Rams roll past Cardinals in nonleague matchup
Hitting the road for a nonleague game against the Grand Valley Cardinals Thursday afternoon in Parachute, the Roaring Fork Rams baseball team picked up its first win of the season, 16-4, thanks to timely hitting and strong pitching.
“It feels good to get the first win of the season,” Roaring Fork Head Coach Marty Madsen said. “I’m really happy for the guys; they’ve put in a ton of work lately, especially after Tuesday’s loss to Meeker in a game we should have won. But overall everyone contributed top to bottom today, and this one feels good to win.”
Against the Cardinals, Roaring Fork jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as senior Aldo Pinela led off the inning by reaching first on an error by the Cardinals.
The speedster stole second base before coming around to score on an RBI single by junior Drew Broadhurst to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
Senior Hayden Bernot drove in Broadhurst two batters later with an RBI single of his own to stake the Rams to a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first inning.
In their first at-bats of the game, the Cardinals were able to push across one run in the bottom of the first as sophomore Hector Arzate led off the inning by reaching first on a Roaring Fork error.
Arzate was thrown out at second attempting to steal before freshman Austin White followed with a walk.
Sophomore Marco Rojas reached on a walk before sophomore Brandon Millius drove in White from third on a fielder’s choice at second to get the Cardinals on the board.
Holding a 2-1 lead after one inning of play, Roaring Fork looked to stretch the lead in the top of the second inning.
Senior Jake Kelley led off the frame with a walk before coming around to score as junior Layne Crisp reached on a Grand Valley error. One batter later, after stealing second, Crisp scored on another Grand Valley error to make it 4-1 Rams heading into the bottom of the second inning.
The Cardinals responded in a big way in the bottom of the inning as junior Wyatt Kuper led off with a walk before stealing second and scoring on a passed ball to make it 4-2 Rams.
Freshmen Asa Grice and Isaiah Tigert drew back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second with one out in the inning, setting up White for a two-run single to tie the game at 4-4 heading into the top of the third inning in a tightly contested game to that point.
But that was all the Cardinals could muster offensively as junior Dawson Kuhl came on in relief to slam the door against Grand Valley on the road.
In the top of the third inning Roaring Fork scratched across two more runs, thanks to RBI singles from senior Eduardo Yanez and Crisp to make it 6-4 before the Rams tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning on a passed ball, hit by pitch and an RBI single from Yanez to bust the game wide open at 9-4.
“I’ve been trying to find a spot for him [Yanez] in the lineup,” Madsen said. “He just works his butt off, and he’s been with us since his freshman year, so I’m happy to see him having success. He’s a quality varsity hitter that knows how to take advantage at the plate.”
The Rams went on to add three more runs in the fifth and four more runs in the sixth to pull away from the Cardinals for the 16-4 win in a nonleague game between two 3A Western Slope League opponents.
With the win, Roaring Fork improves to 1-4 on the season, while Grand Valley falls to 2-4.
The Rams will be off for a week before hosting the Steamboat Sailors next Thursday for an afternoon doubleheader. The Cardinals will host Gunnison Saturday at 11 a.m.
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