Rifle clinches baseball league championship
Rifle clinched the Western Slope League baseball championship Saturday, winning the first game of a doubleheader in Glenwood Springs.
The Bears of coach Troy Phillips won the regular-season title and clinched the No. 1 seed for the upcoming District Tournament with a 9-3 victory in Saturday’s opening game.
Playing in fall-like football weather, Rifle fell behind the host Demons 3-2 after four innings.
Andrew Blake’s single drove in Dusty Lanci with the Demons’ first run. Roberto Olivas singled and scored in the second.
Glenwood starting pitcher Tiernan Conway scored in the third after opening the inning with a single. He advanced to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch. And Conway scored on a balk, giving the Demons a 3-2 lead.
The Bears reclaimed the lead – for good – in the top of the fifth when Jesse Holgate walked. Nearly picked off, Holgate stole second and scored on Owen Madison’s second double of the game – this one deep to center.
Danny Fedirko scored Madison from third with a sacrifice fly to center field as the Bears took a 4-3 lead.
Rifle scored three more times in sixth. Blake Barth scored on an RBI-single by Jason Enewold. Barth had reached on a single to right field.
Enewold later scored on a sacrifice fly to short center on a great diving catch by Glenwood’s Olivas.
Madison also came around to score on an RBI-single by Brad Pace as Rifle led 7-3.
The Bears tacked on two more runs in the seventh, one coming on an RBI-double by Scott Van Slyke.
Barth drove in the other run as the Bears finished with nine runs on 10 hits and one error.
The Demons finished with three runs on seven hits. And they committed four runs, leading to three unearned runs by the Bears.
May picked up the victory for Rifle with Pace adding the save.
In the second game, the Rifle offense continued its torrid pace as the Bears won 20-7 in five innings.
Krick and Fedirko pitched for the Bears, who improved to 11-1 in the 4A Western Slope League. Rifle is 14-3 overall.
Krick also had three hits for the Bears.
Glenwood Springs ended the regular season 6-5 in the Western Slope League, 7-10 overall.
The Demons likely will be on the road for Tuesday’s first round of the District Tournament. They probably will play at Montrose or Delta.
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The 40th annual Demon Invitational track and field meet takes place Saturday, May 15 at Stubler Memorial Field.