Moffat County baseball boasts winning season after road games with Basalt, Cedaredge
After a lengthy run of victories, the momentum had to slow down sooner or later for Moffat County High School baseball, though the final outcome nonetheless amounted to the Bulldogs’ best record in several years.
With three weekend games on the docket, MCHS started strong Friday in Basalt, pounding the Longhorns in five quick innings to walk away with the 11-0 win for the first half of a doubleheader rescheduled more than once.
Hunter Smilanich pitched the full shutout, gaining five strikeouts, while at the plate, Ryan Peck had three hits, including two doubles, and four RBIs.
With their ninth straight W — the highlight of which was a seven-run second inning — the Dogs were looking for No. 10, which would also have been their fifth consecutive sweep of a series.
However, Basalt rattled the MoCo crew in the second game. With one Bulldog run on the board in the first inning, the Longhorns showed they could hit lucky seven as well, making it a catch-up affair for the visitors from there.
Moffat County rallied big with five runs in the seventh inning to bring the total to 9-6, though they couldn’t stay at bat long enough to force Basalt back on the offensive.
MCHS’s Peck, Carson Miller and Tanner Etzler mixed it up on the mound, combining for four K’s, while Greg Hixson hit a double and Smilanich a double and a triple.
Bulldogs were on the road again Saturday, traveling to Cedaredge for another game they had planned to play far earlier in the year.
The meeting with the Bruins was far more contentious than either game in Basalt, and though the Dogs held a 2-0 lead by the top of the third, Cedaredge slowly came back, pushing past the tie with one final run in the seventh to finish their last regular season match 3-2.
In his final game of the year, Drake Doherty took nine strikeouts across five innings.
The Bruins, runner-up to 3A Western Slope League champion Delta, will progress to the playoffs along with the Panthers, the two seventh and 18th in the RPI standings, respectively.
At 5-5 in WSL play, the Bulldogs placed fourth in the conference behind Roaring Fork thanks to a defeat to the Rams, though Moffat County ended with a far better season at 11-10 overall compared to Roaring Fork’s 9-14.
Despite missing out on the postseason after a rally that lasted the better part of two weeks, the Dogs boasted their first winning season since 2015, when the blue and white went 11-9.