Basalt too tough despite MCHS baseball improvement |

Basalt too tough despite MCHS baseball improvement

Nate Waggenspack
Mike Bingham slaps a grounder down the third base line for a base hit Saturday in Craig. Moffat County played sound baseball but was unable to get its offense going and lost to Basalt twice, 11-4 and 3-0.
Nate Waggenspack

Righting most of their struggles from the past week still wasn’t enough to get Moffat County baseball back in the winner’s column.

The Bulldogs hosted Basalt in Craig on Saturday for a doubleheader and looked much stronger and more comfortable on defense than they had in four straight losses to Cedaredge and Steamboat Springs, three of which were blowouts. But their bats didn’t produce enough to get past a Basalt team (8-4) that is among the 3A Western Slope League’s best. The Longhorns took Game 1, 11-4, and won the second game, 3-0.

In the first game, Moffat jumped out to a two-run lead after an inning but got a bit wild from the mound after that. Basalt tacked on two runs in each of the next four innings to jump out to an 11-2 lead, while the Bulldogs remained stagnant on offense until the fifth.

“We made a few mistakes and the bats were cold again,” coach Justin Folley said. “We were hitting it hard, just a lot of balls right at them.”

Basalt’s Noah Schoenberger went 5-5 with two RBIs in the game and led off the second game with a home run to give the Longhorns a quick 1-0 lead. He later scored after a leadoff double in the third inning.

Aside from Schoenberger, Spencer Turner was lights out on the mound for Moffat County. The sophomore repeatedly got the Longhorns to hit fly balls for easy outs, working through their lineup quickly and getting out of trouble on a couple occasions.

“Spencer throwing 69 pitches in six and third innings is fantastic,” Folley said. “The defense played well behind him and made good plays. That’s what we need to do.”

But while the pitching and defense kept Moffat County close, the Bulldogs couldn’t string together the consecutive hits to take the game. In the second and sixth innings, Moffat County’s leadoff hitter got on base but was caught stealing on both occasions.

Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Bulldogs had runners on first and second and brought the tying run to the plate, but after a pitching change Basalt picked up the final two outs to secure the win, handing Moffat its sixth straight loss in the process.

“It seems like with a lot of the pitchers we’ve seen they all throw curveballs,” Sheldon Greenwood said. “We’ve been trying to sit back and look for the off-speed stuff (to get hits). We did a better job of that near the end of that game, we just need to keep that progress going.”

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .

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