EDWARDS (4/29/17) – Baseball in December? Two days from May, and it felt like winter ball as Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain split an error-plagued doubleheader where it was 32 degrees at first pitch of game one, and snowing by the time Chano Gonzalez struck out the final hitter in an 18-4, five-inning Demon victory in the second.
Battle Mountain’s Robert Redinger scattered nine hits in a 7-2 complete game that was handed – or more accurately thrown, to the Huskies. What really tells the story is that after three innings, the host team hadn’t hit the ball out of the infield, but led, 3-1. The second game pivoted on an 8-run second inning in which the Demons had only one hit – but Husky pitchers walked seven, hit two and threw five wild pitches.
Steven Romero and Cooper Cornelius got the Demons off to a good start with back-to-back, two-out doubles in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. But Redinger, who had allowed 63 hits and 51 earned runs, while walking 26 in 27 innings coming into the game, didn’t allow another run until the sixth.
Glenwood had runners on in each inning, but questionable base running took the Demons out of scoring chances in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, and Garrett Anderson’s diving, over-the-head catch of a 2-out drive to center robbed Cornelius of an RBI in the 5th.
Meanwhile, the baseball might have been made out of ice as four errant throws by Glenwood contributed to a 4-1 Battle Mountain lead after five. Romero (2-5), the hard-luck victim of those miscues, allowed just two hits and three unearned runs through four innings.
However, he contributed to his own demise in the fifth, hitting the leadoff batter (3rd, hit-by-pitch in 3 innings) and yielding a double to Hunter Meier. A wild pitch actually resulted in an out at home when Cornelius scrambled to make a diving tag. However David Reilly singled home Redinger, who had walked following Meier’s doube for a 5-1 Huskies lead.
Coming back to the dugout, the home ump overheard Romero’s comments about the size of the arbitrator’s strike zone to a Glenwood supporter, and ejected him from the game. That meant Romero, who was 3-for-3 at the plate, was also ineligible for the second game of the doubleheader.
Battle Mountain’s pitching and defense, so good in the opening contest, insured Romero’s bat wasn’t needed in game two. The Huskies committed 8 errors while their pitchers walked 12 and hit two. The Demons again jumped ahead in the first with singles by Gonzalez and Tyler Boyd, mixed in with three Husky errors and back-to-back doubles from Cornelius and Tristen Howe providing starting pitcher John Jensen a 3-0 lead.
He promptly gave it back, walking the first two batters, wild pitching one home and surrendering RBI hits to Redinger and Eric Biggs. But the second inning was the game decider, as Glenwood batted through the order – or more precisely, walked through it, receiving seven free passes to first, all of which scored, before Ethan Ryan had the inning’s (and his first varsity) hit against reliever Joey Beveridge. By the time the ice settled, the Demons led 11-3.
Davis Deaton relieved Jensen and cruised through the second with two strikeouts. Battle Mountain opened the third with back-to-back singles and Deaton wild-pitched one home before striking out two more to end the threat.
Glenwood batted around again in the fourth, sending 12 hitters to the plate and scoring six more, featuring Ryan’s second hit and a bases clearing double by Gonzalez. With an 18-4 advantage, Glenwood used Cornelius and Gonzalez, who each threw a scoreless frame to wrap up the win for Deaton (2-2).
Gonzalez and Boyd, the one-and-two hitters in the lineup, were a combined 0-for-8 in game one but had two hits apiece and scored a total of six runs in the second game. Boyd also had a sensational running, over-the-head catch of a pop-up before the final out in the fifth. Howe, walked twice with the bases loaded and finished with 4 RBI’s.
The divided doubleheader leaves Glenwood (7-10, 4-7 WSL) one game ahead of Battle Mountain (6-12, 3-8) for fifth place in the Western Slope League Standings. The Demons will honor their seniors in Monday’s twice-rescheduled, non-league game at home against Roaring Fork, before closing out the season on Wednesday at fourth-place Eagle Valley.