Top of the league

Another dominating performance secures WSL title for baseball team

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Another day, another player produces big for the Moffat County baseball team.

After securing the first Western Slope League team title since 2000 with a 9-1 win in Game 1 against Palisade on Tuesday, Moffat senior Kyle Sorensen made sure the team would earn the two-game sweep.

In Game 2, Sorensen hit a two-run home run in the fourth and a three-run home run in the seventh to help his team to a 14-5 win.

"We could have lost focus after winning Game 1," Soren--sen said. "But we set the goal of going undefeated in the league season, and I'm glad I could help that effort."

Sorensen's two home runs were the first two he's hit all year. He was the eighth Bulldog to hit the ball over the fence this season.

"That's the thing about this team," coach Rich Sadvar said. "There are a lot of kids who can hit the ball a long way."

Junior Bryan Richards is one of those kids. He hit his seventh and eighth home runs of the season with a two-run shot in the third inning of the first game and another two-run homer in the seventh inning of the second game.

The four home runs increased Moffat's team total to 22 this season.

Winning the title

Moffat County and Palisade came into Tuesday's game as first and second in the league respectively. The blue Bulldogs had to win one game to capture the league title.

Senior Bryan Wojtkiewicz made sure that would happen with another complete-game pitching effort.

"Wojo" held Palisade to five hits and one run in seven innings. It wasn't always smooth for Moffat's ace.

In the third and fifth innings, Wojo pitched his way around having two Palisade runners on base with less than two outs. In the sixth, Palisade's Alex Bauer put his team on the board with a one-out single. Wojo then struck out Matt Barnes and Jake Watt to end the sixth inning.

"We've talked over and over about keeping a mental focus," Sadvar said. "When Wojo was in a little bit of a hole, he made some huge pitches tonight."

Wojo finished out the game with his eighth and ninth strike outs in the seventh inning.

"Wojo really kept the ball low tonight," Palisade coach Mike Krueger said. "He's tough to hit when he's doing that."

Wojtkiewicz's Class 4A leading 0.21 ERA only got better after his seven-inning showing Tuesday night.

Moffat's offense helped its pitcher out by consistently putting runs up against Palisade's Cory Swetnam.

The blue Bulldogs scored two runs in the second, three in the third, three in the fourth and one in the sixth.

To officially win the league, Moffat County must still beat Battle Mountain on Saturday, but the Huskies, 0-13, have been 10-run-ruled by every team in the league this year.

Bringing out the bats

In Game 2, Moffat was comfortably leading 9-1 through the middle of the fifth inning, but Palisade wasn't done yet. Jesse Widegren led off the bottom of the fifth with a double and scored on Matt Monger's single. Palisade scored another run and then loaded up the bases after a rare Moffat County error.

Travis Del Moral hit the ball into the gap between left and center field. Two Palisade runners scored, but Josh Green was thrown out at home during the play to end the inning.

With four runs in the fifth, Palisade was back in the game, trailing 9-5.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Sorensen and Richards made sure Palisade's momentum was short lived. Their two home runs made it 14-5.

Junior Billy Ivy relieved Richards on the mound in the bottom of the seventh and retired all three batters he faced to end the game.

"We knew coming in that Moffat was playing good baseball," Krueger said. "We didn't play our best baseball tonight but a lot of the credit (goes) to how well Moffat played. It was one of those days where it really isn't anything you do, it's that the other team does a lot of things well."

Moffat combined for 23 hits on the day and has now outscored league opponents 117-21. By winning the league, the team should earn a chance to host a district tournament in two weeks.

The Bulldogs, 13-1 overall and 12-0 in the league, have two challenging games Thursday in Grand Junction. First, they'll face Paonia, the second-ranked team in Class 2A, at 3 p.m. Then, they'll face Fruita Monument, a Class 5A team.

"It's fun to coach these guys because you never know who's going to step up big," Sadvar said. "But what you do know is that somebody will."

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