Rifle sweeps Basalt to clinch share of Class 3A Western Slope League title
RIFLE — Danny Bartels struck out 15 and walked none in his six-inning outing and Tristen Quigley homered in the nightcap as Rifle High School’s baseball team clinched at least a share of the Class 3A Western Slope League title Friday night with a doubleheader sweep of Basalt at Cooper Field.
The 24-1 and 8-0 victories for the Bears (17-2, 16-2 WSL) gave Rifle its first league championship since 2005 when it was still a 4A school.
The Bears also clinched their best regular-season record in Troy Thompson’s 16 seasons as the Rifle coach, eclipsing the previous best of 16-3 that also came in 2005.
“This is pretty cool,” Thompson said. “I’ve been able to feel how cool this is before, but it’s really special for these players. This is the first time they’ve gotten to have this feeling.”
Hotchkiss hosts a 3A Western Slope League doubleheader against Coal Ridge today. A Bulldogs sweep (15-2, 14-2 league) would tie them with Rifle for the league championship.
Bartels (10-1) went 5 1/3 innings without allowing a hit before Cody Hoffman broke up the bid with a single up the middle.
Quigley’s home run to left field was the Bears’ fifth of the season.
Rifle took control early in the opener, sending 20 batters to the plate in a 16-run second inning.
The District 51 Griffins defeated Durango 116-65.
In the process, the Griffins’ 400-yard freestyle relay qualified for state.
Austin Acree, Logan Young, Carlos Matthews and Tyler Fair teamed up to win the race in 3 minutes, 33.75 seconds.
Grand Junction (9-3) could not hold onto a 4-2 first-half lead in its 12-5 loss at Durango, the Tigers’ second straight loss.