Rams a little soft in the middle
CARBONDALE – The Rams scored runs in the beginning and at the end of the game, but a dry spell in the middle handed Basalt’s baseball team a 9-8 victory over Roaring Fork on Tuesday.The Rams (3-4 Class 3A Western Slope League) got off to a great start with the first four batters scoring, two of which rounded the bases after Parker Nieslanik smacked a home run to right field.”That was the first home run I have ever hit in a game,” Nieslanik said of his two-run shot.Although the Rams came out strong early, it was the Longhorns (2-4 WSL) who swung the consistent bats throughout the game. After putting up three runs of their own in the first, the Longhorns scored five more runs, including a solo homer by Rory Johnson, over the next three innings to take an 8-5 lead with three innings left.The Rams had their chances over the next four innings but never took advantage of them.”We had some things not go our way,” said Roaring Fork head coach Steve Kinney. “We had some bad bounces in the earlier part of the game, and that put guys on base. We had two innings were we left the bases loaded and another where we left them at first and third and we couldn’t bring them in.”Each team scored one run in the sixth before the Rams put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning.Caley Reynolds started the attempted comeback with a single to right field. Tyler Hunt crushed a pitch on the following at bat, but Longhorn center fielder Collin Matherly made a phenomenal catch – robbing Hunt of extra bases. “It was a team effort, and thank God we have the best center fielder in the league,” said Basalt head coach Bruce Matherly.Skyler McAllister then reached first after being hit by a pitch, and Nieslanik stepped up to the plate. He almost hit his second homer of the game, but the ball bounced off the right-field fence, sending McAllister to third and leaving him with a double. McAllister then scored on a Jake Bowman sacrifice fly to bring the Rams within one run. With the tying run on third, Jake Kinney then flied out to Matherly to end the game and the Rams’ hopes for a comeback. “We thought we could make a run at it, but it fell short,” Nieslanik said. “That’s all right though – we’ll get them next time.” Taking the loss for the Rams was Kinney, who gave up seven runs on 11 hits in three innings. J.T. Donovan got the win for the Longhorns, giving up two runs and striking out seven in six innings. Johnson picked up the save. “I was happy with all of our pitchers, but our bats got quiet there, and that cost us the game,” said Coach Kinney. “And give it to Basalt – those kids hit well. They played a great game.”
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