Roaring Fork hangs tough against Rangely |

Roaring Fork hangs tough against Rangely

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson

CARBONDALE ” Winning baseball takes more than talented players ” it also takes players making the play at crunch time.

And when Roaring Fork needed to come through in the clutch during Saturday’s 9-7 nonleague win against Rangely, the Rams stepped up and did the job.

“We did much better today than we did against Glenwood,” coach Eric Nieslanik said.

Jake Bowman was one of a horde of heroes who helped raise Roaring Fork’s early-season record to 2-1.

“I had to do it for the team,” Bowman said. His sixth-inning RBI triple put the Rams up by two runs after a 5-0 lead evaporated with his subpar pitching start.

“My arm wasn’t strong. This was the first time I’ve pitched six innings since I was in middle school, and I wasn’t ready,” he said.

But Bowman looked great at the start, allowing Rangely one baserunner in the first three innings. From the fourth on, however, the Ram senior progressively weakened.

The Panthers dented the Rams pitcher for a pair of runs in the fourth, parlaying four Bowman walks into three runs in the sixth to pull to within one at 6-5.

“It was good for him to go through that before league,” coach Nieslanik said. “He hit the wall at one point and had to battle his way through.”

Up by one, Parker Nieslanik gave the Rams some much-needed momentum by leading off their half of the inning with the second of three hits the infielder had in the contest.

Three hitters later, with Nieslanik on second, pinch-hitter Caley Reynolds poked a single to bring his teammate home.

“Caley had his chance, and he stepped in and got the job done,” coach Nieslanik said.

An inning later Bowman’s triple gave the Rams some breathing room. Then, Trevor Hunt took the breath out of Rangely when the Panther infield couldn’t field the bunt he guided toward the right side of the pitcher’s mound.

Two Ram runs scored as the ball rolled to the infield’s outer lip, for a 9-5 lead.

Kyle Raaflaub was called in from the bullpen for the seventh. The sophomore gave up two runs before earning the final out but gave a glimpse of the future with a pair of strikeouts.

Roaring Fork is off until this coming Saturday, when they host Olathe for a league doubleheader.

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