Pitchers shine in two Demon wins
GRAND JUNCTION – Any time a team wins twice in a day, it feels good.And the Glenwood Springs baseball team has a right to be proud of themselves after winning their season-opening games over Roaring Fork and Nucla Saturday at Canyon View Park.”For a first time out on a sunny day on a dry field, I was real pleased,” said first-year coach Eric Nieslanik. “Overall I was real proud of the way we played today. We put some runs on the board, and we had guys who had some good, key hits at certain times.”The hitters were aided by outstanding efforts from the Demons’ two top starters – Beau Chicoine and Chance Stevens.”Beau and Chance both did a great job,” Nieslanik said. “They made it through today without allowing an earned run between the two of them. We knew those kids were going to carry us – and they did.”Chicoine, Nieslanik’s choice as Glenwood’s opening-game pitcher, responded by throwing a two-hitter against Roaring Fork with seven strikeouts in six innings before giving way to Sam Houpt to finish up.Stevens, back from a year’s absence from attending another school, also allowed just two hits in four innings and an unearned run before turning the ball over to Shane Guenther in the fifth.Glenwood’s hitters also had a good opening-day performance.As a team, Glenwood manufactured 22 runs with an equal amount of hits, outscoring Roaring Fork, 9-2, and Nucla, 13-2 in a mercy-rule shortened game, stopped after the fifth inning.A bases-loaded double by Boyd Milhorn broke the Roaring Fork game open in the fifth inning. Up 4-1, the Demons assaulted Rams relief pitcher Kyle Raaflaub for five runs after he took over for starter Jake Bowman.Stevens and Chicoine started the rally on back-to-back RBI singles to set the stage for Milhorn.The senior third baseman didn’t wait long to reap his reward. He golfed Raaflaub’s first pitch deep inside the right-center field gap to raise the lead to 9-1.Milhorn’s hitting streak continued in the Nucla game as well.He stroked his second double of the day, this one good for two runs, in another six-run onslaught in the third inning against the Class 2A Mustangs. Overall, Milhorn had five hits in seven at bats with seven RBIs in two games.Jeremy Christner and Stevens provided additional extra-base hit fireworks.A triple by Christner scored a run in the Roaring Fork game. Stevens, the Demons’ shortstop against Nucla, walloped a run-scoring double in the afternoon contest.Roaring Fork coach Steve Kinney was just glad to have his full roster intact.”A lot of these players just finished basketball season and have only been out for three or four days,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be just a matter of time until we get back into it.”Especially when it comes to offense.”I think we have some work to do, obviously. We really need to get after our hitting,” Kinney said after watching his team produce seven hits in 14 innings.Those factors were evident in the Rams’ 7-0 shutout loss to Nucla along with the loss to the Demons.Roaring Fork had one extra-base hit – a double by Bowman – all day long with only two runs, both against Glenwood and in separate innings.All four of Roaring Fork’s pitchers didn’t look comfortable on the mound and had trouble finding the strike zone. Nucla roughed up four Rams’ hurlers, including No. 1 starter Bowman for seven runs and eight hits.Bowman settled down against Glenwood – striking out nine before exiting in the fourth. What bothered the Ram pitcher all day was control. He hit two Nucla batters in one inning, and hit two more Demons hitters later on.They all came back to haunt him.The Mustangs used both to build on to the 6-0 lead they had built by the fifth when Bowman entered in relief. Glenwood’s Zack McCullough scored two batters later after getting plunked by Bowman in the fourth of the Rams-Demons game.
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