Rams still searching for first win | PostIndependent.com

Rams still searching for first win

Joelle Milholm
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

CARBONDALE ” One or two bad innings can quickly make good ones go right out the window.

That was the case for the Roaring Fork boys baseball team on Saturday. The Rams were able to hit and pitch the ball well at times, but errors and walks led to a few innings getting out of control and Hotchkiss sweeping the Class 3A Western Slope League doubleheader.

In the first game, the Rams fell behind before even getting their turn at the plate as Hotchkiss put up six runs in the first inning. Roaring Fork, which was short handed as the school is on the last weekend of spring break, battled back with the help of two home runs from senior Jake Kinney.

After a rocky first inning, Ram freshman Alex Rascon had settled in on the mound and controlled the Hotchkiss hitters. With one of Kinney’s homers bringing in three runs and the second knock bringing around two, in addition to a few other Ram hits, Roaring Fork was able to cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 10-9 going into the sixth inning.

That’s when the Bulldogs capitalized on timely hits and some Ram errors and scored three runs to take a 13-9 lead. After the Rams stranded two runners in the bottom of the sixth, the Bulldogs pinned up five more runs in the seventh to seal the win.

“In the last three innings, they got away from us,” said Roaring Fork head coach Steve Kinney.

Offensively the Bulldogs picked up right where they left off to start the second game, hitting two first-inning homers and going up 3-0. Hotchkiss continued to hit the ball hard off Jake Kinney, who started game two for Roaring Fork, adding seven runs in the second and four in the third on their way to the mercy-rule win.

The Rams got a chance to shrink the Bulldogs’ lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with two outs, but Hotchkiss second baseman Zane Lerew made a nice running grab on a ground ball up the middle and stepped on second to retire the side.

The games left Roaring Fork (0-5 overall and WSL) still looking for their first win of the season. The Rams are hoping that will come on Tuesday when they host Basalt. Hotchkiss, who has now won seven games in a row, moved to 4-0 in league and 7-2 overall with the wins.

Despite two loses, the underclassmen on the young Rams squad hit the ball very well. Freshman Jake Strack Loertscher crushed a home run over the right-center field fence for a solo shot in the second inning of game two and sophomore Oscar Beltram hit a single and a double in game two.

“That’s good to see,” Coach Kinney said of his younger players getting good hits.

Coach Kinney is hoping the team can work on its defense in the next coming weeks, an element of the game where routine fly balls and grounders weren’t always converted to outs. The Rams haven’t had much time to practice those things since their ability to get out and play on their field has been hindered by snow.

“We gotta really work on our fielding, which is what we are doing,” he said. “There were some good things though. The home runs were good but overall we are committing too many errors.”

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