Nine singles in fourth lift Bulldogs past Fossil Ridge

Nine singles in fourth lift Bulldogs past Fossil Ridge

Palisade’s Tate Harlan watches a base hit as it travels into the outfield on Saturday during the Bulldogs’ 14-1 victory over Fossil Ridge in teh final game of the Bill Fanning Classic at Canyon View Park. Harlan ended up on third base after the outfileder lost the ball in the sun during the Bulldogs’ rout.

For Palisade High School’s baseball team, the singles hotline number Saturday was nine.

The Bulldogs hit nine singles during an eight-run fourth inning to rout Fossil Ridge 14-1 in five innings.

It was the final game of the Bill Fanning Classic at Canyon View Park.

“Feels great to come out and crush somebody,” said Palisade left fielder Lane Orman, who walked three times and scored three runs.

Caleb Hall had two singles in the inning.

Cole Cummings had one single, and finished 2 for 4.

There is an art to hitting a single, and Palisade (2-0) has a drill in practice to ensure a level-swinging, sharply hit line drive or ground ball through an infield gap. Of course, Bulldogs coach Steve Moore didn’t want to reveal the details of the drill.

As hit after Palisade hit piled up, many of which zipped past Fossil Ridge pitcher Chandler Bagett and hopped by second base and into the outfield, Moore couldn’t help but soak up pride in his players’  fundamentals.

“We take pride in driving the ball where the pitcher places it,” Moore said. “We also have a drill for hitting singles. But we can’t give out everything.”

There are not drills for composure, however, and Palisade starter Cameron Pfaff maybe was born with a sense of calm.

The bases were loaded in the third and fourth innings. Pfaff ended the former with a pair of strikeouts and the latter with a groundball out. He allowed only one run.

“We have more quality pitchers on our staff now than in the last five or six years,” Moore said.

Pfaff struck out six in four innings for the win.

A few players mentioned that the season has been dedicated to Gabe Hellman, a Bulldogs shortstop who drowned this past summer — during the Bulldogs’ summer league season — and would have been a senior.

Moore said his team has a unique sense of cohesion.

Or unselfishness.

Because now, winning is not about them.

“Everybody works together,” Palisade first baseman Justin Bell said. “We’re like a second family and we’re playing for Gabe, and that’s brought everybody close. Everybody is a brother to everybody else on the team.”

Fruita Monument 9, Woodland Park 2: Drew Bridges and Evan McDermott hit home runs as Fruita defeated Woodland Park.

Bridges, who went 3 for 3, hit a solo shot in the first inning to straight-away center field on one of his favorite pitches — an inside fastball.

“I have quick enough hands to get around that,” Bridges said.

McDermott blasted a two-run shot to left field in the Wildcats’ four-run fourth inning.

The Wildcats (2-1) made up for a 13-2 loss Friday to Fossil Ridge.

“We talked to our kids about how this was a character game,” Fruita coach Ray McLennan said. “When adversity hits, that’s when your character comes out and your leadership comes out.”

Horizon 8, Grand Junction 6: Grand Junction (1-1) walked 12 batters and left 14 runners on base in a loss to Horizon.

“We won’t talk about this game the rest of the year,” Grand Junction coach Kyle Rush said.

Horizon scored six runs in the second inning.

The Tigers scored twice in the sixth and had the bases loaded with no out, but couldn’t get another run home. They scored another run in the seventh to pull within two, but stranded two more runners.


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