Spring fever: Palisade tops Eagle Valley on sunny day at Suplizio Field
For the Palisade High School baseball team, there wasn’t much of an acclimation period Tuesday night.
Taking on Western Slope League opponent Eagle Valley at Suplizio Field, the Devils led off the top of the first inning with three runs on four hits off Palisade starting pitcher Jordan Salazar.
Palisade took the punch, and responded with a four-run inning of its own, with Pete Lelich’s three-run home run.
After one inning, Palisade (2-1, 1-0 WSL) had a 4-3 lead.
Both teams stayed hot offensively, and in a game that had a combined 26 hits, the Bulldogs held on to win 10-7.
“This was huge because we want to get a jump start on the league,” Palisade coach Steve Moore said. “Today was a team win.”
A team win usually includes contributions from every player in some fashion. That was exactly how the Bulldogs won Tuesday night. A perfect example was Salazar. The Bulldogs’ senior pitcher gave up eight hits and five runs in two innings pitched.
“Jordan didn’t have his stuff tonight,” Moore said. “He wasn’t really hitting any corners, and wasn’t on today, but he’ll work hard to get back into the rotation.”
Although Salazar didn’t contribute much on the mound, he went 3 for 3 with three RBI at the plate. That included an RBI single in the third inning to put the Bulldogs up 8-5.
“We’ve been preaching that (games) will happen that way,” Moore said. “But he came to the plate, and hit the ball well.”
Cody Krabbe added his piece to the team’s victory by pitching in relief of Salazar. The junior took over in the third inning, and allowed two runs the rest of the way, despite the Bulldogs’ defense committing six errors in the game. Krabbe kept the Eagle Valley batters off balance with a combination of pitches.
“My curveball was working, and they didn’t know what was coming,” Krabbe said. “It was tough coming in knowing they got to Jordan, so I knew I had to go in there strong.”
Krabbe had eight strikeouts, including the final three outs of the game.
“Cody did an excellent job, and had all his stuff working,” Moore said. “Without a couple of our errors he would have thrown goose-eggs up there, because he got stronger as the game went on.”
With Krabbe controlling the game, Salazar put it away in the fifth inning with a two-run triple that scored Lelich and Jamr Rhodes.
It was a strong day offensively for the Bulldogs, who finished with 16 hits. Mike Seriani went 3 for 3 with two RBI, and Caden Woods finished 2 for 4.
“We don’t rely on just one guy,” Moore said. “I think this is the most team-oriented group I’ve been around, so if someone doesn’t do the job, someone else will pick them up.”
The Bulldogs are off until next Saturday when they host Palmer Ridge.
Bella Castleton didn’t need to find the net Tuesday to help her team. Instead, she just found other teammates, logging two assists in Palisade’s 3-1 win over Delta.
“Bella had a great game,” said Palisade coach Raina Sorensen. “(She had) some good balls to people, really setting them up for the goals. You need that.”
The Bulldogs got ahead early with a goal in the 21st minute by Courtney Clark. Castleton’s assists came on a goal before the half from Flannery Davis and a goal by Nicole Lashus in the 55th minute.
Grand Junction got four goals from Taylor Watkins in a 8-5 win over Battle Mountain.
The Tigers led 4-3 at the half despite being outplayed by Battle Mountain.
“(Battle Mountain) came out hard,” Grand Junction coach James States said. “But we settled down and played our style in the second half.”
The Tigers got eight saves from Andy Bell in goal.
Fruita Monument began its first lacrosse season with a lopsided 16-2 victory at Eagle Valley. The Wildcats were led by Ethan Grider’s five goals.