WEST GLENWOOD SPRINGS (5/10/11) — Though not quite a Shakespearean “All's Well That Ends Well,” conclusion, the Glenwood Springs baseball team wrapped up a challenging on-and-off-field 2011 season with a 9-6 win over playoff-hopeful Eagle Valley in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday.
The first game was a microcosm of the Demons' 4-15 season as Mario Gonzalez drove in five runs with a pair of homers in the first two innings, but the rest of the team's bats were mostly silent, and the pitching staff couldnt hold a 6-2 lead, losing 17-7, as Glenwood dropped the 10th of 11 league games.
But redemption of sorts was awaiting one of the victims of the first-game battering. Luke Jacob, who had a stellar junior season on the mound and at the plate last year, yielded 11 runs in the final three innings to fall to 0-7, but did rip a double in his last at bat before going 5-for-5 with two more doubles and his first homer of the season in the second game. Six different players drove in runs as Glenwood stayed ahead of each Eagle Valley challenge by scoring in the first five innings.
Leading 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth, starting pitcher Kevin Flohr left after a lead-off double and walk brought the tying run to the plate. Robert Reynolds got two outs before a walk loaded the bases, then doused the fire by striking out Austin Fahrenholtz, who had homered in the 4th.
The Devils, whose 5-4 Western Slope League record, has them chasing Moffat County (8-4) for the third and final playoff spot, depending upon the outcome of a couple of make-up games, mounted another rally in the sixth when starting and losing pitcher Tanner Coulter hit a booming triple to deepest right center to drive in one run, and scored on a single by Wes Blevins (who won the opening game while rapping three doubles in the 14-hit attack). James Van Dyke (with a home run in the first game) singled, but Jacob made a nice running catch for the second out and Reynolds got Nikk Soto to pop up, ending the threat.
With the lead down to 7-6, Reynolds and Jacob provided a valuable cushion in the top of the 7th. Jacob cracked a double down the third base line, then stole third. Gonzalez was walked intentionally for the fourth time in the doubleheader, and took second uncontested with two out, before Reynolds shot a single to centerfield, scoring them both.
Then “Big Bob” picked up the first save of the Demon season by recording just the second 1-2-3 inning of the entire day by either pitching staff in the last of the seventh.
Flohr, who will take his considerable basketball talents to Colorado Christian University in the fall, picked up his third win of the season against one loss. Gonzalez, also a senior, went 4-for-6 and drove in 6 runs in the doubleheader, bringing his season average to .526, the third time in an impressive four-year varsity career he has hit over .500. Jacob's 6-for-6 day raised his average to .377, and Carlos Hernandez, the remaining senior on the Demon team, played his usual solid game at shortstop and finished the season with a .350 average.
Freshman Garrett Lowe, who made his varsity debut just a week ago, was 3-for-5 for the afternoon, junior Jon Forristall played well behind the plate in both games, blocking numerous wild pitches and throwing out a base-stealer; junior Randy Burbidge extended his hitting streak to 7 games since joining the starting lineup, handled several difficult fly balls in the sunfield of right, and by going 3-for-8, finished the season with a .357 average. These players, who were called up to the varsity in mid-season, show promise of better things to come next year as they join returning underclassmen Cody Derby, Carter Ullom, Miguel Vega, Pete Ray, and Caiden Sorensen, who contributed all season long.