Pitchers reign in Steamboat-Glenwood baseball doubleheader split
Steamboat Springs — Saturday’s Western Slope baseball doubleheader between Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs was a tale of two games, and both were carried by senior leadership on the mound.
In Game 1, it was Sailors senior right-hander Jesse Pugh who went the distance, tossing seven scoreless innings en route to Steamboat’s 3-0 shutout win. Pugh gave up 10 hits from the Demons, but none were for extra bases as Glenwood stranded multiple runners in critical fourth and fifth innings.
“We’re coming along,” Steamboat assistant coach David Reece said. “Jesse really carried us in that first game.”
Six different Demons recorded a hit in Game 1, including Ian Scruton’s three-for-four performance at the plate.
But it was a Steamboat freshman who had the most impressive time at the plate in the first half of the day’s doubleheader.
David Brown, who leads the Western Slope in home runs, blasted a Stephen Romero pitch in his first at-bat. The ball sailed over the left-field fence for a two-run jack. In the fifth inning, Brown let one go again, this time launching a high sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Pugh for the game’s final run.
“I thought it was sweet to hit that home run,” Brown said. “That’s my fifth of the season and the first one in front of a home crowd my freshman year was pretty cool.”
In the fourth inning, Glenwood had the bases loaded, but Pugh was able to sneak the Sailors out of the jam. One inning later, the Demons were in striking position again, with a runner at third with one out, and again Pugh delivered.
Pugh finished the game allowing 10 hits and a pair of walks while striking out four batters. Steamboat senior Billy Clark had a double and a single at the plate, and Pugh had a double.
Romero gave up seven hits for the Demons, walked three batters and struck out four while giving up three earned runs over his four innings pitched. Lucas Ray came in for relief duty, and he gave up no runs and struck out three Sailors.
Pugh controlled Game 1 from the mound, but Glenwood senior lefty Chase Nieslanik was nearly unhittable in Game 2.
The Demons ace pitched all five innings of Glenwood’s 10-0 cruising win, giving up just two hits while fanning nine Steamboat batters.
“Chase threw a good game,” Glenwood coach Eric Nieslanik said. “He kind of carried us and took control of that baseball game.”
And at the plate, the Demons took advantage of Pugh being off the mound and capitalized on a few rough innings on the Sailors’ behalf.
Steamboat’s Clark had a fairly solid performance on the mound for the little more than three innings he pitched. Clark gave up a pair of runs off Chase Nieslanik and Kyle LaCouture RBIs in the first, but shut out the Demons until he was replaced in the fourth inning by Brown, the freshman.
Brown took a little while to warm up, walking in two Demons runs and giving up a LaCouture RBI to make it a 5-0 Glenwood lead.
A fifth-inning triple from the Demons’ Ray was the deal sealer. Ray smoked a pitch into left field as three Glenwood players reached home plate for the 8-0 Demons lead. Glenwood’s Romero added a double and a pair of insurance runs later in the inning to make it a 10-run shortened contest.
“Offensively, we just kept chipping and chipping away,” Coach Nieslanik said. “The first game, we couldn’t find a way to break through, but that second game, we finally got a couple big hits.”
Steamboat’s Alejandro Sandoval and Pugh were the only Sailors to get hits on Chase Nieslanik, barely keeping him from a no-hitter.
“We have to be more disciplined at the plate,” Brown said. “We’re just swinging at stuff way out of the strike zone.”
Glenwood (4-8 overall) will get tested on Saturday as the Demons host the 8-3 Summit Tigers. Steamboat’s brief home stint is all wrapped up, and now the Sailors (4-9 overall) head to Moffat County on Wednesday for a 3 p.m. start.
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