Senior Nathan Hill is half of the Moffat County High School boys varsity baseball team’s one-two punch atop the pitching rotation, along with Hayden’s Ben Williams. The combo of Hill and Williams will have plenty of support behind them, as Halen Raymond, Bubba Ivers, Mark Doolin and Ivan Nielsen contribute to a strong overall pitching staff.

Photo by Ben Bulkeley

Senior Nathan Hill is half of the Moffat County High School boys varsity baseball team’s one-two punch atop the pitching rotation, along with Hayden’s Ben Williams. The combo of Hill and Williams will have plenty of support behind them, as Halen Raymond, Bubba Ivers, Mark Doolin and Ivan Nielsen contribute to a strong overall pitching staff.

MCHS baseball team hopes a pair of aces adds up to a winning season

With the Western Slope League filled with tough baseball teams, Moffat County High School might have an ace up its sleeve.

Or two.

The team hopes its pitching tandem of Nathan Hill and Ben Williams is enough to power its way to league supremacy this season.

But, the two starting pitchers aren’t the only ones garnering attention, Hill said.

“This year, we should be pretty good,” he said. “Between Halen (Raymond), Ben, (Mark) Doolin and Bubba (Ivers), we have a really deep rotation.”

With today’s doubleheader against Uintah (Utah) High School canceled, the Bulldogs’ (3-2 overall, 1-1 in the WSL) next game will be at 11 a.m. Saturday against pitching-rich Delta (6-2 overall, 4-0 in the WSL).

Hill said the cancellations — today was the second time the games against Uintah have been canceled — have affected MCHS, and it also affects other teams in the league.

“It stinks that we haven’t been able to get out and play more,” he said. “But with this (weather), it’s probably hurting all the other teams, too.”

When the Bulldogs get back on the mound, catcher Scott Costello said to expect heat.

“We have a lot of guys who can throw in the mid- to high-70s, and can locate it, too,” he said. “Ben and Nathan throw hard, Bubba is a good relief pitcher so long as he stays calm, and Halen has nasty stuff with a lot of movement.

“I don’t think anyone throws a fastball without any movement, unless it’s a 3-0 ‘get-me-over’ one.”

Hill, who throws a two- and four-seam fastball along with a changeup and curveball, said his strategy on the mound is simple.

“I try to throw them something they can’t hit in the strike zone,” he said. “I try to keep it low and change speeds, which is the most important thing in this league.

“Even if you throw 100 miles per hour, they will be able to walk on it eventually.”

Coach Justin Folley said his pitchers’ formula for success is the same as others in the league.

“You really just need to throw strikes and keep them off-balance,” he said.

As MCHS hopes to move its way up the standings, Folley said there are several teams with big-time pitching staffs.

“Delta always has a couple of kids who can throw consistently in the strike zone,” he said. “I know Palisade has some good kids this year, too.”

But Moffat County stacks up nicely in any doubleheader, Folley said.

“Ben and Nathan are tough,” he said. “With the guys we can start, we might be as good as any team.”

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