Bulldogs sweep Eagle Valley to snap 5-game losing streak

Palisade’s Caleb Hall steals second base Saturday in the second inning of the Bulldogs’ 15-1 victory over Eagle Valley in the first game of a doubleheader at Canyon View Park. Palisade won the second game 12-4.

The losing streak is over.

The Palisade High School baseball team was able to relax Saturday and play like it hoped, defeating Eagle Valley 15-1 and 12-4 in a Western Slope League doubleheader at Canyon View Park.

The Bulldogs (4-6, 2-1 WSL) snapped a five-game losing streak.

“I think we came out more relaxed,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said. “The kids were more loose. We made the routine play today.

“We’re seeing the ball better, our confidence is getting a lot better. Wins will cure a lot of things.”

Palisade played solid defense, pitched well and smacked 31 hits in the doubleheader.

Cole Cummins was one of the players who played well in a different role. The usual leadoff hitter batted in the five hole and was 7 for 8 with two triples and five RBI in the two games to lead the hitting attack.

“I tried to stay within myself and not try to drive the ball out of the park,” Cummins said. “I tried to hit the ball on the ground and do what I can for the team.”

“Cole was in a little bit of a slump,” Moore said. “He’s another kid that worked hard in practice going to the right side. We moved him down in the lineup and I think it helped him. He was more relaxed and it showed.”

Palisade jumped on Eagle Valley (4-7, 2-3 WSL) early in the first game, scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Caleb Hall led off with a double and scored on Pete Lelich’s single. Jam’r Rhodes went for third and scored when the Devils’ catcher overthrew the third baseman. Lelich scored when the left fielder tried to throw Lelich out at third.

Two batters later Cummins singled home a run and scored on a groundout for a 5-0 lead. Hall tripled in his second at-bat in the inning, scoring two runs. He scored on Rhodes’ double. Lelich doubled home a run and Caden Woods had a RBI single.

“We worked on being aggressive all week,” Moore said. “We flushed those (past) games out of our system. It was a little wet, so we preached on hitting hard line drives and it paid off. If you put the ball in play, good things are going to happen.”

Rhodes drove in two in the second inning to push the lead to 12-0. Lelich had a RBI single and Cummins hit a two-run triple in the fourth.

Cody Krabbe picked up the win, allowing one run on two hits, one walk and struck out eight in five innings.

The Bulldogs took a similar approach in the second game, even though they were the visitors, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning.

Lane Orman led off with a single and scored on Lelich’s single. Rhodes, pushing the envelope again, scored after the left fielder overthrew the third baseman.

Two innings later, Palisade added four runs for a 7-0 lead.

Eagle Valley got three runs back in the fifth, but the Bulldogs answered with three in the sixth. Joey Jonely came through with a two-run single, then shut down Eagle Valley the rest of the way.

“(Joey) is one of those kids that works hard in practice,” Moore said. “He hasn’t had a lot of playing time, but when he does, he takes advantage of it.

“He has a weird windup, his ball tails a bit, but he’s a hard-working kid.”

Jonely, who came on in relief of Lelich, struck out six Eagle Valley batters in 22⁄3 innings in the second game.

“I went out and tried to throw strikes and hit my spots,” Jonely said. “I wanted to give my defense a chance, no walks and make them put the ball in play.”


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