Bats propel ‘Dogs to twinbill sweep
Palisade combines for 19 hits in two victories over Summit
Snow in the mountains delayed Summit High School’s arrival to Suplizio Field by more than an hour Thursday. The Tigers might have been better off turning the bus around, given what Palisade had waiting for them.
On a cold night on the second day of spring, the Bulldogs gave a chilly reception to Summit’s pitchers, hitting them hard in the first game and seizing on the Tigers’ wildness in the second to sweep a 4A Western Slope League baseball doubleheader.
Palisade cracked 12 hits, five for extra bases, to win the first game 13-4, then claimed the nightcap 13-2, using eight walks, two hit batsmen and seven hits to shorten the game to five innings on the run rule.
Palisade coach Steve Moore expects the hitting and the discipline at the plate that he got from the Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0 WSL), so he focused on his team’s pitching after the game.
“I thought our pitchers did really well,” he said. “We did a lot of work in the bullpen in the last week. We threw a lot of strikes today.”
In the case of Game 1 starter Cody Higman, those strikes led to strikeouts as the senior fanned 11 batters and walked only one in his six innings of work before yielding to Cameron Campbell, who pitched the final frame.
“He threw a lot better than the Montrose game,” Moore said, referring to the Bulldogs’ lone loss, which came one week ago. “He was working in the bullpen and working on some fundamentals, working on his windup and delivery.”
Higman also swung a productive bat, going 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Joining him with two hits in the opener were T.J. Tway and Caden Woods, who doubled, tripled and drove in two runs. Easton Woods’ one hit was a solo home run to start the scoring in Palisade’s seven-run sixth inning.
In Game 2, Tway worked the first three innings, and Easton Woods tossed the final two, combining to limit Summit to five hits. It was the first time on the mound for each this season.
Tway helped his cause at the plate, cracking two doubles, one to left-center in the first inning and one to right-center in the second inning, driving in a run each time.
Palisade sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored seven runs on four hits to take a 10-1 lead.
Third baseman Troy Levinson, who had one hit and two walks in the nightcap and drove in two runs, giving him five for the day, said the walks the Bulldogs collected were a combination of wildness by the Tigers and patience by Palisade’s hitters.
And despite a few miscues in the field, the Tigers didn’t let that faze them.
“We always stay up,” Levinson said. “We always keep it positive. Even after an inning where we make an error, we’re all positive. We always keep fighting.”
Fruita Monument 11, Valencia, N.M. 3: It’s a throwback brand of ball Fruita Monument High School coach Ray McLennan and his Wildcats enjoy.
At this weekend’s Piedra Vista Invitational tournament in Farmington, N.M., they get to break out the wooden bats.
The New Mexico Activities Association eliminated the use of metal bats beginning with the 2012 season. Only wood and wood-composite bats are permitted.
“They do enjoy it,” McLennan said after Thursday’s win in the tourney opener. “It’s a better game. You can jam a guy, and he’s not able to hit it hard like with aluminum. You need to put a good swing on it to hit it hard. It’s a game where speed and defense are more important.”
Fruita (4-3) played solid defense behind winning pitcher Gage Lovern on Thursday, McLennan said.
“We made some plays we haven’t been making,” he noted.
Lovern scattered nine hits, walked one and struck out three to pick up the win.
The Wildcats, who face Farmington, N.M., in the semifinals today at 2 p.m., clustered hits on offense, scoring five runs in the second inning and six more in the third.
Ty Burtard drove in four runs, going 2 for 4 with a double. Logan McLennan (2 for 3, RBI), Casey Mays (2 for 3, two RBI) and Doran Wood (1 for 3 with a double) also contributed at the plate.
Montrose 16, Delta 1: Montrose continued its scorching-hot pace in the early season, rolling to a run rule-shortened win at Delta.
Jake Kastendieck’s 3 for 4, four-RBI day paced the Indians, who improved to 7-0.
An own goal found its way across the line and it all unraveled from there for Central in a 3-0 loss at Montrose.
“We had some tough breaks,” said Warriors coach Jacob Pingel, whose team dipped to 0-4-1. “It was a well-matched game. It was very much back and forth, with pressure both ways.”
Amanda Thoe and Kaylynn Miller scored goals in the second half for the Indians, who improved to 1-2-1.
■ Palisade’s game at Summit was postponed to April 23.
■ Delta’s game at Glenwood was postponed to April 23.
Grand Junction’s girls lacrosse game at Aspen was postponed to April 11 in Aspen.