Craig Playing a home-and-away doubleheader in Craig, Steamboat Springs’ baseball team got back to basics and back into the win column with two comfortable victories against Moffat County, which saw its struggles continue.
The Sailors hit and pitched well and played solid defense behind the pitching to pick up two run-rule victories against the Bulldogs, 19-0 and 16-1. They came after four straight losses for the team, while Moffat County dropped its fourth straight game.
After a quick top of the first inning, including a diving catch by right fielder Storm Veilleux, Jesse Pugh led off with a double for the Sailors and Billy Clark brought him home with a single. Charley Fitzhugh hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 after an inning.
After three more quick at bats for the Bulldogs in the second, Steamboat really took over, stringing hits together to extend the lead. Fitzhugh hit a three-run homer to left field with one out that made it 8-0.
“I knew it was out because that left field fence isn’t very deep,” Fitzhugh said. “I caught it right on the barrel.”
Moffat County didn’t do itself any favors in the second, however, making a host of errors, including a couple potential double-play balls that could have stemmed the bleeding. Instead, they gave the Sailors more chances and the Sailors got hits.
“It seems like it all started after spring break,” Moffat County coach Justin Folley said about the Bulldogs recent skid, a 1-5 record in the past week. “We played well to start the season, and our defense was playing well. Our offense was looking great especially, but right now, both are dead.”
The score was 13-0 when the second inning ended and Moffat County got its first hit from Mike Bingham, but Steamboat quickly erased the base runner with an inning-ending double play.
David Cropper hit a two-run single in the third to make it 16-0, and the Sailors tacked on three more runs by the end of the inning.
In Game 2, Moffat County turned to Sheldon Greenwood on the mound, but the usually steady senior struggled through the first inning, with multiple wild pitches putting the Bulldogs behind, 5-0.
Hugh Turner grounded out to bring Tyler Jenkins home in the bottom of the first for the Bulldogs and Colton Yoast hit a double, showing signs of life for Moffat County’s offense. But that was all the team would score in the game, as Steamboat’s defense made the key plays and pitching kept most of Moffat’s lineup off the base paths.
“Today, they played like a team,” Steamboat coach Rusty McRight said. “You’ve got to make the routine play to win. If you make the routine play, you’ll make some of the hard plays, too. I was pleased with our defense and our pitching staff today.”
In the third inning, Steamboat broke the game open. The team scored on a couple wild pitches to make it 7-1, then put together hit after hit to take a 12-1 lead. Five of the team’s seven runs came with two outs in the inning.
“We’ve taken a lot of batting practice and coach has given us a lot to do with our swing,” Fitzhugh said. “At the start of the season, we were hitting well, but the last few games, we haven’t been. It was good to have that finally.”
Folley now is searching for answers to get Moffat County back on track and thinks it has to go back to the way the team practices.
“We’ve got to get back out in practice and get working hard,” he said. “The type of plays we missed today, that’s what you have to do to expect to win.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports.