Western Slope prep baseball standouts get another day on the diamond
RIFLE, Colorado – They jelled, turned double plays and looked like they had been playing together all season. They were the best baseball players from Moffat County, Steamboat Springs and Delta, and they collaborated to beat the stars from Palisade, Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Eagle Valley, 6-1, in the Western Slope League All-Star Classic at Cooper Field in Rifle.When the ball was in play, the annual game was serious, but for the most part each player looked at the contest as one last chance to get out on the diamond.”It was a blast. It was a lot of fun getting out here,” said Rifle senior Kyle Bond.During the season, Rifle and Glenwood are rivals who bicker about who is the best of the neighboring towns. On Tuesday, they shared the same bench and talked trash together against the Moffat/Steamboat/Delta team.”It’s good-natured trash,” Bond said. “We give each other a little razzing every now and then, but it is all in good spirits.”The victorious visiting squad used five pitchers who allowed only three hits – one of which came off Bond’s bat. The single knocked in fellow Bear senior Zach Whitmore, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, for the home team’s only run of the game.The home team’s three pitchers gave up seven hits and walked seven, but were hurt by fielding errors that gave the Moffat/Steamboat/Delta team extra bases. The Palisade/Glenwood/Rifle/Eagle team had a little bit of a tougher time getting used to each other than the visiting team. But for Bond, playing with new players was a good experience.”It’s a little different, but it is pretty neat getting to know some different guys and play some different styles,” Bond said of the all-star game format.Bond pitched the fifth and sixth innings and even though he gave up three runs and walked five, he struck out six batters. “I walked a few more than I would have liked,” Bond said after the game.Asa Fix, the third and final Rifle player, played third and first base and registered one sacrifice in three at bats. Chad Sommers, the only player representing Glenwood Springs, played third base and caught a few innings, but was hitless in two at bats.For many players, like Sommers and the Rifle trio, the game was the last of their prep careers. Bond, who hit a fly out to deep center that missed clearing the fence by only a few feet for the last out of the game, was left with a bittersweet feeling.”I would have liked the score to be a little higher, but at least I didn’t end on a strikeout,” he said.
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