WEST GLENWOOD SPRINGS (5/2/15) – For seven Glenwood Springs senior baseball players, their final game was both bitter and sweet, as the Demons’ disappointing season ended on a definite high note with a 5-4 win over the previously undefeated Western Slope League champion Palisade Bulldogs.
“It (the season) couldn’t have ended better for this group of seniors,” Demon coach Eric Nieslanik said after Ian Scruton’s two-run, sixth-inning single gave Chase Nieslanik the lead for the first time in the game. The senior left-hander had the top of a potent Bulldog lineup to face in the final inning.
“I know most of those guys from summer ball, and they’re a great team,” Nieslanik said after retiring cleanup hitter Andrew Bowles to end the game with a 5-hitter. Bowles had ripped a solo home run to give Palisade (16-3, 13-1 WSL) a 4-0 lead in the third, but Nieslanik was confident he could get him out. “I just had to calm myself down after the home run,” Nieslanik said, and he retired the next seven straight as his teammates began their comeback.
After the Demons (6-13, 4-10) lost the first game of the doubleheader, 17-5, Kiefer Brocker got them the board with a home run over the left field fence in the third, then started a fifth-inning rally with a double. Scruton singled Brocker home, but was thrown out trying to steal second.
The next two Demons reached on a walk and hit-by-pitch, forcing Bulldog starter John Tabor out of the game, but Luis Arevalo struck out Cooper Cornelius to strand the runners.
With one out in the last of the 6th, Kyle LaCouture got his second single to left and Bryce Gonzales followed with a base hit before Jerrod Shimp doubled to right to close the score to 4-3. Broker lined out to short for the second out prior to Scruton’s shot between short and third put the Demons in front.
Nieslanik struck out seven in evening his record at 3-3 (and 11-11 for his varsity career) in his final game. He was honored between games with the other Demon seniors, Brocker, Scruton, Gonzales, Quinn Kimminau, and Luke Ray, who was the losing pitcher in the first game.
“This was maybe our best game, to beat a strong team, a program we’re always chasing,” Nieslanik said. “We hope it carries into the summer with the younger players.”