Basalt baseball sweeps Gunnison

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
Jim RyanBasalt pitcher Nick Calabro tags out Gunnison's Ty Percival during the second game of Saturday's doubleheader in El Jebel.

EL JEBEL – With a dramatic doubleheader sweep over Gunnison on Saturday, the Basalt Longhorns found themselves in rarefied air.

They’re in first place.

The Basalt High School baseball team took over sole possession of first place in the Western Slope League after beating the Cowboys 10-7 and 3-2 at Crawford Field in El Jebel, improving to 8-0 in conference, 8-1 overall.

“We’re still rolling along,” said an ecstatic Rick Ryan, the Basalt head coach. “We just keep winning.”

Coming off their only loss of the season, a 7-4 nonconference defeat at Rifle, the Longhorns quickly fell behind 3-0 in the first game.

“But we came right back and scored four in the bottom of the third. Then, it was a dogfight from there,” Ryan said of the back-and-forth game.

“Spencer Glasener pitched for us, and he did well. “Gunnison is a really good team. They put the ball in play a lot. We had to make a lot of plays.”

Cody Hoffman drove in three runs, and Nick Calabro had two key RBIs, Ryan said.

The Basalt coach said the key to the game was center fielder Mark Barto.

“He made several unbelievable catches out there. There were balls hit on a rope, and he was all over them,” Ryan said.

Solid infield defense kept the Longhorns in the high-scoring game, a victory in the opener.

“In the second game, we scored three runs in the first. But that was all we got,” Ryan said.

Calabro pitched in the tight second game.

“Again, Mark Barto caught the ball in center,” he said.

“It was kind of a chippy game. Both teams really wanted to win. There was some (talking) from both dugouts,” Ryan said. “It was intense.”

The second game ended with the tying run for Gunnison at third base.

“With Aspen sweeping Olathe, that did us some good,” Ryan said. “I told the guys, ‘Aspen is better than you think. That means this league is right there for the taking.'”

He said the Longhorns have never won a conference baseball title.

“If we can finish solid, we can win this,” the BHS head coach said.

Gunnison fell to 6-3 in conference, 7-4 overall with Saturday’s losses.

The Longhorns, ranked No. 8 in Class 3A by The Denver Post, will play a nonconference game at Meeker on Tuesday.

The Longhorns will host rival Roaring Fork in a makeup league game Thursday afternoon.


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