MCHS left-fielder Eric Leonard connects on a pitch Saturday against host Delta. The Bulldogs split the doubleheader with the Panthers, losing Game 1, 1-0, and winning Game 2, 9-8.

Photo by John Vandelinder

MCHS left-fielder Eric Leonard connects on a pitch Saturday against host Delta. The Bulldogs split the doubleheader with the Panthers, losing Game 1, 1-0, and winning Game 2, 9-8.

Late-game heroics

MCHS baseball earns split with Delta after comeback

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MCHS senior shortstop Chris Winder prepares to field a ground ball Saturday in Delta. Winder started the game-winning rally in the sixth inning of Game 2.

— Trailing 8-5 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning Saturday in Delta, the Moffat County High School baseball team was four outs away from a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Panthers.

The Bulldogs proved they only needed one.

Moffat County scored four times with two outs, then held on for a 9-8 victory to split the two-game set with the Panthers.

"It came down to who was going to step up?" MCHS coach Tim Hafey said. "I challenged the team in the dugout, and they responded."

The Bulldogs lost a pitchers duel, 1-0, in the early game.

Senior Chris Winder (1-1) started Game 1 and cruised through the game's first six innings, allowing four hits while striking out five.

Panthers ace - junior Davis Henry (3-0) - was matching Winder pitch-for-pitch, striking out seven Bulldog batters while allowing four hits through his seven innings of work.

Delta sophomore pinch-hitter Robert Simpson ended the pitching duel in dramatic fashion.

Simpson connected with a Winder two-out, two-strike pitch in the bottom of the seventh, knocking it over the left field wall for a pinch-hit game-winning home run.

Winder led off Game 2 drawing a base on balls, stealing second base, and eventually scoring on an RBI single by senior Anthony Flores.

Flores (0-1), who got the nod to tote the rubber in Game 2 for Moffat County, was dealing strikes until running into trouble in the third inning.

The Panthers scored five runs on two hits and six walks.

Moffat County tied the game at five behind a two-run double stroked by Jordan Williams in the fourth.

The Panthers went up 8-5 in the fifth inning, setting up the four-run rally by the Bulldogs in the sixth.

Winder hit a two-out bases loaded triple to pull Moffat County within one at 8-7.

Williams and Seth Lanier each drew a walk, loading the bases once again, this time for Flores.

"I had a rough third inning pitching," Flores said. "I came to bat thinking I had to redeem myself. I wanted to hit the ball as hard as I could. That's all I was thinking of."

Flores sent a pitch to the deep right field gap, easily plating two Bulldog runners with his game-winning triple.

Lanier came in and struck out two Panther batters to record the save - his first of the season.

"We just found a way," assistant coach Ryan Prentice said. "We should have won both games, but I'll take the split."

Senior Josh Satterwhite (1-0) pitched four outs to record the victory.

The loss was the first of the season for the Panthers (8-1 overall, 5-1 Western Slope League)

"We missed on a spot (pitching) and they took advantage," panthers coach Casey Carlquist said. "We have to tip our hats to Moffat County. They just handed us our first league loss."

Moffat County (5-2 overall, 3-1 Western Slope League) hosts Steamboat Springs on Tuesday.

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