Rams fall in pitchers duel
CARBONDALE To Roaring Fork, Saturdays doubleheader loss to Eagle Valley was frustrating and down right maddening.Roaring Fork entered the twin bill with hopes of earning a sweep over the Devils and the No. 2 spot at next weeks Class 3A District Tournament. It didnt happen.A 2-1 loss to the Devils in game one saddled the Rams with the No. 4 seed at districts, no matter what happened in the second half of the doubleheader.But give Roaring Fork credit, instead of mailing in game two, the Rams battled to within a run of Eagle Valleys big early lead, only to fall short in the seventh with a 10-8 loss.Game one featured another masterful pitching performance from Ram ace Jake Boyle. He held Eagle Valley to three scattered hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk.The problem was Boyles pitching rival, Evaristo Jura, was just as stellar.The Eagle Valley senior finished with the same pitching line. Twelve strikeouts, three hits and one run allowed. The Devils took the early lead due to Ram errors. Steve Evancho scored from third on catcher Dan Markoyas second passed ball of the first inning.The scoring play was set up by a Ram infield error after Evancho reached first base on a dropped third strike.The Rams tied the game at 1-all when Boyle knocked in Jake Bowman, who led off the bottom of the fourth with a stand-up triple. Two more passed balls gave Eagle Valley the win in the seventh.Outfielder Keenan Keitler cashed in his two-out double when two more Boyle pitches got by Markoya before the Ram ace could end the inning.We came in to this game knowing that Boyles a stud and Jaras a stud and it was going to be a one or two-run game, said Eagle Valley coach Derek Cordes. The whole month of April weve been in tight games, so weve gone through those situations before.Game two wasnt as constricting.The Rams closed the gap to 9-8 in the sixth after trailing by five runs. Down 10-8 in the seventh Roaring Fork had the winning run at the plate with two on before Eagle Valley reliever Kyle Rivera struck out Adam Frank and ended the threat.Roaring Fork took a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first inning, only to fall behind to Eagle Valley in the second. The Rams rallied to a 3-all tie in the third, then trailed for good after the Devils scored twice in the fourth.Boyle and Max Green each had three hits in the second contest. Jake Bowman, the Ram starting pitcher, belted a solo home run in the third.Eagle Valley, however, rapped out 11 hits that included three homers to earn the sweep.Keltner and Sean Bartlett bashed solo shots in the fourth and seventh innings. In-between, Brett Klahr chased Bowman from the mound with a dinger in the fifth.Where we made mistakes today was basic fundamental stuff, Roaring Fork coach Eric Nieslanik said. If we go in next week and our heads in it and were confident with what were doing, were confident with our teammates, Ive got a pretty good feeling about it.The Rams open the district tournament at home Tuesday against No. 5 Gunnison.
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