Palisade shuts out Rifle baseball in 4A WSL battle
One day after senior Eddie Medina threw a one-hitter for the Rifle Bears baseball team in a win over Middle Park, the Palisade Bulldogs came into Cooper Field and put the clamps on Rifle’s offense, holding the Bears to just four hits in a 10-0 win Wednesday evening in 4A Western Slope League action.
Scoreless through one inning of play, the Bulldogs busted it open with six runs in the top of the second inning as Brandon Pribble led off with a single before Dylan Allerheiligen reached on an error, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Then, Ryder Mancuso walked to load the bases before Elijah Swank drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 1-0. Nate Bollinger then followed with a two-run double to make it 3-0 Bulldogs, before Jack Mohler picked up an RBI groundout to shortstop to make it 4-0. Cody Bellmire followed with an RBI single to make it 5-0 before Luke Sorensen doubled home a run to cap off the six-run outburst in the second inning.
Rifle tried to rally in the second inning as Levi Warfel reached on a Palisade error and stole second base, but the Bears went down in order after that, sending the Bulldogs back to the plate.
Palisade picked up where it left off in the third inning, plating two more runs to make it 8-0 as Mancuso picked up a two-run single, Bollinger was hit by a pitch, and Swank walked to load the bases. Mohler then doubled home a pair before the Bears got out of it.
In the bottom of the third, junior Derek Wagler doubled with two outs for the Bears before Medina walked to put runners on first and second with two outs, but Palisade retired the next Rifle hitter to keep the Bears scoreless in the league battle.
The two teams remained scoreless in the fourth inning as Rifle got out of a two-on, no-out jam before going down in order in the bottom half of the inning.
Palisade tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth as Swank singled, Bollinger reached on an error, and Mohler singled to load the bases. Bellmire then drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 9-0 before Sorensen drove in the 10th run on a sacrifice fly to center.
Rifle tried to keep the game going to avoid the mercy rule in the bottom half of the inning as Delaney Phillips and Hayden Wells reached on back-to-back errors, but Phillips was thrown out at third, and Trey Caldwell and Wagler went down on contact, giving the Bulldogs the 10-0 win on the road.
Wagler led the Bears with two hits, while Medina and freshman Gavin Peterson recorded one hit each. Warfel and Peterson stole one base each, while Randy Starks, Charlie Hisel, Dalton Stutsman, and Caidyn Wilcox all picked up appearances on the mound.
Palisade’s Cavan Pawlowski worked five clean innings, striking out six in the win.
The loss drops Rifle to 10-5 (4-3 in 4A WSL) on the season. The Bears travel to Eagle Valley Saturday for a doubleheader with the Devils starting at 11 a.m.
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It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.