Aspen baseball loses another close one; Basalt rallies for win over Grand Valley

Aspen junior Jamison Fuentes pitches in relief Tuesday against Roaring Fork at Crawford Field in El Jebel.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times |

The Aspen High School baseball team is young and proving to be resilient, which has been important for it to keep overcoming heartbreak after heartbreak.

“We’ve lost some really close games, late,” AHS coach Dave Fuentes said. “But we got some young guys and they are getting some good experience and we’ll start to turn those and get some good outcomes.”

The most recent example of heartbreak came in Tuesday’s 5-4 home loss to Roaring Fork, played at Crawford Field in El Jebel. After a 4-0 start to the season, the Skiers now have lost five straight, four of the losses by a single run.

But, considering the team only has one senior, plays multiple freshmen and hasn’t finished a season above .500 since going 12-8 in 2009, they are losses Fuentes is willing to accept.

“There are some growing pains as they are figuring it out,” Fuentes said. “They are doing a great job and we are working hard. We are competitive and in the games, which is something that has not been happening with Aspen baseball for a while.”

Aspen had the early advantage on Roaring Fork Tuesday, leading 3-0 after three innings, including a double play in the top of the third inning to prevent a run from scoring.

The wheels started to come off in the top of the fourth inning, when the Rams pushed three runs across to tie the game. A single by Aspen’s Charlie Guilander and a wild throw by Roaring Fork led to an AHS run in the bottom of the frame for a 4-3 lead.

Aspen never scored again, however, and it was a two-run double by Roaring Fork’s Hayden Bernot in the top of the fifth inning that was the difference.

The Skiers had a chance to get the tying run across in the final inning, but with two outs and runners on second and third base, Roaring Fork reliever Drew Broadhurst managed to negate Aspen’s planned steal attempt and tagged a runner out to end the game.

“There was really only one way for that play to work in (Roaring Fork’s) favor, and Drew did it that one way,” Fuentes said. “Drew was pitching great and we were mismatched at the plate. We had to try to figure out a way to get something going on that. They executed it the way they are supposed to. Drew made a play that made it happen.”

Roaring Fork moved to 4-5 overall and 2-1 in the Western Slope League with the win. Aspen fell to 4-5 and 0-2 in a league currently led by Gunnison and Delta.

“We just have to take our wins where we can. We’ve got to make it happen,” Fuentes said. “It’s a good squad and it’s still having lots of fun and we’ll get there.”

The Skiers next will host Grand Valley on Saturday before playing at Basalt High School on Tuesday.

Basalt 8, Grand Valley 5

The Basalt baseball team hosted Grand Valley on Tuesday, coming from behind to win 8-5. The game was originally scheduled to be a doubleheader, but fading light conditions forced the single game.

The Longhorns, coming off a 9-7 loss at Roaring Fork on Saturday, trailed 4-0 after an inning and a half to Grand Valley, but scored six runs over the next three innings, including three in the third, to take the lead.

Two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the team some extra cushion it proved not to need.

Clayton Montgomery led BHS with three runs on two hits. Michael Glen had a team-high three hits, while he and Dylan Gressett each had a team-high two runs batted in.

Basalt, now 4-3 overall and 1-1 in league play, next is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Cedaredge on Saturday before hosting Aspen on Tuesday.

Basalt, Aspen girls soccer both winners

It took overtime, but the Basalt High School girls soccer team defeated host Coal Ridge 3-2 on Tuesday to remain undefeated in league play. Both regulation goals for each team were scored in the first half.

The Longhorns, now 5-2 overall, have won five straight games and are one of two teams still undefeated in their region, alongside Vail Mountain. They next are scheduled to play at Grand Valley on Thursday before hosting Colorado Rocky Mountain School on Saturday.

CRMS is coming off a 6-1 loss to Aspen on Tuesday in Carbondale. The Skiers improved to 4-4 overall with the win and 2-2 in league play. AHS is set to host Delta on Saturday.