American Legion baseball drops 1st tourney game
This summer, spectators attending the Moffat County American Legion Post 62 baseball team’s games have been treated to an offensive barrage.
On Thursday, the barrage continued, but it was Moffat County on the receiving end.
The Bulldogs lost, 13-3, to Woodland Park in the opening round of the season-ending double elimination tournament.
“We were a little dead today,” coach Justin Folley said. “I don’t know why, but the offense wasn’t hitting.”
Starter Ben Williams pitched well, Folley said, but Woodland wouldn’t quit.
“He threw strikes, but they were hitting the ball really hard,” he said. “They were legging out base hits and playing defense. I have to give them credit. They showed up ready to play.”
The game was not without silver linings, however.
Scott Costello repeatedly found first base even without hitting. He walked once and was hit by a pitch, and he scored a pair of runs.
Halen Raymond was Moffat County’s one-man RBI machine, knocking in all three runs with a pair of doubles.
“He burned the centerfielder a couple of times,” Folley said. “When he’s swinging the bat, we know we’re going to score some runs. We just need to get guys on in front of him.”
Raymond was missing his usual leadoff hitter, Dylon Camilletti, and slugging first baseman, Austin Sadvar, which might have slowed the offense, Folley said.
“I think not having those guys affected us,” he said. “I can’t say losing Austin or Dylon was the biggest part of it, because the guys who played today have played all year long.”
The tournament might have been the cause of the slump, Folley said.
“They looked a little flat-footed,” he said. “Sometimes, when you get high school kids in a tournament like this, they can get a little tense.”
Moffat County jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Bulldogs couldn’t hold on, as Woodland tied it in the bottom half of the inning.
After the first few frames, Woodland broke the game open.
The Bulldogs will play at 9 a.m. today against either the Eagle Valley Knights (18-4) or the Faith Christian Eagles (17-5).
In their last meeting, Moffat County was overwhelmed by Eagle Valley’s ace, Jack Barbella, in the first game of a June 18 doubleheader, before easily defeating the Knights in the nightcap.
“I kind of hope we get to play Eagle Valley,” Folley said. “I don’t think the guys will be as tense playing a team they know they’ve beaten before.
“They might be a little nervous playing against Faith Christian, because we don’t know what they have. We haven’t seen them before.”
Mark Doolin, of Hayden, is scheduled to pitch for Moffat County, which gives the team another advantage, Folley added.
“Having Doolin pitch lets me set up my defense just the way I want,” he said. “Hopefully, that’ll let us come out ready to play and get a win under our belts.”
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