Palisade tops Delta at Canyon View Park

Palisade tops Delta at Canyon View Park

Palisade High School’s Justin Bell tags out Delta’s Isiah Kathrein at first base on a pickoff play Monday during the third inning of the Bulldogs’ game against the Panthers at Canyon View Park.



Palisade High School starting pitcher Tate Herland delivers Monday during the Bulldogs’ game against Delta at Canyon View Park.



Dirt bag baseball.

Boring baseball.

For Palisade, it all goes together.

And Palisade played a combination of both — a good thing — in a 7-3 win Monday over Delta at Canyon View Park.

In winning its 4A Western Slope League opener, Palisade (5-1, 1-0) played the “dirt bag” part, which, from Bulldogs coach Steve Moore’s playing days at Long Beach State, means play clean, but play hard, and don’t leave the field without some dirt on your uniform.

Backing up Palisade starting pitcher Tate Herland, who went six innings and struck out six, the Bulldogs’ defense was mostly steady and solid, fielding ground balls without a bobble making throws on target, and, of course, getting dirty when need be.

And boring?

That just means don’t do too much.

“Baseball’s a boring game,” Herland said. “Keep it that way.”

Huh?

“Our coaches tell us to keep it boring out in the field,” said Palisade shortstop Caleb Hall, who was 2 for 2 with two walks. “When you get too fancy you start making errors.”

On the flip side was Palisade’s offense, coming through with four runs in the third inning.

With the bases loaded, Quynn Clark ripped a line-drive to the right-centerfield gap for a two-RBI double. With a gusting left-to-right wind plowing baseballs, it was an ideal time for the right-handed batting Clark to slap the ball to the opposite field.

Just something Dad taught him way back when.

“It was about third, fourth grade,” Clark said. “He just taught me to let the ball get deep.  It also helps you pick up the spin on the ball a little more.”

And with a short, smooth swing, Clark poked the low, outside fastball to right and helped put the game away.

But because Palisade left 15 runners on base, including the bases loaded twice, Delta (4-3, 2-1) was able to put together something that nearly resembled a seven-inning rally.

Designated hitter Austin Hines crushed the first pitch from Kameron Pfaff to the right field wall for a triple. Then on a passed ball, Pfaff, a linebacker in football, cruised home to leave Delta behind 7-3.

Jordan Sandoval then legged out an infield hit. But for Delta, that’s where the rally monkey stopped dancing.

Panthers coach Marty Rover wished his squad didn’t need to rally in the first place. He pointed to a runner being picked off at third base in the third inning and another who was caught stealing in the fifth inning as mistakes that kept Delta behind.

“Those were my mistakes,” Rover said. “But we’re young and we have a long ways to go. You don’t want to peak now; you want to be playing your best baseball during the second week of May.”

Unfortunately for Delta, it ran into some dirt bag, boring baseball.


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