Wagner's gem helps Bulldogs sweep Demons

Palisade pitcher Bubba Wagner delivers a pitch in the Bulldogs' 9-1 win over Glenwood Springs on Saturday in Palisade. Wagner had 11 strikeouts in his complete-game effort as Palisade swept the Class 4A Western Slope League doubleheader.

One game was a battle, the other a blowout for the Palisade High School baseball team in a key matchup with Glenwood Springs.

The Bulldogs picked up a convincing doubleheader sweep to remain undefeated in Class 4A Western Slope League play.

Palisade (12-4, 9-0 WSL) won the first game 9-1 before rolling in the second game, 15-0, in five innings.

The opener was a pitcher's duel for five innings, and Palisade senior Bubba Wagner ended with a complete game two-hitter to get the win.

"I just wanted to throw strikes and let my defense do the work. I have eight guys behind me willing to fight," he said.

Base runners were scarce for both teams throughout the first game, which was tied at 1-1 headed into the bottom of the sixth. That's when walks and a couple of hits turned into eight runs for the Bulldogs.

Wagner got the sixth-inning rally going with a two-out single up the middle. Then came five consecutive walks with Luke Sorenson, Nash Marez and Nate Bollinger working the count for RBI walks and a 4-1 lead.

Austin Bernal then followed with a two-run single, which was followed by a two-run double off the left-field wall by Jack Mohler. Stevie Reynolds finished the huge inning with an RBI single for a 9-1 Palisade lead.

Wagner did the rest, pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning, including two strikeouts as he neared the pitch-count limit.

Bernal said the first-game win was a good all-around team effort.

"It was a lot of hard work in the game, we just had the Bulldog mentality moving runners over, and it was a combination of wearing out their pitcher and us having good at-bats," he said.

Wagner only faced 27 batters in his seven innings. He ended with 11 strikeouts, one walk, hit two batters and only allowed two hits.

The Palisade defense was solid all day, including a running catch by left fielder Sebo Campbell in the top of the sixth as he neared the wall with a runner on for the Demons.

Glenwood (7-5, 5-2 WSL) got an outstanding pitching effort from pitcher Sebastian Gonzalez, who was solid for five innings. He allowed three hits in his 5 2/3s innings and only gave up an unearned run in the first, before getting into trouble in the sixth.

The tight game was all about being patient, Wagner said.

"We all just tried to stay cool and keep a positive attitude. And once we did that and started taking pitches we needed to take, the game went away for us," he said.

The second game was all Bulldogs, with Masson Barber keeping Glenwood hitters off balance for the five-inning victory.

Barber finished with four strikeouts and no walks and gave up only five hits.

Palisade got rolling in the second inning with four walks and an RBI infield single by Bernal. The Bulldogs went ahead 9-0 after two, bumping it to 13-0 after the third.

Palisade benefited from eight walks and six errors by the Demons. An outfield error in the second inning cleared the bases for three runs.

Mohler had a two-run triple in the game and Nicolas White walked three times and scored twice for the Bulldogs.

A two-run single by Campbell pushed the lead to 13-0 after the third inning. Campbell finished with two RBI and stole a pair of bases.

The games should have a big impact on the Class 4A playoff race. Glenwood came into the day at No. 11 in CHSAA's Ratings Percentage Index with Palisade at No. 24.

Recommended for you