Palisade takes advantage of quality weather to sweep Battle Mountain

Prep Baseball Roundup April 15, 2009

It was just what the weatherman ordered.

After no less than 10 postponements or cancellations, the Palisade High School baseball team didn’t need a confidence builder or a complete game from its pitching staff.

It merely needed a little actual game time.

The Bulldogs finally got it on Tuesday, sweeping a doubleheader from Battle Mountain, 13-6 and 10-0 at Canyon View Park.

There have been plenty of days this spring that Palisade (4-4, 3-2 Western Slope League) spent relegated to the gym instead of the practice field because of Mother Nature.

“We needed to get in the baseball mode,” Bulldogs coach Steve Moore said. “It was just (a matter of) being on the field.”

Palisade may not have thought that way after the Huskies (0-13, 0-10 WSL) took a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning of the opening game.

“I think it was a wake-up call for our kids,” Moore said.

Eventual they wiped the sleep from their eyes, scoring four runs in the top of the second inning. From that point on, they never trailed Battle Mountain the rest of the day.

As much as his hitters and fielders needed the work, Moore was most concerned about his pitching staff. With 11 games scheduled in a 12-day span over the next two weeks, Moore needed to give his staff some work — but not too much work.

That became more important after Palisade lost its presumed ace, junior Jesse Brannon, for the season because of an injury to his pitching arm.

“I think we accomplished a lot of things we wanted to do,” Moore said.

Four pitchers got some mound time. None worked more than four innings and none threw more than 50 pitches, saving their arms for possible use later this week in doubleheaders against Steamboat Springs on Thursday and Rifle on Saturday.

Palisade scored in bunches in the opener, adding four runs in the fifth and three in the seventh.

Jake Appling and Mike Seriani had three hits apiece in the game; Rylie Josey, Tyler Alire, Tucker Barnes and Drew Clinkingbeard each had two.

If hitting was the strong suit in the first game, the pitching shined in the nightcap. Jordan Salazar and Caleb Hall combined for a one-hitter. Hall, a freshman, threw two innings in relief, ceding only one baserunner on a walk.

“These young pitchers are going to be big,” Moore said of dictating the Bulldogs’ chances in the WSL race.

Seriani went 4 for 4 at the plate in the second game.

“Their pitchers were slower than we were used to, “ he said. “We had to keep our weight back. We started to get into a rhythm and settled back.”

They settled back for a combined 30 hits in the two games.

“It was great,” Seriani said of the team getting in its first games in a week. “We needed it.”

The Bulldogs are scheduled for a makeup doubleheader against Steamboat Springs on Thursday at Suplizio Field.

CENTRAL 15, CORTEZ 13

The Warriors (9-6, 2-4 Southwestern League) scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning, then held off a Panthers rally in the bottom of the inning.

Holden Reed, Spencer Hicks, John Woods and Lanny Baker all had extra-base hits for Central. Dane Barsland came on in relief of Scott Clow in the fifth inning and took the pitching victory.

GRAND JUNCTION 8, MONTROSE 5

The Tigers (12-1, 5-0 SWL) had four home runs to defeat Montrose. Aaron Berk, Jayke Brock, Ty Nielsen and Zeph Quigley all went deep as the Tigers earned their fifth league win.

After giving up five runs in the first three innings, Tigers starter Conner Dixon was replaced by Charlie Riecks who threw four shutout innings.

The Tigers will play a make-up game at Durango, today at 1 p.m.

DURANGO 9, FRUITA MONUMENT 7

The Demons scored four runs in the sixth inning, then held off the Wildcats in the final inning.

Fruita Monument scored three runs in the top of the seventh and had the tying run on second before Kenneth Gallegos was able to shut the doory.

The Wildcats (8-5, 3-2) hurt their cause with seven errors.

Rex Clemons absorbed the loss on the mound.


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