Six wins in a row: Rifle baseball beats Coal Ridge 5-2

Rifle senior Trey Caldwell tries to outrun the throw to Coal Ridge first baseman Ben Simons on Tuesday.
Ray K. Erku / Citizen Telegram

The Rifle High School baseball team rode a hot streak into Tuesday night’s home game against intra-district rival Coal Ridge and kept it going, extending its winning streak to six with a 5-2 win.

The Bears held the Titans scoreless until the seventh inning, while getting things rolling early, scoring two runs in the first and adding one in the fourth plus a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Coal Ridge answered with two in the top of the seventh, but the Bears closed it out for the win.

Bears sophomore pitcher Logan Gross was dominant on the mound with 10 strikeouts, allowing just one hit and a pair of walks. Senior Gavin Peterson had a single and an RBI, and junior Austin Bowlan doubled and scored a run. Junior Kade Street singled, driving in a run, and also reached base on an error.

“The guys are playing well together right now and really having fun playing with each other,” veteran Rifle coach Troy Phillips said. “It is a special group of guys that have played a lot of baseball together over the years, and we are just trying to enjoy each day together.”

Coal Ridge freshman Jakson Slade was 1-for-2 on the night with two RBIs.

The win moves Rifle to 9-3 overall ahead of a doubleheader on Friday against 4A Western Slope League foe Glenwood Springs. Game times are 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Deerfield Park in Rifle.

It’s the first of five key league games for the Bears, who stand at 3-2 in the WSL behind Palisade at 7-0 and Battle Mountain at 4-0.

“We are looking forward to another great challenge to see if we can get better,” Phillips said.

Coal Ridge dropped to 7-3 with the loss, and sits at 4-2 in the 3A WSL classification.

In earlier action, Rifle swept a doubleheader at Cedaredge on Saturday, 11-1 and 17-1, which came on top of another convincing nonleague win at home, 14-4, against Moffat County April 14 and a doubleheader sweep against Steamboat Springs the weekend before.

Bowlan threw a no-hitter with nine strikeouts in the opener against Cedaredge, and on offense was was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and a run.

Senior Trey Caldwell was 2-for-4 with a run and RBI, and Gross had three stolen bases after a single, a walk and reaching on an error. He also scored a run and had an RBI. Peterson had two RBIs as well.

In the nightcap, Peterson pitched four innings, gathering four strikeouts en route to the win. As a hitter, he had two doubles, a triple and a walk, driving home two and scoring three runs.

Gross hit two triples and had two RBIs for the game, while Bowlan and Street contributed three RBIs each, and Caldwell and freshman Josh Wright had two apiece.

Against Moffat County, senior Easton Phillips was 3-for-5 with four RBIs. The Bears are 3-2 in the 4A Western Slope League with a key doubleheader against Glenwood Springs at home Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, Coal Ridge won both ends of the doubleheader at Delta on Friday, 4-3 and 7-4. Junior Brandon Short was 1-for-2 with an RBI in the opener. RBIs also came from sophomores Logan Simpson, Austin Price and Alexis Serna.

The Titans scored three in the first, two in the second and two in the fourth inning to take control of the nightcap versus the Panthers. Short went 2-for-4 with three RBIs for the game, and freshman Logan Harlow as 2-for-4 with an RBI. Serna picked up the win on the mound.

Next up for Coal Ridge is a home doubleheader versus Gunnison, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. The Titans are at Grand Valley on Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Other recent baseball scores: Dove Creek 7, Grand Valley 2; Dove Creek 16, Grand Valley 3; Nucla 16, Grand Valley 3

Girls soccer: Roaring Fork 5, Rifle 1; Palisade 1, Coal Ridge 0 (OT); Delta 7, Grand Valley 2; Coal Ridge 2, Rifle 0; Rifle 3, Vail Christian 0; CRMS 5, Grand Valley 1.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or

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