Sailors make themselves at home in sweep of rival Moffat County
Steamboat Springs baseball has played through nearly its entire season and never practiced on a baseball diamond.
The excessive snowfall in town this winter forced the team to practice indoors or on turf all season. All aspects of the game like hitting, fielding and pitching were reduced to limited space and improper field conditions.
While the Sailors have had strengths in putting the ball in play and elongating at-bats, sophomore Wiley Cotter says the biggest weakness has been defensive miscues.
The team has continued to practice on limiting errors, but Cotter says they have not had the opportunity to see realistic hops during practice.
“We have been practicing on turf mostly and turf always has the same bounces so you know where it is going to go,” Cotter said. “When we get to a real field, you have these crazy bounces and it is more difficult to read the grass and dirt.”
To this point, the Sailors’ schedule has been filled with away games, but on Tuesday, May 9, the team felt at home at its annual rivalry doubleheader against Moffat County in Craig.
Steamboat swept the two games with an 8-4 victory in game one followed by a 10-2 win in game two.
Head coach Matt Anaya gave props to his offense for remaining consistent at the plate in both games, and said senior Dawson Holmes stayed hot in the box to invigorate the offense throughout.
Sophomore starter Jack Fisher earned the win in game one, pitching four innings and striking out two while giving up four runs and two earned. Damian Dobson came in after to close out the final three innings of the game.
Landon Ripley took the mound for game two, pitching a complete game in just 86 pitches. The junior collected five strikeouts and gave up just two runs in the outing.
“We got the bats going and we did not give up,” Cotter said. “Our dugout was always loud for the person at bat and that gave us a feeling of, ‘I am going to get on base and I am going to score.'”
Steamboat improves to 4-12 on the regular season, but games have been much closer than the team’s record would reflect.
“These guys are getting better and better every week,” Anaya said. “We lost seven games in the seventh inning this year.”
The Sailors are still in search of their first league victory of the season but will have final chances in doubleheaders in Summit on Saturday, May 13, and against Eagle Valley at home for senior night on Tuesday, May 16.
The team has every intention of winning its only home games of the season.
“We want to get a home game win to show that Steamboat baseball is still here and can still provide for the high school,” Cotter said. “Another goal is to bond more as a team in these last few games.”
Steamboat Springs 8, Moffat County 4
SS: 0 3 2 0 0 0 3
MC: 1 0 1 0 2 0 0
Steamboat Springs 10, Moffat County 2
SS: 0 3 0 0 1 6 0
MC: 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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