildest win of 2009.

The night’s fireworks started on the very first pitch of the game, when Matt Seaver clubbed a home run over the left-field wall.

Ryan Rebhan’s two-run homer in the bottom of the inning capped a four-run Rifle rally and put the hosts on top 4-1.

And the hits kept coming. For both teams.

Glenwood would take a 7-6 lead with three runs in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth before Rifle exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a 12-7 lead.

The scrappy Bears used three hits, four walks and a hit batsman to scratch out those runs. Hesselberg drove in a pair of runs with a line single. Tanner Wilcox also drove in a run with a base hit.

Unlike when Rifle stranded 13 base runners in a 9-5 loss to Glenwood earlier this year, clutch hitting definitely wasn’t a problem for the Bears on Tuesday. Rifle managed 11 hits and were pesky on the base paths.

“The guys did a good job with base running,” Bears coach Troy Phillips said. “They were aggressive with hit-and-runs, and their bunts were good. There aren’t a whole lot negative things we did tonight. We played one of our better games this year. Glenwood was just a little better.”

The Demons put two runs on the board in the sixth to enter the seventh and final inning trailing 12-9.

Hatch and company took it from there as Glenwood improved to 10-6 overall and to 8-4 in the 4A Western Slope League.

Hatch finished the night with a 2-for-4, four-RBI showing at the plate. Mario Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Seaver, Hailey, Gamba, Hernandez and Luke Jacob each had two hits.

All told, the Demons belted out 17 hits. Six of those came in the seventh.

Raleigh Roberts’ 3-for-4 night paced Rifle, now 7-8 overall and 4-6 in the 4A WSL. Rebhan and Wilcox chipped in two hits apiece and Wilcox finished with three stolen bases.

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