Erik Griffin likes it when Glenwood Springs sits in the dugout across from him.
The Moffat County senior-to-be has pitched three times for the Bulldogs' top team. All three outings were against Glenwood
"I guess Coach likes me on the hill against them," he said. "I can't complain because I've done well. I think the most runs I've given up were three."
Griffin retired 11 of the first 14 batters he faced Wednesday and gave up three unearned runs through five innings to help his team earn an 11-4 win.
Griffin and his teammates listened well to the advice given to them before the game.
Coach Scott Parker told his boys before the first pitch that small ball was going to win the game; they practically rewrote the definition of small ball.
Stolen bases, singles and walks were the ingredients for the Bulldogs' win.
Brian Richards was the only 'Dog to get an extra-base hit in the game as the boys in blue collected 10 walks and eight singles. Everyone in the lineup scored, and two players scored more than once.
"We don't have any big sluggers or superstars," Parker said. "We have to get wins by plugging away, and that's what we did."
The Bulldogs scored runs in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings. The big rallies came in the second and sixth with five and four runs, respectively. Seven of their runs were scored by batters who walked.
"We capitalized on their mistakes tonight," Parker said. "Griff threw a great game, and we backed him up in the field."
Griffin recognized the effort behind him.
"It's great to have good teamwork," he said. Richards came in to relieve Griffin and gave up one run in two innings. The sophomore-to-be never allowed more than one runner on base.
With only one '04 graduate playing on the summer team, the Bulldogs are getting a good look at the future. Parker said he likes what he sees but knows there is a long way to go.
"We are going to have a lot of adversity because we don't have the big hitters or fireballers," he said. "This summer is all about coming together as a team, and we have a lot of games to do that."
The win in the first game of the doubleheader improved the Bulldogs to 4-2 in the summer. Three of the wins have come against Glenwood.
In the second game, the Bulldogs were unable to get their bats going. Glenwood won, 7-5
The Bulldogs are playing under an American Legion affiliation this summer and have three teams for summer ball: The 13-15 team, the C-team (next year's JV) and the B-team (next year's varsity).
Saturday, the 13-15 team travels to Meeker for a doubleheader, and the C-team plays Steamboat Springs in Craig. The Meeker game begins at 11 a.m., and the Steamboat game time is to be announced.