Sailors’ pain is Rifle’s gain
CRAIG – Pain isn’t as important as baseball, so Steamboat Springs’ Tyler Fosdick continues to play with tendonitis in his throwing arm.
In Saturday’s doubleheader against Rifle, the sophomore shortstop went a combined 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and played solid defense in a losing effort, as the Bears beat the Sailors 11-1 and 6-1 in a doubleheader in Craig.
The victories keep Rifle in the thick of the league race with Delta.
Starting pitcher Preston Stanfill threw well enough to win the first game, but Ryan Marsden’s solo shot in the fourth inning was the only sound the Sailors’ bats made Saturday morning.
“Rifle is probably one of the most disciplined teams in the league. If you make a mistake they are going to capitalize on it,” said Steamboat coach Sean Hicks.
In the first game – that ended after five innings – Rifle had 11 runs on 12 hits.
Steamboat countered with one run on four hits.
The Sailors opened the second game with a much different approach, and it showed on the field and scoreboard.
With Fosdick on second and Stanfill on second after a single and a walk, Marsden stepped to the plate.
Before Marsden had a chance to put the ball in play, Rifle starting pitcher Owen Madison tried to pick Fosdick off at second. Fosdick took off for third instead of diving back into the tag at second , forcing Rifle’s infielders to make the defensive play.
Fosdick took the out near third, as Stanfill wisely ran to second. When Rifle shortstop Adam Krick tried to get Stanfill out at second, he threw the ball away, allowing Stanfill to end up at third with two outs.
Marsden followed up the run-down with an infield single that hugged the third-base line, driving in Stanfill.
Rifle tied up the game in the bottom of the first off Kip Jessup’s sacrifice fly to center field.
The Bears added two more in the bottom of the second.
Chappie Cook’s sacrifice fly to Kevin Martin in centerfield drove in the first. The Bears’ third run of the game scored after Sean Murphy’s pitch bounced off Stanfill’s knee guard and down the first base line, allowing Krick to score from third.
The Sailors loaded up the bases in the top of the third off Fosdick’s single, Murphy taking a pitch to the helmet and Marsden’s intentional walk.
Nick Hughes hit a hard grounder, but Shane Fazzi didn’t have to move from his spot second, scooping up the ball for the easy 4-3 putout to end the inning.
The score remained 3-1 in favor of the Bears until the bottom of the fifth when Rifle manufactured a run for some breathing room.
Madison led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball.
Jason Enewold laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt between the mound and third.
Scott Van Slyke hit a hard grounder into the hole between third and short. Fosdick made a spectacular dive to stop the ball and prevent an extra-base hit. His hard throw was on line but not in time. Van Slyke was safe at first and Madison was safe at home.
Fazzi doubled to the fence, bringing in Van Slyke before the inning ended.
Steamboat went down in order in the sixth, and Rifle added another run in the bottom of the inning, giving Jason Enewold five runs to work with in the top of the seventh.
Enewold needed just three outs. And the Bear pitching ace concluded the game rapidly.
Sandwiched between two strikeouts was Charles Cogburn’s groundout to first.
The wins propelled Rifle into first place in the WSL. The Bears are 7-2 in league play with a half-game lead over second-place Delta, heading into today’s home game with Glenwood Springs.
Rifle 11-6, Steamboat 1-1
Rifle 134 30-11 10 0
Steamboat 000 00- 1 4 5
Owen Madison, Shane Fazzi (5) and Scott Van Slyke. Steamboat battery unavailable
RIFLE – Nick Babler 1-1, Owen Madison 2-1, Jason Enewold 1-4, Scott Van Slyke 1-2 (2B), Kip Jessup 1-3, Shane Fazzi 1-2, Adam Krick 1-1, Chappie Cook 1-3, Eli Snead 1-3.
STEAMBOAT – Unavailable
Steamboat 100 000 0-1 4 2
Rifle 120 021 x-6 9 1
Owen Madison, Jason Enewold (7) and Scott Van Slyke. Steamboat battery unavailable
RIFLE – Babler 1-3, Madison 2-4 (2B), Enewold 1-2, Van Slyke 1-3, Jessup 0-4, Fazzi 2-3 (2-2B), Krick 1-2, Cook 0-2 Snead 1-2.
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