Bears, Demons baseball splits in rivalry matchup
When the Rifle Bears and Glenwood Springs Demons baseball teams face off in 4A Western Slope League play, there’s no telling what’s going to happen.
Matching up Saturday at Cooper Field in Rifle for a 4A WSL doubleheader, Rifle took the first game by a 10-3 score, but Glenwood battled back in the second game to take a tight 7-5 decision as the two rivals split the showdown in league play.
In the first game, Glenwood struck first in the top of the first inning, plating two runs as senior Tyler Dollahan drove in senior Chano Gonzalez and senior Dylan Lee on a single after Gonzalez walked with one out and Lee singled. Dollahan was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double before senior Kai Kanzer then doubled with two outs. Kanzer was picked off at second to end the Glenwood threat in the first inning.
Trailing 2-0, the Bears rallied with a run in the bottom of the first inning as freshman Gavin Peterson led off with a single and scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice by junior Derek Wagler.
The two teams went scoreless in the second, and Rifle then shut down Glenwood in the top of the third inning, setting up a 5-run outburst by the Bears in the bottom of the third to take a 6-2 lead.
Freshman Broc Caldwell led off the bottom of the third with a walk before senior Randy Starks walked with one out after a sacrifice bunt by Peterson. That set up Wagler, who roped a two-run single to make it a 3-2 game in favor of Rifle. Senior Eddie Medina then doubled home Wagler before scoring himself on an error by Glenwood. Senior Wyatt Warfel capped off the inning by scoring on another Glenwood error as Rifle jumped in front early at home.
Glenwood got a run back in the top of the fourth inning as Dollahan doubled with one out and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Zachary Cecil Hoerl to make it a 6-3 game. The Bears answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth as Starks walked and scored on a triple by Wagler. The standout Rifle shortstop then raced home from third on an error by the Glenwood catcher to make it 8-3.
Rifle went on to add two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as Peterson led off with a walk and scored on a fielder’s choice by Wagler, before Medina reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second and home to cap off the scoring in the 10-3 win.
In the second game, Rifle jumped on Glenwood with three runs in the bottom of the second inning as freshman Charlie Hisel, junior Delaney Phillips -running for senior Wyatt Warfel scored on a single by Peterson, before freshman Hayden Wells – who walked earlier in the inning – stole home for a 3-0 lead.
The Bears added another run in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-0 lead as Wagler drilled a home run, giving the Bears a sizeable lead.
Glenwood refused to go away though as Glenwood got on the board in the top of the fourth as junior Sam Fitzwilliams singled and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Wheatley Nieslanik to make it a 4-1 game. The Demons then added three runs in the top of the fifth inning to knot the game up at 4-4 as senior Leo Anchondo led off the inning with a walk and scored on a groundout by Gonzalez to make it 4-2. Lee then reached on a Rifle error and scored on an RBI triple by Dollahan before Fitzwilliams doubled home Dollahan to make it a 4-4 game.
Rifle took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as Medina reached on a Glenwood error and scored on an RBI single by freshman Trey Caldwell.
But the Demons battled back with three runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 7-5 lead as Lee doubled and scored on a single by Dollahan, who the scored on a fielder’s choice by junior Cole Houston to make it 6-4. A bases-loaded walk by Nieslanik forced in Fitzwilliams – who walked earlier in the inning.
By splitting the doubleheader, Glenwood improves to 7-7 (3-1 in 4A WSL) on the season, while Rifle improves to 9-4 (4-2 in 4A WSL). The Demons travel to Eagle Valley Tuesday, while the Bears host Middle Park and Palisade Tuesday and Wednesday at Cooper Field.
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