Moffat County baseball sweeps Aspen, nears home field opening |

Moffat County baseball sweeps Aspen, nears home field opening

Moffat County's Magnum Gustin attempts a bunt during a game against Aspen on Saturday, April 15, 2023.
Andy Bockelman/Craig Press

Moffat County baseball is moving in the right direction, building positive energy both during gametime and elsewhere.

The Bulldogs are tentatively planning for a home opener Saturday, April 22, with varsity and JV games against Olathe starting at 11 a.m.

Though the late melting snow at the field at Craig Middle School did some significant damage, players, coaches and parents have put in the effort in the past week to restructure the infield and get the rest of the premises in playing shape.

The teamwork for the ongoing project has been indicative of the Dogs’ capabilities on the diamond, with the MoCo crew sweeping Aspen in an April 15 doubleheader.

The two teams met at the neutral location of the Canyon View Park in Grand Junction.

The first of the series saw the score at 1-1 after two innings, only for the Bulldogs to start clicking on offense and defense alike with three runs in the third, two in the fourth, and a five-run fifth that allowed them to close it with a 10-run mercy rule advantage as they won it 11-1.

“Kept rolling and kept scoring runs, intensity was up. That’s what it’s all about, the game is just momentum,” said coach James Romansky.

Junior Zaylan Kirby collected five strikeouts before being relieved by senior Cort Murphy, while the rest of the Dogs’ defense kept the Skiers from making much progress around the bases.

At the plate, MoCo batters were able to keep producing at every point.

Bases were loaded when senior Casey Schulder stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the fifth, though he was more concerned with a simple single than swinging big.

“I knew the winning run was on second, so all I have to do is get a base hit, they both score and we win,” he said. “I feel really good with that since it was a league game. We have to get the bats going real soon because we came out a little slow.”

The second half of the doubleheader saw the Dogs in the lead for the full game, with two quick runs at the start as senior Easton Briggs and junior Caleb Squires crossed the plate. MoCo held a 9-2 advantage heading into the sixth inning, only for Aspen to suddenly catch fire with five unanswered runs.

Nevertheless, they held off the Skiers from there — amassing 15 total strikeouts across seven innings — to finish it 9-7.

Schulder said he feels like senior season has been getting better the further it goes into the spring.

“It’s been unique with the bad winter and having to adjust,” he said.

The key with all the team’s games has been to seize upon good energy and keep it going.

“It’s my job to keep them rolling and it may be giving me a heart attack, but I’ve gotta keep pushing and keep that intensity up even when they don’t feel like it,” Romansky said.

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