Bubba Ivers, a Moffat County High School junior, watches his three-run home run sail into centerfield Saturday at Craig Middle School. The MCHS varsity baseball team excelled at the plate Saturday against Eagle Valley, but couldn’t stop the Devils at the plate, dropping both games of the doubleheader.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

Bubba Ivers, a Moffat County High School junior, watches his three-run home run sail into centerfield Saturday at Craig Middle School. The MCHS varsity baseball team excelled at the plate Saturday against Eagle Valley, but couldn’t stop the Devils at the plate, dropping both games of the doubleheader.

MCHS baseball team can’t slow Eagle Valley offense in double-header sweep

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MCHS varsity baseball v. Eagle Valley

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team struggled defensively in a 12-11 loss to Eagle Valley on Saturday at Craig Middle School.

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team struggled defensively in a 12-11 loss to Eagle Valley on Saturday at Craig Middle School.

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Sheldon Greenwood, a Moffat County High School sophomore, throws a pitch Saturday against Eagle Valley at Craig Middle School.

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Carlos Maldonado, a Moffat County High School senior, makes a play from shortstop Saturday against Eagle Valley at Craig Middle School. Maldonado hit a solo home run in the first inning of the second game en route to a two-hit, two-RBI game.

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Jacob Teeter, a Moffat County High School junior, slides safely into home Saturday against Eagle Valley at Craig Middle School.

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Josh Pritchard, a Moffat County High School junior, looks to head coach Justin Folley for the signal Saturday against Eagle Valley at Craig Middle School.

Results ...

Results from the MCHS varsity baseball team’s first game Saturday against Eagle Valley High School at Craig Middle School:

• Moffat County — 7

• Eagle Valley — 21

MCHS batting statistics:

(Name — hits — RBI)

• Carlos Maldonado – 3 — 0

• Jacob Teeter — 2 — 2

• Bubba Ivers — 2 — 0

Results ...

Results from the MCHS varsity baseball team’s second game Saturday against Eagle Valley High School at Craig Middle School:

• Moffat County — 11

• Eagle Valley — 12

MCHS batting statistics:

(Name — hits — RBI)

• Wyatt Oberwitte — 3 — 3

• Bubba Ivers — 2 — 3

• Carlos Maldonado — 2 — 2

Justin Folley didn’t hide his frustration after Saturday’s doubleheader against Eagle Valley.

The Moffat County High School varsity baseball team dropped the first game, 21-7, at Craig Middle School, but jumped to an 8-3 lead after four innings in the second game.

Folley continued to try and motivate his players and tell them to stay on their toes.

Yet, the rest of the game played out the way he feared it might.

Pitchers struggled, defenders played on their heels, and Eagle Valley never backed down, scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh to nab a 12-11 victory and a two-game sweep of the Bulldogs.

“When we are on top, when we are up and the guys think it is a guaranteed win, they fall asleep on defense,” Folley said. “It happens every time. (Eagle Valley) is a good team and they stayed in the game and never gave up.”

Senior Ivan Nielsen started on the mound for the Bulldogs in the first game, coming off two complete games which both ended in victories.

Nielsen struggled early, however, as Eagle Valley scored 13 runs through three innings, and he was pulled in the third.

“Ivan just lost his confidence, and that happens to everybody,” Folley said. “He is one of those guys that has to get ahead and stay ahead on a batter, but he got behind and struggled.”

Senior Carlos Maldonado went 3 for 3 at the plate in the first game and junior Jacob Teeter had two hits and two RBIs.

The game was called after the fifth inning in accordance with the Colorado High School Activities Association’s mercy rule when a team is up by 10 runs anytime after the fifth.

The Bulldogs (3-6 overall, 1-3 Western Slope League) got out to a fast start in the second game with a solo home run from Maldonado in the first inning.

In the second inning, MCHS extended the lead to 6-1 with a three-run homer by junior Bubba Ivers.

Folley said while the defense had difficulties Saturday, the Bulldogs offense thrived.

“We are starting to see more pitching and making adjustments at bat,” he said. “We had some guys hit the hell out of the ball and if we stay aggressive at the plate, we will score runs.”

Sophomore Sheldon Greenwood got the start on the hill for the Bulldogs in the second game, allowing four runs in four innings.

Greenwood, Folley said, is a player who goes out and does what he is supposed to do.

“Sheldon did a great job and he came in and was throwing strikes,” he said. “He had the defense playing behind him and he just played really solid baseball. Bubba came in after him and struggled a little in the sixth, but he didn’t have the strong defense that Sheldon had.”

Eagle Valley (5-1-1 overall, 3-0 WSL) took the lead for the first time in the second game in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to go up 10-8.

In the top of the seventh, with two outs, junior Wyatt Oberwitte sent a three-run home run over the left-field fence to give the lead back to the Bulldogs before the Devils won the game in the bottom of the inning.

Oberwitte and Ivers both had three RBIs in the second game and Maldonado had two.

The Bulldogs are off for spring break until April 12, when they travel to Rangely for the first game of a two-game series.

Folley said his team’s main concern before then is going to be working on a more consistent defense.

“We have to be ready every play and that is the bottom line,” he said. “We don’t have a deep pitching rotation, so they can’t worry about the past or the future, but what is going on now.

“We have done the repetition, so it is now mental and they need to expect to make the play every time.”

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