GLENWOOD SPRINGS(4/8/17) – Gathered inside the announcer’s booth to eat their lunch and get out of the wind between games of a doubleheader they would eventually drop to Summit County, several Glenwood Springs’ baseball players shook their heads in agreement on Tiger pitcher Andrew Shaw, who had just fired a 3-hit, 15-strikeout shutout: he was something.
The 6-4 senior lefthander struck out the side looking in the first inning and didn’t yield a hit until Steven Romero singled, leading off the 4th. Shaw, with a move the Demon coaching staff felt crossed the balk line, promptly registered his second pickoff of the game. Glenwood never really came close to scoring off Shaw, their best chance coming after the Tigers scored the only run in the top of the 5th.
Shaw figured prominently in that score, doubling home Turner McDonald, who had singled and gone to third on a stolen base and errant throw by Demon catch Jake Brown.
With one out in the home half, Davis Deaton, who struggled, but matched zeros with Shaw through the first four innings, singled. Pinch runner Cooper Cornelius stole second, but Shaw struck out the next two hitters to end the threat.
Deaton, also a lefthander, stranded six runners through the first four innings, giving way to Cornelius after a career-high 106 pitches through five innings. Cornelius escaped two-on, no-out trouble in the 6th, pitching two scoreless frames.
But Shaw retired the final eight Demons, including 5 straight strikeouts, to finish the shutout. Shaw, who didn’t walk a batter for the fifth time this season, is now 5-1 with 71 strikeouts and 3 walks in 36 innings. Before the Summit sweep, the two teams had been tied atop the Western Slope League with 3-0 records. The Tigers also defeated Romero (2-3), Glenwood’s ace, 5-2 in the second game. The Demon senior, who’d combined with Deaton on a 3-hit shutout of previously unbeaten Eagle Valley on Wednesday, did not have the same command Saturday.
Unable to get ahead of the Summit hitters, Romero yielded 6 hits and 4 runs (three earned) in his first two innings, including run-scoring doubles to McDonald and Shaw.
After three innings and 57 pitches, Romero gave way to Chano Gonzalez, who finished the final three frames, allowing just two hits and one unearned run.
The Demons threatened in the first inning against Tiger starter Sam Hull, singles by Gonzalez and Romero putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. But Cornelius was called out on strikes and Tristen Howe popped out to short right, ending the inning. Glenwood also put two on in the second, but failed to score.
Down 4-0, the Demons rallied in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs on a single by Brown, Branden Benzel’s double, and a walk to Peyton Hagemann. Tanner Korn appeared to hit into a double play, but it was ruled McDonald missed second base, and a run scored. The promising inning fizzled when Gonzalez, who was struck out three times by Shaw, fanned, and Tyler Boyd’s hard-hit line drive was tracked down by leftfielder Omar Nunez.
Glenwood put the first two runners on in the 5th, but this time the Tigers turned the double play up the middle and recorded a rare triple play when Romero was caught in a rundown between home and third.
After an error allowed Summit to increase their lead to 5-1 in the 6th, the Demons punched across another run in the 7th on base hits by Gonzalez and Boyd, but left two runners on as relief pitcher Will Heuck ended the game with a 3-inning save. In the second game, Glenwood (4-5, 3-2) left nine runners on base, and the doubleheader loss dropped them into a 4th-place tie with the Rifle Bears (6-4, 3-2), who also lost a twin bill to the Tigers (9-2, 5-0) a week ago.
The Bears beat Palisade (8-3, 4-1), 4-3, last week to drop the Bulldogs into a second-place tie with Eagle Valley (7-5, 4-1). Glenwood, after a non-league game at Denver Christian on Wednesday, will travel to Rifle Saturday, April 15 for a doubleheader.