Basalt baseball team swinging into history

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT – Word spread through the midvalley faster than teenagers can text.

“Did you hear?”

“Have you heard the news.”

“This has never happened in Basalt before.”

The emails, the phone messages, the text messages, even regular face-to-face conversations in the midvalley this week centered on the undefeated Basalt High School baseball team.

That’s the undefeated and state-ranked Longhorns.

Yes, the Basalt baseball team (5-0) is ranked among the top 10 in Class 3A by The Denver Post this week.

That’s history all by itself.

So is the 5-0 start, including a key doubleheader sweep at chilly Cedaredge last weekend.

Basalt battle through 20-degree temperatures and a biting wind to win 8-6 and 14-8.

“That’s the first time Basalt has ever swept Cedarddge, and we’re 5-0 for the first time in school history,” head coach Rick Ryan.

Cedaredge was ranked No. 4 in the state when Basalt won both games last weekend.

The Longhorns lashed out 11 hits in the opener.

Nick Calabro pitched the first six innings of the first game.

Spencer Glasener closed out the game in the seventh inning.

But Cedaredge threatened by loading the bases.

However, Noah Shoenberger, Basalt’s third baseman, grabbed a looping fly ball and threw to first for a game-ending double play.

The Longhorns broke to a big 11-1 lead after three innings in the second game.

“But, then we stopped throwing strikes,” Ryan said.

He said the Longhorns did a good job battling, “and we stole a lot of bases,” Ryan said.

Glasener had three hits and drove in three runs in the opener.

He banged out four more hits in the second game, when he pitched all seven innings for Basalt.

Cody Banc hit a big three-run triple for Basalt in the second game.

Calabro had a towering two-run home run.

“He crushed it,” Ryan said.

“I think our defense is what is giving us confidence,” the Basalt head coach said.

Carlos Leal, at second base, handled some 15 ground balls in the doubleheader without an error.

Outfielders Mark Barto and Tim Jenkins have played excellent defense, Ryan said.

“I think it was 24 degrees out, and there was wind,” Ryan said, adding that he was chilled to the bone in spite of wearing five layers.

“It was so cold, we broke two aluminum bats,” Ryan said.

But, he said, the Longhorns battled through the cold weather.

“We talked it over, and we said, ‘We’re the mountain town. We can handle this,'” Ryan said.

“Cedaredge is always at the top of the league,” he said. “We’re excited.”

The Longhorns promptly took their fresh momentum and their state ranking on spring break this week.

They don’t play again until next Tuesday when they host Aspen. Basalt will play Roaring Fork on April 4 in another valley baseball rivalry game.

Perennial Class 3A power Eaton was voted No. 1 in Class 3A this week by The Denver Post.

Faith Christian is No. 2 with Peak to Peak (Lafayette) third.

Holy Family is No. 4 with Bayfield at No. 5.

Manitou Springs came in at No. 6 with the Basalt Longhorns No. 7.

Sterling is ranked eighth with Lamar No. 9 and Valley No. 10.