Rams rout Bruins in District opener
CARBONDALE – Jake Kinney had 16 RBIs all season – in 16 games. On Tuesday, he changed his swing and knocked in five – in one game.His five RBIs helped the Roaring Fork baseball team defeat Cedaredge 8-1 in the first round of Western Slope League District baseball tournament.”We changed my swing around at practice, and it really helped,” Kinney said.
Apparently so, as the cleanup hitter went 3-for-4.After A.J. Joiner and Parker Nieslanik reached with a walk and a single, respectively, to start the first inning, Kinney stroked his first hit, a single to score both. Jake Bowman smacked a single in the third inning and was hit home on the next at bat when Kinney hit a double. Kinney then scored on a Kyle Raaflaub single to make the score 4-0 after three.”Jake Kinney had a great day at the plate,” said Roaring Fork head coach Steve Kinney, who is also Jake’s father. “He was the key on the hitting side.” Caley Reynolds started the fourth inning with a double, Joiner drew another walk and Nieslanik connected for an infield hit to load the bases for Bowman. Bowman knocked in one run and left runners at the corners for Kinney, who hit his second double of the game. “We are ripping the ball,” Jake Kinney said.
The one through four hitters for the Rams combined for six hits, six RBIs and seven runs and reached base nine out of 15 times.”Parker Nieslanik and Bowman were putting the ball in play all the time, and that led up to Kinney being able to hit the runs in,” Coach Kinney said. “Overall, we have just been playing really good baseball. It’s been good to see.”District: see next page
With Bowman’s arm, the Rams were just as solid on the mound as they were at the plate. The senior threw a three-hitter, striking out nine and only walking two in six innings. The Bruins’ lone run came in the fourth inning when Bo Baker, who pitched the loss for Cedaredge, hit a homer to center field.”Jake Bowman had a great pitching day,” Coach Kinney said. “This was a really special occasion for him because this is his last game at Roaring Fork High School, so we were really proud of the way he played.”The Rams move onto the next round with the win and face Basalt, which beat Aspen 8-7 on Tuesday. The Rams split their series against the Longhorns this season, losing 9-8 on April 18 and winning 1-0 on April 27.The remainder of the tournament will be played in Paonia, where Roaring Fork will take the field at 8 a.m. Saturday against the Longhorns. If the Rams win, they will play in the title game at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.”These kids have really stepped up; we feel like we have a real good shot at districts this weekend,” Coach Kinney said. “We still have our No. 1 (pitcher) Kyle Raaflaub to start with Bowman and Kinney still in the background. I think we are going into districts in a good position as far as pitching goes.”
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Fans, players and coaches on both sides of Stubler Memorial Field seemed to know it would come down just the way it did, regardless of who had the ball at the end.