Defense, pitching lifts ‘Horns to 3rd win
The Longhorns split a double-header with Cedaredge in Basalt Saturday, winning a pitchers duel 2-1 in the first game before suffering through a 13-3 defeat in the second.
“It was probably our best defensive game of the year,” Seann Goodman, Basalt’s head coach, said about the first game.
Sophomore Nick Harris pitched a complete game, throwing only 64 pitches over seven innings.
“He’s the ace on our team at this point,” Goodman said.
The Longhorns scored a run in the first inning and held their lead for most of the game before Cedaredge tied it up in the top of the seventh.
Basalt’s A.J. Hobbs, a senior, got things going for the Longhorns in the bottom of the seventh with a single. Later, Zack Southward drove him in with a game-winning line drive to right-center field, an area known as “Alcorta Alley.”
“The team was feeling really good with a break in between [games],” Goodman said. “The big thing was to carry the momentum into the next game and they came out just flat – our pitching didn’t work and our fielding fell apart and we couldn’t get the bats going.”
The Longhorns are now 3-12 heading into a showdown today at 4 p.m. with Aspen at the Aspen High field.
“We feel good about that game,” Goodman said. “We feel confident going into it.”
Aspen High coach Rick Ryan said his players are pumped and looking for redemption. Basalt beat Aspen 14-6 in their first meeting earlier this month.
“This is kind of a revenge game for us in a way,” he said. “We had beaten them like 16 straight times before that loss.
“Now, the rivalry is back – it’s a friendly rivalry, but our guys are ready.”
Both teams are similar in that they’re young and inexperienced.
“We have a lot of sophomores and some freshman stepping in,” Goodman said. “We’re looking forward to the next couple years and watching guys grow – it’s looking really good for the Basalt program.”
Aspen has only two seniors on their entire roster, and they’ve been hit with injuries all season. As a result, Ryan has routinely had to start a host of freshman.
“[Basalt’s] guys are big, they’re huge,” Ryan said. “We’re the mighty midgets out there.”
But despite their size, Ryan said his freshman are competitors.
“All these freshman are good players,” he said. “They have to get consistency and then we’ll be fine.”
Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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American giant slalom stud Ted Ligety won six times at Birds of Prey, be it five World Cups and/or gold in the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, but we have to remember what a struggle it was for him to get there.