Rifle has Craig's number in high school baseball.
Since Scott Parker took over as coach of Moffat County High School baseball in 2002-03, the Bulldogs are 0-4 against the Bears. The trend continued in Legion ball Tuesday night with the Bears winning, 8-2, in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
Rifle had an advantage in the first game in the number of errors committed. The Bears had two; the Bulldogs had six.
"We'd been playing a lot better in the field before tonight," Parker said. "When we play Rifle, they seem to be the team to execute."
Execution by the team in dark blue instead of royal blue wasn't new to the coach.
"The past two years, Rifle has come to the park and gotten things done," he said. "We've played like them at times this summer, just not tonight."
Rifle's coach, Troy Phillips, was a bit relieved with his team's execution.
"We didn't field well at all during a tournament we were at this weekend," he said. "This game, we fielded much better, and I was impressed."
The Bears jumped out early with a 5-0 lead through the first three innings. Rifle scored five runs on one hit against pitcher Bryan Wojtkiewicz. The one hit was a two-run home run by Brandon Leuallen in the first inning. The other four runs were by batters who reached base on an error or a walk.
The errors and walks overshadowed a pitching performance by Wojtkiewicz in which he struck out nine in five innings.
"Wojo didn't pitch bad, but it wasn't his most solid night," Parker said. "It might have looked better if we could have fielded."
Rifle's James Nelson was as impressive on the mound as his counterpart, and the defense behind him made him look even better. Nelson didn't give up any runs until the seventh inning. He threw a complete game, giving up five hits and striking out four.
"(Nelson) had the best effort of the game for us," Phillips said. "He had only pitched twice this summer, and he'll just be a sophomore next year."
Bulldog freshman-to-be Josh Satterwhite came on to relieve Wojtkiewicz in the sixth. Unlike the Bears' young pitcher, Satterwhite struggled to find the strike zone, giving up three walks to his first five batters. The walks cost him as the Bears added three hits and three runs in the inning. The three-run fifth opened up the game to 8-0 in favor of the Bears.
Satterwhite broke up the shutout in the seventh when he stole home on a passed ball. Wojtkiewicz added an RBI single in the final inning for the Bulldogs' second run.
In the second game, the Bulldogs reversed their fortune against Rifle with a 4-3 win. Top performers in the second game for Moffat County were Jared Lowther, who pitched a complete game and struck out nine and Reid Hanneman, who hit a grand slam in the third inning for the Bulldogs only run.