The American Legion Post 62 baseball team went Saturday to Eagle Valley looking for a boost before the district tournament, but could not steal a victory.
The Bulldogs (1-9) dropped the first game, 11-7, and the second game, 9-5, to Eagle Valley/Battle Mountain (10-2).
Despite the losses, coach Justin Folley said the team is young and still working out the “kinks.”
“The team has improved throughout the summer,” he said. “They just make simple mistakes in close games that we could probably win.”
Incoming Moffat County High School junior Ivan Nielsen pitched the first game, and despite the score, Folley said he pitched well enough for the victory.
“Nielsen probably only had around three earned runs,” he said. “Defensively, we just made too many physical and mental mistakes.”
With the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning, Eagle Valley/Battle Mountain hit a ground ball that the Bulldogs were not able to handle.
The next batter hit a three-run triple.
Bubba Ivers, an incoming sophomore, pitched the second game and lasted 5 1/3 innings.
Folley said Ivers is growing as a starting pitcher.
“(Ivers) still needs to work on his fundamentals a little,” he said. “He has a little trouble keeping the pitch count down, especially in the first inning, but when he settles down, he does really well out there.”
Next up for the baseball team is the July 22 to 25 district tournament in Glenwood Springs.
The tournament will be made up of the Bulldogs’ seven conference opponents, with only two advancing to the state tournament July 29 to Aug. 1 in Craig.
Because the Bulldogs are the host team, they have an automatic bid into the state tournament, so Folley said he is going to try and rest his pitchers more and get a feel for the tournament environment.
“These games will be a good example of competitive play for the younger kids,” he said. “They will see a lot of the top players because the other teams are fighting for the two spots at state.”
When state comes around, Folley said teams from the Front Range would put up a fight.
“All of my players will see some really quality baseball players from all over the state,” he said. “No matter how we do, it will be great experience.”
Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1796.