Cole, Aspen cruise in baseball opener | AspenTimes.com
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Cole, Aspen cruise in baseball opener

Jon MaletzThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. When he woke to more than a foot of fresh snow and found out both school and his teams game were canceled, Aspen baseball coach Nate Grinzinger gave his players the day off and sent them skiing.Grinzinger was on the hill himself when, at around 11 a.m., he received a call informing him a field was available in Grand Junction. The frenzy began. Grinzinger corralled his players on the mountain, they all sped to the base and headed for school in time to catch a bus at 12:30 p.m. They made it to Canyon View Park in time for 4 p.m.s first pitch against Grand Valley.The frantic pace continued on the diamond. Aspen pressured the Cardinals defense on the basepaths and with timely hits, Anderson Cole stole four bases and struck out 11 in five solid innings and the Skiers cruised to a 7-3 season-opening victory.I honestly didnt know quite what to expect, Grinzinger said. It was an outstanding day for us. Once we have our whole team, Im excited to see how things will get patched up.Aspen was without its primary catcher, Zach Maraziti, and a few starters who are still playing basketball. Cole, who will head to Fort Collins with the basketball team today to compete in 3A Great 8, found the time to make the trip to Grand Junction. Despite practicing sparingly in the past few weeks, he appeared to be in top form.The junior allowed five hits, two walks and no earned runs in five strong innings. He made a big impact on the offensive side, too, scoring twice, driving in one run and wreaking havoc on the basepaths.He was hit by a pitch to lead off the third and immediately stole second. Daniel Munger then laid down a perfect running bunt to drive in Cole and break a scoreless tie. Munger advanced to third after an errant throw to first and scored the second of the Skiers three runs in the inning. Mike Willsky added a run-scoring double.We put the offensive pressure on them, Grinzinger said. They couldnt do much against Anderson, and we were just attacking on the bases.Cole drew a walk in the fourth, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch. Aspen struck twice in the inning to take a 5-0 lead. In the fifth, Cole drove in Taylor Mayer with a groundout.Mayer, who filled in for Maraziti behind the plate, had two hits and set the tone in the games first at-bat when he drew a walk and sprinted for second when the ball squirted away from Grand Valleys catcher. Munger scored twice and Lamont Gross surrendered two hits and one earned run in two innings of relief to help secure a win.Aspen is slated to play three games at this weekends Machebeuf tournament, which begins Friday.jmaletz@aspentimes.com


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