Basalt baseball 3-0 after beating Aspen |

Basalt baseball 3-0 after beating Aspen

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Jim Ryan Basalt's Connor Chaffee slides safely into second base while Aspen shortstop Andrew Hancock takes the throw during Tuesday's game in El Jebel.

EL JEBEL – The upper Roaring Fork Valley’s rivals played a spring baseball game Tuesday afternoon in El Jebel.

Like many early season games, the match between Aspen and Basalt featured a bit of everything from stolen bases, defensive gems, walks, hits, double plays, more walks, errors, missed bases, disputed calls and head-scratching rulings.

In the end, Basalt held on for a 9-5 victory.

But it wasn’t easy, according to Basalt head coach Rick Ryan.

“It was definitely a rivalry game,” Ryan said. “In a rivalry game, it doesn’t matter (what the records are). And I don’t think we were ready for that.”

He said the Longhorns jumped to an early 6-0 lead.

“Then, we couldn’t throw a strike,” Ryan said.

The Longhorns gave up five runs on only one Aspen hit as the Skiers cut the lead to 6-5 in the fourth inning.

Tristan Niskanen had the key hit for the Skiers.

Spencer Glasener came on in relief for Basalt. He pitched the final two innings.

“He shut them down, but it was an interesting game,” Ryan said.

Tim Johnson led Basalt offensively with three hits and three runs batted in.

Nick Calabro pitched the first four innings for Basalt.

“He pitched four good innings. Then, he couldn’t find the plate,” Ryan said.

The Basalt coach said Aspen pitcher Patrick Martin pitched a complete game for the Skiers.

“Give him credit. That kid just threw strikes. He really battled us all the way,” Ryan said.

“We played well defensively again,” Ryan said after the Longhorns improved to 3-0 (3-0 in league play). “At the end of the day, we are 3-0. I told the guys you have to have some ugly wins, you have to have some wins like this.”

Aspen fell to 0-3 with Tuesday’s loss in El Jebel.

“What I noticed (Tuesday) was the intensity was higher (for the Skiers),” Aspen head coach Clancy Philbrick said. “That was a big difference.”

He said the Skiers struggled at the plate early.

But Niskanen hammered a big RBI hit for the Skiers, he said.

“Patrick Martin pitched again for us. And he threw a lot of strikes. He only had two walks,” Philbrick said.

“I wish we could have fielded the ball a little better,” he said.

The Skiers will return to action Thursday at Crawford Field when they host Coal Ridge in a doubleheader, beginning at 3 p.m.

The Basalt Longhorns will play at Grand Valley on Thursday.

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