In its return to the diamond, Moffat County baseball delivered another Jekyll-and-Hyde performance to pick up a doubleheader split.
The Bulldogs didn’t get a hit in their first game against the Grand Valley Cardinals on Thursday and looked rough on defense, as well, losing, 17-3. But after the break between games, they came out and hit the cover off the ball to run-rule the Cardinals in Game 2, 17-2.
“We came out and we were flat,” Colton Yoast said about the first game. “That’s been the Moffat County story. We come out flat, and we get beaten badly. That’s what you saw today. In the second game, we were aggressive at the plate. We made a lot of contact, and if you make contact, good things will happen.”
Hunter Roberts pitched the first game for Moffat County and looked good through two innings. But Roberts lost some of his control in the third inning, and the Bulldogs did not handle Grand Valley’s aggressive base running well, committing errors.
Grand Valley tacked on four runs in the third and three in the fourth for a 7-0 lead while pitcher Damien Barela was dominant on the mound. Barela walked several Moffat batters and hit others to give up runs but never surrendered a hit. The left-handed sophomore kept MCHS batters off balance all seven innings.
“That kid threw a good game,” Moffat County coach Justin Folley said. “Lefty threw hard and our bats were asleep. But you’ve got to give him credit.”
After a loss against previously winless Grand Valley, Folley made the decision to start the Bulldogs’ ace, Sheldon Greenwood, in the second game. He had planned on saving Greenwood for one of Saturday’s games at Cedaredge, but decided he needed the senior Thursday.
“I had been keeping him on the shelf, told him he wasn’t going to pitch, but we can’t afford to lose two in a row,” Folley said. “So I told him between games he was pitching, and he got ready. I think that gave us a little confidence.”
Greenwood wasn’t sharp to start the game, giving up a couple hits and two runs in the top of the first inning. But after throwing more, he settled in and shut down the Cardinals.
Meanwhile, Moffat County’s bats, which had been quiet in the first game, came to life right away in the second. The first three batters got hits, including an RBI double from Yoast to get the scoring started for the Bulldogs. The first five Bulldogs reached base, and Spencer Turner gave them a lead with a sacrifice bunt to make it 3-2.
In the top of the second, Tyler Jenkins picked up an outfield assist from right field, throwing out a Grand Valley runner to preserve the lead and end the inning, and Moffat County’s bats kept on hitting.
Brett Loyd had a two-RBI single and Yoast cracked another double to score two more and make it 7-2. By the end of the second, it was 12-2 and the Bulldogs were on their way to a run-rule.
“The second game, we were having fun and picking each other up,” Yoast said. “We need to stay off that bench and cheer on every batter every time. That can get in the pitcher’s head, too, so it can help on both sides.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .