Moffat County baseball continues domination in victory over Sailors
CRAIG — For the first time in what some estimate to be a decade, the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team lost to Moffat County in a doubleheader. The boys in blue always seem to be on the same level as the Sailors, but this year, very few teams seem to be on Moffat County’s level.
The team is 7-1, serving Gunnison its first loss and suffering its first loss last Friday. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 among all 3A teams.
Unsurprisingly, the nearly perfect Bulldogs routed the Sailors 15-1 and 13-3.
In an evening of not-close baseball, it can be hard to see how each team benefits from the ordeal, but there is plenty to learn for both the winner and loser.
Moffat County was challenged in game two by Steamboat pitcher Alan Duty, who served up curve balls and cutters and more, confusing the batters with pitches that break in different directions.
Duty opened the game by striking out lead-off hitter Hunter Smilanich but, soon after, gave up a triple to Krese Papierski. The Sailors right-hander kept the score low through his three innings on the mound.
“With Alan on the mound, he threw a lot of stuff we haven’t really seen all year with his curve ball, change-up, all the mixers he can throw with the breakers,” junior Ryan Peck said. “They really gave us more of an atmosphere of what we’ll see when playoffs come, because every team is going to have a team that can do that. Having a chance to be able to sit on a ball like that and see really helps out later in the season.”
Once Duty left the mound, the Bulldogs turned a 5-1 advantage into a 13-3 victory thanks to a pair of three-run homers from Peck. Peck smashed one ball off pitcher Ben Bogan in the fourth, then hit another in the fifth to put the 10-run rule in place.
“I’ve played with him all my life,” Peck said of Bogan. “I’ve caught him before, so I know where he likes to go with the ball. That first at-bat, he gave me a pretty center-cut fastball, and I jumped on it as quick as I could. I knew I wasn’t going to get the same pitch. The second at-bat, he kept (hitting) the outer third of the plate, same height, so I just threw everything at it and went with it.”
Aside from Duty’s pitching, Bogan’s bat was the only other consistent thing for the Sailors. Bogan used the doubleheader against the Bulldogs to practice a new tactic at the plate, which clearly worked for him as he had a pair of hits in each game.
“I just had a different approach than the other games I’ve had,” Bogan said. “They usually throw first-pitch strikes to me so I’ve just been ready for it.”
Bogan was consistent with his placement all night, finding the gap between center and right.
In game one, Bogan prevented the shutout. He doubled to start the fourth and made his way around the bases over the next two at bats. He stood on third as backup catcher Dylan Gormley made the Bulldogs pitcher work. On a passed ball, Bogan ran home to score.
In game two, Steamboat’s offense came to life in the fourth, starting as Austin Ibarra singled with two outs. Bogan followed with a single, and Walker Ripley used a single to score Ibarra. Jake Hamric earned an RBI to score Bogan before the Bulldogs ended the inning.
Between finding strength on offense and making less mistakes on defense, Steamboat is starting to find its stride.
The Sailors will continue their search for their first win against Aspen at home Thursday and celebrate senior night.
Moffat County 15, Steamboat Springs 1
SS 000 10X X – 1
MC 841 2XX X – 15
Moffat County 13, Steamboat Springs 3
SS 001 02X X – 3
MC 203 53X X – 13
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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