Sargent’s big day leads Titans to win over Rams
Coal Ridge senior rightfielder Jackson Sargent took his junior year off from baseball to run track, but as of late in his final go-around with the Titans, Sargent looks like he hasn’t missed any time on the diamond.
Tuesday against Roaring Fork was no different.
Against the Rams in New Castle in a 3A Western Slope League matchup, Sargent went 4-for-4 with three singles, a home run and four runs batted in, keying the Titans’ offense in a come-from-behind win over the visiting Rams.
“I thought I performed a lot better today than I did [Saturday] against Gunnison,” Sargent said. “I was pretty hesitant at the plate, but today I was going after that first pitch. On the home run, I honestly thought it was just an easy pop fly. It felt easy coming off the bat, but I guess that’s how the big hits always come off the bat. But I’m glad we were able to come back today. For much of the year we’ve been falling behind early, but we were able to keep battling today.”
Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Rams jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as junior shortstop Drew Broadhurst ripped a solo home run down the rightfield line, just inside the foul pole, to get Roaring Fork on the board.
Roaring Fork junior Ralph Good, starting the game for the Rams, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first inning as Coal Ridge junior Jake Whitaker was thrown out at the plate by Roaring Fork senior Jake Kelley before Good got Coal Ridge senior Michael Harmon to fly out to Kelley in left, ending the Titan threat.
The Titans got on the board in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a heads-up play by freshman Sean Mooney, who raced home from third during a pick-off play, tying the game at 1-1.
Roaring Fork answered in the top of the third, though, as Good smoked an RBI double to deep center, driving in senior Aldo Pinela after a lead-off walk and a steal of second base. Three batters later senior Hayden Bernot drove in Good with an RBI single to right, giving the Rams a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
That’s where Sargent caught fire, hitting a towering home run to left, just inside the foul pole, pulling the Titans to within one, 3-2. Junior Ty Huck followed with a triple to dead center, getting the ball to fall just past the diving glove of Pinela before Harmon hit a single to left, driving in Huck to make it 3-3.
After tying the game, Huck settled into a groove on the mound, retiring seven straight Roaring Fork hitters before an error put a Ram on the base paths late in the game.
“I think he’s got outstanding stuff,” Coal Ridge Head Coach Dan Larsen said. “He throws four pitches from two different angles, and I think what we’re seeing as of late is due to confidence with some of the performances from behind him. I told him the other day that he was kind of the final piece to the puzzle and that if we could get him going we could really do some damage here.”
As Huck continued to deal on the mound, the Coal Ridge offense fired on all cylinders as senior Tyler Slone hit a two-run double into the gap in right-center, driving in Mooney and Lund to give the Titans a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, while Sargent then drove in Slone one batter later with an RBI single through the hole between first and second, giving Coal Ridge a 6-3 lead.
Lund made it 7-3 in the fifth inning with an RBI double to left-center, scoring freshman Jared Whitaker before Mooney was cut down at the plate. Sargent then capped off the scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning, ripping a two-run single to right, driving in Jake Whitaker and Slone.
From there, Slone slammed the door on the Rams, striking out the first two hitters of the top of the seventh inning before getting Pinela to line out to short, capping off the 9-3 win for the Titans.
“We just weren’t able to come up with hits today,” Roaring Fork Head Coach Marty Madsen said. “Sometimes that’s how baseball goes. They [Coal Ridge] just flat-out beat us. They played great defense and really battled at the plate, and we couldn’t get anything going. But I hope this lights a fire in our guys for tomorrow.”
On the day, Slone finished 3-for-4 with two runs batted in, while Mooney added two hits for the Titans. With the win, Coal Ridge improves to 3-7, 2-2 3A WSL on the season.
Broadhurst finished 1-for-3 for the Rams with the solo home run, while Bernot added one RBI. With the loss, Roaring Fork falls 4-7, 2-2 3A WSL on the season.
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Coal Ridge 69, Grand Junction Central 23