Double trouble: Moffat County, Steamboat baseball split games in Craig
Sailors win first game 17-13, Bulldogs come back to take second 5-1
Craig — The Highway 40 rivalry continued anew Thursday night on the home diamond of Moffat County High School as the Steamboat Springs Sailors came to play, but a doubleheader between the blue and red saw each team earn both a win and a loss — Sailors winning 17-13 and Moffat County 5-1.
The day looked to be going the Bulldogs’ way only for Steamboat to have their say in the final innings as they took over and claimed the first win.
A back-and-forth game saw the Dogs earn a commanding five runs in the first inning alone only for the Sailors to up the ante in the third with six.
A home run by Moffat County’s Jefferson Piatt was likewise matched by a shot over the wall by Steamboat’s Alejandro Sandoval that helped turn the tide for good for the Sailors.
On the mound for the Bulldogs in the opener were Adain Wilmot, Colby Beckett and Drake Doherty closing the final three innings in his varsity debut.
“It got rough, but you’ve just gotta keep your head in there,” Doherty said.
The second game saw Moffat County fielders knuckle down as Josh Turner took over pitching duties.
“Defense stepped up and played him through one heck of a game,” said MCHS head coach Justin Folley. “He threw a gem, bared down when he needed to.”
Small ball worked well, and singles by Landon Najera, Turner, Wilmot and Mike Bingham went on to pick up three runs in the third inning.
All was quiet from there on either side until the fifth, when Piatt took a fastball to the face from Steamboat pitcher Ethan Johnson and quickly went back to the dugout for a nose plug.
Johnson would end up sitting out the rest of the game moments later when a line drive by Ulises Silva cracked him in the knee, requiring him to be relieved by Solomon Weltzheimer.
“(Johnson) should be fine. I think it was just the fleshy part of the knee and not the kneecap,” said Steamboat coach Rusty McRight, who noted that the Sailors were ready to pitch “by committee” so as not to exhaust anyone.
Ultimately, coaches on either side were satisfied with the split if not thrilled with their respective defeats.
“Both teams were hitting well, both had good pitching on the mound, and Craig just came back in that second game,” McRight said. “We had runners in scoring position twice to put up some runs and just didn’t do it.”
Both teams also have little time for rest with Saturday games lined up, 3-8 Steamboat meeting 4A Western Slope League foes Battle Mountain and 3-5 Moffat County hosting Olathe for a 3A WSL matchup.
Folley said he hopes to cut down on the many errors that gave away the first game.
“Even with the lead, we’ve still got to play the game,” he said.