Gunnison pounds Basalt, sweeps baseball doubleheader |

Gunnison pounds Basalt, sweeps baseball doubleheader

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Basalt catcher Scott Hoffman’s walk in the first inning of Game 2 Saturday drew a chorus of cheers from the Longhorns faithful.

On a day when baserunners were as rare as base hits against the 3A Western Slope’s top team, opportunities to applaud were scarce. Basalt compiled just six hits in 10 innings and was outscored, 31-2, in two lopsided mercy-rule losses to Gunnison.

“We didn’t have much defense, or much offense,” Longhorns head coach Bud Hickman said bluntly. “This team hasn’t found its identity. We’re waiting for that to happen.”

Basalt could muster just two hits ” a double from Hoffman and Fletcher Richman’s single ” during a first game in which they struck out nine times and were retired in order in three of five innings.

The Cowboys struck for six runs in both the first and second innings and piled up 15 hits.

“They had strong pitching, and we started out with an error in right, a dropped ball, that led to five runs scored [in the first],” Hickman said. “It doesn’t take much [for things to get out of hand.]”

Gunnison carried their momentum into Game 2, striking for three runs off Longhorns starter Scott Trantow in the first. Bridger Singer lined a one-out, run-scoring double to the gap in right, Bryan Northrup dropped down a bunt single on the third-base line to bring home a run and Luke Schumaker hit a sacrifice fly.

An infield error cost the Longhorns in the second. Gunnison No. 9 hitter Dayne Luekenga reached when shortstop Blake Scherer’s throw sailed off line, then Josh Finney drilled a Trantow offering over the wall in left, stretching the lead to 5-1.

Basalt, which scored its first run of the day on Tanner Banc’s RBI single in the first, pulled to within three after an RBI single from Kyp Schoon in the second. The Longhorns’ offense stranded two runners on base in both the second, third and fourth innings, however, and sputtered down the stretch.

The Cowboys broke the game open in the fourth. The first nine batters to hit reached base. Mike McGlinchey scored on a wild pitch, Schumaker scored on a throw down to second with runners at the corners, Singer hit an RBI single, Northrup drove in two with a double and Mike Spallone drove in one with a fielder’s choice.

The inning could have been worse for the Longhorns had it not been for Hoffman, who caught two runners stealing. One inning later, he picked off Singer, who had earlier doubled home Finney.

Gunnison scored two or more runs in four of five innings and tallied 11 hits. Chris Schmalz relieved Robbie Holleran in the fifth and induced a flyout before striking out Banc and Cory Ostrander to seal the sweep.

Basalt will look to rebound Monday when it plays a doubleheader with Coal Ridge.

“Maybe we can put things together against Coal Ridge,” Hickman said. “We’re going there expecting to win two. We’ll definitely compete.”

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User