Bulldogs baseball team takes down top of WSC | CraigDailyPress.com

Bulldogs baseball team takes down top of WSC

Elwood Shelton

The Western Slope Conference (WSC) high school season has held so many losses and wins against the same teams, it’s beginning to look like the old collegiate Western Athletic Conference during football season.

The pattern held true Monday during the second meeting of the Bulldogs and Rifle, as the ‘Dogs were able to pull out a win against the Bears.

The win against the Bears (8-7-1) means all but one team in the WSC has suffered a loss at the hands of the Bulldogs. Glenwood Springs is only team to escape the Moffat County wrath, but will have its day of reckoning on Saturday.

“It’s good to get a win like this, and I can’t say I’m not happy about it,” Coach Kip Hafey said. “The guys have begun to execute in every part of their game, it has just taken us until now to figure out that’s what wins games.”

Increased execution didn’t mean the game was handed to the Bulldogs, as the score went back and forth for eight innings. It also marks the second game won by one run in extra innings.

The first score of the game was a two-run homer by Field.

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The previous pitch hit Field, but he was not allowed to take his base because the umpire ruled Field didn’t make an attempt to avoid being hit.

Field’s two-run homer was followed with a solo shot by Turner in the second inning, putting Moffat County up 3-0.

The Bears came back in the third and tied the score, only to have the ‘Dogs take the lead the next inning.

In the fourth, Field was hit by another pitch, and this time was awarded his base. He advanced to both second and third base off of two consecutive steals, and Ty Hollingsworth brought him home with a RBI single.

After another three-run inning in the fifth, Rifle once again took control of the game.

Moffat County, though, was able to answer back.

The top of the sixth saw Rob Satterwhite take first after being hit by yet another pitch. He was then replaced by courtesy runner, senior James Foster.

Foster advanced to second after Field drew a walk, and both were able to advance after executing a double steal. Foster then scored off a C.J. Rugh sacrifice fly, and Hollingsworth brought Field home with a single, tying the game a 6-6.

In the top of the seventh, Moffat County loaded the bases, drawing three consecutive walks, and was able to score two more runs with sacrifices by Hollingsworth and Rugh.

The Bears scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, forcing the game into extra innings.

Mark Turner singled to open the eighth inning, stole second, and avanced to third on a sacrifice fly.

He then scored on a passed ball giving the ‘Dogs a 9-8 lead over WSC leader Rifle.

At the bottom of the inning, junior Chris Field made his only appearance on the mound, and retired the Bears with a groundout to the shortstop, and two fly-outs to win the game for the ‘Dogs.

“If you look at the statistics, it doesn’t seem like we played a big game, we only had five hits, but it’s a testimonial to the patience of the kids at the plate they waited for their pitches all day and it paid off in walks and batters that were hit by pitches,” Hafey said.

The win improves the Moffat County record to 10-6 on the season, and leaves the Bulldogs with only two games plus change to play.

Thursday, the boys will travel to Grand Junction High School to take on the Class 5A Tigers. The game will be more of a tune-up for the Bulldogs, who will face the other top WSC team, Glenwood Springs, on Saturday.

The Glenwood match-up will be the second meeting of the two teams and a make-up of a postponed inning and half. The last inning of the first game was postponed due to inclement weather.

“Mathematically, we still have a chance to win the conference, but at this point we’re more concerned about the games we have left to play,” Hafey said. “I have 100 percent confidence in these guys when the game comes down to the line, they’ve proved that they can handle the pressure all year. If anything, these guys know how to pull themselves out of bad situations.”

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