Moffat County baseball sends off seniors, splits games with Coal Ridge
Two weekend wins needed for playoffs
Thursday was the final home game for several members of the Moffat County High School varsity baseball team, but it won’t be their last outing of the week. And, if they keep up their strong play, the season will keep going a little further still.
MCHS split a doubleheader with Coal Ridge, winning the first game, 3-2, and losing the follow-up, 11-6, making them 9-8 overall and 7-5 in the 3A Western Slope League.
A good all-around opening game was especially beneficial for Conner Knez, whose singles in the second and fifth innings earned him three total RBIs as teammates made it across the plate.
The Titans looked like they were ready to overtake the Bulldogs in the final inning as they picked up a couple runs, but a strikeout of Jake Larsen by MCHS pitcher Brett Loyd sealed the deal.
Adain Wilmot started on the mound the second game, with two batters picking up singles and another on base from a bean ball before Greyson Keener hit a grand slam to give Coal Ridge an early 4-0 lead.
MCHS scored four runs but gave up three more in the following innings, Spencer Turner relieving Wilmot at the top of the fifth, and the Titans tightened up their defense, allowing only a triple by Josh Turner — to send in older brother Hugh— and a sacrifice by Matt Hamilton to let Josh complete his round trip.
In between games, the team acknowledged its senior members, Hugh, Hamilton, Phillip Chadwick — unable to play because of an injury to his hand — and manager Clayton Moon.
Head coach Justin Folley spoke of Hugh’s solid four years with the MCHS baseball program, Chadwick’s ability to play through more than a few ailments, Moon’s willingness to take on many responsibilities and Hamilton’s adaptability at a new sport, joining for just one season.
“It’s always tough watching seniors playing for the last time on this field,” the coach said. “It’s hard watching them leave, especially leaders like we have, but it’s high school sports — they grow up and move on.”
Though the sweep would have been preferable for Folley, the one win of the day keeps the Bulldogs on solid ground as the second season starts.
“We’re still sitting in a pretty good spot,” he said.
The third-place Titans are a hair ahead of Moffat County in the WSL rankings, 8-4 in league play. However, their final opponents are 11-1 Gunnison, tied for first in the Western Slope with Olathe.
MCHS also completes its regular schedule Saturday, meeting Roaring Fork (2-15, 2-10) in Carbondale.
“I’m not gonna say they’re gonna be easy games, but we’ll come out just like we do every time,” Folley said.
For Hugh, the desire is immense to finish out his high school career by making it to the playoffs for the first time.
“I think we’ve got a really good shot, we just need to get those two in Roaring Fork,” Hugh said. “I’m gonna give it all I’ve got.”
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