WEST GLENWOOD SPRINGS (2/14/18) – After an unprecedented pair of mercy-rule shutouts by his team over Rifle, Glenwood Springs baseball coach Eric Nieslanik said, “I don’t want to go home; everything just went so well.” Due to inclement weather forcing three postponements, it had been ten days between games for the Demons, but the 10-0, 20-0 doubleheader sweep over the Bears stretched Glenwood’s Western Slope League record to 5-0, setting up a showdown for first place next weekend at Palisade.
“It’s never happened before,” Nieslanik said of the dominating 10-run-rule victories over Rifle (6-7, 4-3 WSL), before lauding his two starters, Chano Gonzalez (4-1) and Davis Deaton (2-1), who each twirled five-inning complete game shutouts. “Seventy five pitches for Chano, and what, 69, for Davis?” Nieslanik praised. Deaton, who was staked to a 9-0 first-inning lead, featuring a 3-run bomb over the centerfield fence by Jake Brown in game two, walked just one, striking out five and allowing only two hits. Gonzalez threw a five-hitter in the opening game, fanning seven and also yielding just one walk.
Walks and miscues in the field were the undoing for starting pitcher Connor Gould and the Bears in game one. The Demons led 1-0 with two outs and Tyler Boyd on third in the third when Gould wild-pitched him home for the second time in the game, then walked Brown on four pitches. After an infield hit by Sam Fitzwilliams and another walk loaded the bases, Deaton singled home the second run of the inning, and Kai Kanzer’s bouncer got by firstbaseman Wyatt Warfel to plate two more.
Up 5-0, Gonzalez yielded a double to Gould leading off the fourth, and balked him to third, but struck out the side to strand the runner. In the home half, the Demons put the game away as Boyd led off with a walk, stole second, and went to third on a mishandled bunt. Gonzalez singled home Boyd, who would score five runs for the day, and another Rifle error set up two more unearned runs.
In the last of the fifth, Gould again walked the leadoff hitter, gave up a bunt single to Ash Stolley, and after Boyd was hit by a pitch to fill the bases, Dylan Lee’s booming double to left scored two and ended the game on the ten-run mercy rule.
Deaton yieleded a bunt single to Ellis leading off game two, but picked him off first, and only three other Bears reached base in the game, one of those erased by a sterling 6-4-3 doubleplay started by Gonzalez on a sharply hit ball in the hole at shortstop.
After the 9-run first, against starter Randy Starks, which featured eight base hits by the Demons, Glenwood continued to pour it on the beleaguered Bears. Sam Fitzwilliams led off the second with a triple off reliever Eddie Medina with Deaton, Kanzer, and Lee following with RBI singles for a 13-0 lead.
Rifle’s third pitcher in three innings, sophomore Derek Wagler, couldn’t find the strike zone, walking two and hitting two in a four-run third that featured another RBI-single by Deaton and Boyd’s two-run shot up the middle for a 17-0 Glenwood lead. Wagler came back in the fourth but left after hitting the leadoff batter and walking two more, loading the bases. Sophomore David Corral, making his first varsity pitching appearance for Rifle, gave up Deaton’s fourth RBI hit in four innings, and two more runs scored on infield grounders to stretch the lead to 20-0.
Deaton set down the Bears 1-2-3 in the fifth to finish the game and extend Glenwood’s winning streak to five. For the third straight game, the Demons did not commit an error. In the doubleheader, Boyd had four hits, scored five runs and drove in four. Deaton was 5-for-6 with five RBIs. Lee drove in four runs and along with Gonzalez and Fitzwilliams, collected three hits. Cole Houston and Fitzwilliams joined Boyd in scoring five runs in the double dip. Kanzer and Brown each had two hits and 3 runs batted in.
Glenwood (6-2, 5-0) hosts Montezuma-Cortez in a non-league game at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, while the Bears (6-8, 4-4) travel to Delta on Wednesday, also for a non-league encounter.