Basalt baseball turns up offense in victory

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

BASALT — The Longhorns turned to big innings Thursday afternoon.

The Basalt High School baseball team slugged its way back into the conference win column with an aggressive offense in a 14-2 victory over rival Aspen at the BHS baseball field.

Throw in the shut-down pitching of Nick Calabro and closer Cody Banc, and the Longhorns successfully rebounded from a tough doubleheader loss at Gunnison last weekend.

The Longhorns, paying for their only error of the game, fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first when Aspen’s Tristan Niskanen singled up the middle to drive home Cade Daniel, who had reached on the error and advanced on a groundout by Max Marolt.

Basalt answered immediately when Noah Schoenberger led off the bottom of the first with a ringing double to the fence in left-center field.

Tucker Jenkins promptly tied the game for Basalt with an RBI single.

Calabro put the Longhorns ahead for good with a liner off the fence in left-center. He later scored on a single by Cody Hoffman, and Basalt led 3-1 after one inning.

Schoenberger doubled again in the bottom of the second, when the Longhorns scored four more runs to take a 7-1 lead.

Helped by two costly Aspen errors and another hit by Schoenberger, Basalt posted four runs in the bottom of the third to lead 11-1.

Tim Johnson trigger the final fourth-inning rally for the Longhorns with a single and a stolen base. He and Carlos Leal both scored in the inning along with Schoenberger, who had reached on a walk.

“I was looking for the right pitch,” said Schoenberger, who finished with three hits, a walk and four runs scored against the Skiers. “Everybody was … hitting today.”

Jenkins had two hits and scored three times for the Horns. Calabro also scored three times.

Leal also had a single — one of 10 Basalt hits against three Aspen pitchers.

Leal also robbed the Skiers of a hit in the third inning when he backhanded a ball hit by Ty Zasacky near second base and threw him out at first.

Banc drove in two runs as the Longhorns improved to 6-4 overall, 5-4 in the Western Slope League.

Calabro pitched four innings for the Longhorns, striking out seven Skiers. He gave up two hits — both to Niskanen. He had no walks.

The Skiers posted a run in the top of the fifth against Banc.

Ryan Scheidt singled between third and short to drive in the Skier’s second run of the game.

Banc gave up a walk and Scheidt’s hit but also collected a strikeout.

He snared a line drive off the bat of Aspen’s Christian Lewis to start a game-ending double play.

“I just tried to keep (the ball) in the zone as much as I could,” Calabro said.

He said he and catcher Hoffman work well together, in concert with the Basalt coaching staff.

“We want to keep it going now … keep our bats going,” Calabro said. “And we need to stay away from mental errors.”

The Longhorns will travel to Craig on Saturday for a key league doubleheader against Moffat County.

Patrick Martin started on the mound for the Skiers on Thursday afternoon. He pitched into the third when Harry Kahn took over. Niskanen finished up for the Skiers in the five-inning game (shortened by the 10-run rule).

The winless Skiers (0-10 overall, 0-8 in league) are scheduled to host Grand Valley in a Saturday doubleheader (11 a.m.) at the El Jebel field.