Moffat County splits home finale with Roaring Fork
On the craziest play of the season and one of the strangest you’ll ever see on a baseball field, Moffat County’s boys beat their losing streak and earned a walk-off win.
The Bulldogs hosting Roaring Fork for a doubleheader Saturday in Craig and were working on an eight-game skid. With their playoff chances basically dead, Moffat County was playing for pride against Roaring Fork, a league opponent with the same record. The teams split the series, but Moffat County pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind win in Game 1 to make senior day a fun one.
The Bulldogs (6-13) and Rams (5-14) were knotted up 3-3 after three innings and stayed that way until the fifth when a two-run homer from Tanner Nieslanik gave Roaring Fork a 5-3 lead. RFHS tacked on five more runs in the top of the sixth inning and looked to be on its way to a win, but Moffat County’s bats came back to life in the bottom of the frame.
The Bulldogs put together a string of hits, including doubles from Colton Yoast and Hugh Turner, before Sheldon Greenwood smacked a two-run single and Brett Loyd plated two more runners on a triple. Loyd would later come home and tie the game at 10 when Roaring Fork attempted to catch Spencer Turner stealing, and Loyd ran on the throw to second base.
“That was the best our bats have been all season in my opinion,” Tyler Jenkins said about Moffat County’s comeback. “I think some of it had to do with the drive of it being our last two games. We knew we had to get it in gear.”
Roaring Fork shook off the big inning by the Bulldogs with four runs of its own in the seventh, once again taking control and leaving Moffat just three outs to make up the deficit. But the Bulldogs once again were up to the task, getting good leadoff work from Turner and the batters behind him.
“It showed our kids didn’t give up on that game,” coach Justin Folley said. “We were making a run at it and had a little meeting about staying relaxed and aggressive at the plate.”
Loyd came to the plate with Moffat County trailing 14-12, the bases loaded and one out, when his single to right field turned into a unique brand of baseball chaos. The sophomore’s hit scored one runner and Hunter Roberts rounded third base to tie the game, but stumbled between midway between to home plate and found himself in a rundown.
Roberts was tagged out, but Roaring Fork tried to pick off Loyd in the confusion at first base afterward. The throw got past the man covering first base, and due to the rotation of the defense during the play, no one was there to back it up. The ball rolled all the way to the fence in foul territory, allowing Yoast to score and Loyd to beat the relay in, giving Moffat County a wild 15-14 win.
“We really wanted that win,” Jenkins said. “Our guys gave it their all for us and it was a thrill being a senior seeing that today.”
In Game 2, many of the Bulldogs’ issues this season cropped back up, as they allowed 12 runs in the second inning on a series of errors, wild pitches and passed balls that took the team and crowd out of the game. The bats came alive for an inning, but not enough to come all the way back, as Roaring Fork went on to win 22-10.
It was a disappointing final game and all-too common result for Moffat County after getting a win, but Jenkins wasn’t let down.
“Once we started losing this season, it was always a head game for us,” he said. “I was a little disappointed we didn’t win the last game, but it was cool to win the way we did in the first one.”
Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .