Rifle baseball tops Coal Ridge in tournament opener
Making up the Rifle baseball tournament Friday and Saturday at Cooper Field, the Rifle Bears baseball team opened up the home tournament in impressive fashion, picking up a 12-6 win over the visiting Coal Ridge Titans Friday morning.
Despite the six-run win, Rifle fell behind early as Coal Ridge jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Rifle stormed back to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the frame, but the Titans added two more runs in the top of the third inning to retake the lead at 4-3.
In the fourth, Coal Ridge made it 5-3, but the Bears again battled back, scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-5 lead. The Titans added 1 run in the top of the fifth to make it a 7-6 game, but the Bears scored one run in the bottom of the fifth and four runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull away for the win.
Rifle banged out eight hits in the win as junior Derek Wagler led the Bears with a three-run triple, walked twice and scored two runs. Freshman Gavin Peterson had a breakout day for the Bears as well, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored while also being hit by a pitch in the win.
Senior Randy Starks picked up two hits in the win as well, while also walking twice and scoring two runs. Senior Eddie Medina added two singles and a run batted in for the Bears offensively, while senior Wyatt Warfel doubled and walked on the day.
On the mound for the Bears, Starks worked 3.2 innings, allowing five runs (three earned), while striking out four and walking four. Wagler worked an inning of relief, allowing one run, walking three and striking out one, while junior Dalton Stutsman worked 1.1 innings, striking out three.
For Coal Ridge, junior Ivan Gallardo recorded one hit — a triple, while joining fellow junior Lane Stecklien with an RBI in the loss.
As a team, the Titans drew seven walks, while senior Oscar Salazar and sophomore Colton Westphal recorded a stolen base each.
Junior Ryan Kotz worked 3.2 innings on the mound, allowing seven runs (four earned), striking out five and walking five. Freshman Alejandro Arredondo worked one inning, allowing one run while striking out one, and sophomore Jonathan McCarthey worked two-thirds of an inning in relief, walking five batters.
Right after the loss to the Bears, the Titans turned around and played the Grand Valley Cardinals and picked up a 14-9 win to split the first two games of the Rifle tournament.
Against the Cardinals, Coal Ridge fell behind 5-0 after the top of the first inning, but then scored three runs in the bottom of the first, five runs in the third, and six runs in the fourth to pick up the win.
Offensively, Salazar led the Titans with two hits, while Westphal drove in two runs. Kotz, Gallardo, Westphal, and freshman Nolan Simpson recorded one hit each on the day. Simpson added two RBIs.
As a team, the Titans allowed just one earned run on the afternoon as sophomore Jackson Wade worked three innings, walking 3 and striking out two, while Stecklien worked 1 inning, striking out two.
For Grand Valley, junior Austin White went 3-for-3 with an RBI, while senior Marco Rojas went 3-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Coal Ridge (3-3) returns to action Saturday in a matchup against Battle Mountain at 10 a.m.
Grand Valley (1-2) takes on Rifle Saturday evening at 4 p.m. at Cooper Field.
Glenwood Springs 19, Olathe 4
On the road Friday afternoon against the Olathe Pirates at the Gunnison Cowboys Tournament, the Glenwood Springs Demons baseball team rolled to a 19-4 win, scoring seven runs in the first inning, one run each in the second and third innings, and 10 runs in the fourth inning to pick up the 15-run win.
Offensively, sophomore Wheatley Nieslanik led the Demons with three hits and three runs batted in on two doubles, while senior Tyler Dollahan and junior Sam Fitzwilliams added three hits and one RBI each to pace the Demons.
Junior Cole Houston had the most lucrative day at the plate, driving in five runs with a double and a triple, while sophomore Garrett Dollahan drove in three runs, and seniors Chano Gonzalez and Kai Kanzer added two RBIs each.
The Demons recorded seven extra-base hits in the win, with five doubles and two triples.
On the mound, Nieslanik worked four innings, allowing four runs (all earned) while striking out eight and walking two.
The Demons (3-3) return to action Saturday for two games at the Gunnison tournament.
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