Better Bulldogs: Palisade’s offense leads to doubleheader sweep of Moffat County
Apparently, not even a weather postponement can slow down the Palisade High School baseball team.
Two days after the Bulldogs were scheduled to play the Moffat County Bulldogs, Palisade defeated Moffat County 7-3 and 19-3 to sweep a Western Slope League doubleheader on Monday afternoon at Suplizio Field.
The games were scheduled for last Saturday but were postponed because of rain.
“We came in ready to hit,” Palisade senior Jam’r Rhodes said. “Delta split with these guys, so we knew we had to come in and sweep. If we go undefeated into that last (league) game of the year, Delta and us will be battling for the league championship.”
Palisade is on a six-game winning streak after losing six of its first eight games to start the season.
“We came together as a team, had a meeting in the coaches office and talked,” Rhodes said. “We had no confidence for the first six or so games. We all got down. There is so much failure in baseball. We had to stop, take a breath and look at what we have.”
Palisade coach Steve Moore knew they had the talent and capability to win a lot of games and challenge for the Western Slope League title, but had to put an entire game together.
“I put a lot of the responsibility on our seniors and made all of them captains,” Moore said. “I figured this season, our seniors will make or break this season. They took a turn and are hitting on different cylinders. I give them a lot of credit for showing good leadership. They took the bull by the horns.”
Now, the Palisade Bulldogs (8-6, 6-1 WSL) are back in the league title hunt, one game behind Delta (11-4, 8-1 WSL) with five games left in the regular season.
Palisade has done it with offense, producing 67 runs in its six-game winning streak. It starts with the leadoff hitter, Caleb Hall, who was 5 for 8 with three runs and one walk in Monday’s sweep.
“Caleb is one of the fastest guys on the team,” Moore said.
“He makes contact. He made two or three good at-bats and made their pitcher throw six or seven balls. We hit the ball really good today.”
Hall set the table for guys like Rhodes, who walked and scored in the first inning, tripled and scored in the third and tripled to drive in a run in the fourth off Moffat County starter Ben Williams.
“He hung two curveballs in almost the exact same spot in my second and third at bat and I hit ‘em,” Rhodes said.
After Rhodes tripled and scored in the third, Tucker Barnes drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly and Cole Cummins scored on an errant throw for a 5-3 lead.
That was enough for Palisade starter Cody Krabbe (4-3), who limited Moffat County (4-8, 4-4 WSL) to three earned runs on six hits and struck out eight.
Pete Lelich (4-2) and Kameron Pfaff combined to limit Moffat County to three runs on seven hits and struck out 12 in the five-inning second game.
“It’s funny when we get ahead of the hitters, good things happen,” Moore said. “Cody and Pete were getting ahead of their hitters then Kameron Pfaff came in. I wanted to look at him tonight and he threw the ball hard. When we get ahead, we make the routine play and good things happen for us.”
Palisade scored six runs in the first inning with the aid of four walks, Lelich’s two-run triple and Barnes’ RBI double.
Palisade tacked on six more in the second with RBI hits from Cummins, Hughes, Tate Herland and Hall.
Cummins added a two-run home run in the fourth for his second varsity home run of his career and first of the season.