WEST GLENWOOD SPRINGS (4/4/15) – If Chase Nieslanik doesn’t have a prom date already, who could possibly refuse the senior lefthander after his walk-off grand slam and 12-strikeout, complete game led Glenwood Springs to a 12-2 win and doubleheader split with Delta Saturday.
The Demons (2-6, 2-3 WSL) committed six errors and several other gaffs in helping Delta (7-5, 5-3) to a 14-5 win in the first game, but Nieslanik’s heroics hauled Glenwood into a five-team scramble for second place in the Western Slope League.
Delta turned Glenwood’s only error of the second game into a first-inning 1-0 lead, but Nieslanik ended the threat with the first of four straight strike outs, and his teammates got him the lead in the home half.
Kiefer Brocker hit the first pitch for a single and three walks, a stolen base by Luke Ray, and three passed balls later, the Demons led 2-1. After Nieslanik fanned the side in the top of the second, Brocker again keyed a rally with a single and stolen base, scoring on Ian Scruton’s base hit. With two outs, Nieslanik ripped a two-run double to right for a 5-1 advantage.
Delta got one run back in the fourth after Ray ran into the fence in right center trying to track down Ethan Keller’s triple, and a passed ball closed the margin to 5-2. However, Nieslanik struck out two to close out the inning.
With two runners on, Stephen Romero lined a base hit to center that Keller dove for but missed, and when the ball rolled to the wall, Romero slid home with a 3-run, inside-the-park home run for an 8-2 lead.
Nieslanik whiffed two more hitters in stranding a pair of runners in the fifth and struck out the side around a double by Easton Byers in the sixth.
Scruton opened the bottom of the 6th with a single and was safe at second when relief pitcher Jasper Carmichael threw Ray’s bouncer into centerfield. Romero walked and Nieslanik golfed a belt-high pitch over the right field fence to invoke the 10-run mercy rule, ending the game.
The complete game win was the first for the big lefty (against two losses), who allowed just five hits, walked two, and had six RBI’s in the game, added to a triple and RBI in game one. Brocker and Scruton each had 3 hits and scored 3 runs.
Derek Horn allowed just four hits, striking out 10 in the first game, getting the win over Romero, who also struck out 10, but was lifted in the 6th inning after allowing nine hits and eight runs (five earned) in 123 pitches.
Glenwood resumes league play Tuesday night at Cooper Field in Rifle.