’Dogs bounce back from poor first game to split DH
This is not the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team other Western Slope League teams have come to expect.
With rare chances to practice outside until May, the Sailors have generally gotten a late jump on the league season, frequently leading to their appearance at the bottom of the WSL standings.
Steamboat served notice Thursday that it’s primed for its first Class 4A state playoff appearance as it split a doubleheader with Palisade at Suplizio Field.
The Sailors (5-7, 5-7 WSL) surprised the Bulldogs 6-5 in the first game. Given the appropriate wake-up call, Palisade answered in the nightcap, winning 16-3.
Coming out a bit flat in the first game of a doubleheader is a problem that’s plagued Palisade all year.
Palisade (5-5, 4-3 WSL) led 3-0 until the Sailors broke loose for five runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Bulldogs answered with two more in their half of the inning, but Alan Capestron came on in relief of Steamboat starting pitcher Alex Wood and shut the door.
It wasn’t like Palisade didn’t have its chances. The Bulldogs out-hit the Sailors 8-6 but stranded 10 runners on base, seven in scoring position, and left the bases loaded twice.
“We have to make situations for ourselves,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said of taking advantage of opportunities.
“We just didn’t get the bat on the ball,” Palisade first baseman Rylie Josey said after Wood and Capestron combined for six strikeouts.
Jordan Salazar pitched into the fifth inning, giving up six hits and walking one.
“I thought Jordan threw of heck of a game,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said.
It took a while for the bats to break free in the second game, which was tied 1-1 heading into the top of the fifth inning.
That’s when the Bulldogs finally got their big inning. They scored eight runs on six hits, Jake Edmiston finally igniting things with a two-run single.
“That was the difference,” Moore said of the two games. “We took advantage. We were a lot more focused in the second game.”
Josey said the Bulldogs might have to change their attitude in a doubleheader.
“We’ve got to come out (mad) in the first game,” he said.
Palisade put another seven runs on the board in the seventh, courtesy of seven walks by two Sailors relief pitchers.
Mike Seriani, Cody Krabbe and Caleb Hall combined in the pitching effort for Palisade in the nightcap.
Jake Appling and Seriani each had four hits in the doubleheader to lead Palisade at the plate.
“I told the guys, championship teams win doubleheaders like that,” Moore said of letting the first game slip away.
The Bulldogs play their third doubleheader of the week Saturday at Rifle.