Rough start, pitching dooms Aspen High baseball in a 13-5 loss to Cedaredge
One little mistake in the first inning snowballed on the Aspen High School baseball team Tuesday against Cedaredge when five early runs from the Bruins led to a 13-5 win for the visitors at Crawford Field in El Jebel.
“It makes it tough to win a game when you have good competition and you are making some errors you shouldn’t be making,” AHS coach Dave Fuentes said. “We had three strikeouts, a dropped third strike, and should have been out of the inning 1-2-3 and they end up putting a bunch of runs on after we struck out the side but didn’t execute on that last strikeout.”
That relatively minor play ended up putting the Skiers in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. The game was of particular importance as the teams were essentially battling for second place in the Class 3A Western Slope League, which awards an automatic trip to the state tournament for its top two finishers.
Down 5-0 after a half inning, AHS did respond with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first but couldn’t muster much offense after that. Cedaredge led 12-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, where a sacrifice hit by senior Tyler Clayton scored senior Jamison Fuentes to avoid the 10-run rule.
Once the Bruins took out starting pitcher Jacob Lewis a batter into the seventh inning, the Skiers started to gain some offensive traction, scoring two final runs and loading the bases before a pair of strikeouts ended the game.
On top of a strong outing on the mound, Lewis hit a solo home run for the Bruins in the fourth inning.
“It was their opportunity to take it, and they did,” Dave Fuentes said. “Our pitching was off today. You can’t give up 16 walks and expect to win a game. To their credit, Jacob did a great job. He had 12 strikeouts on us and hit a monster home run.”
With the win, Cedaredge (13-4 overall, 7-1 WSL) is all but guaranteed a playoff spot. Delta (12-6, 8-0) plays one final game Saturday at Grand Valley (2-15 overall) with a chance to finish unbeaten in league play. Delta beat both Cedaredge and Aspen by scores of 10-0 this season.
Aspen (11-4, 6-2) will have to rely on its RPI to get into the postseason.
“We have to take care of business,” Dave Fuentes said. “We have to right the little things we’ve sort of been struggling with the last couple of games, but I definitely believe we still have an opportunity to make the postseason and do some damage there.”
Prior to Tuesday’s game, Cedaredge had an RPI of 17 and Aspen an RPI of 22. The Skiers still have four games remaining on their schedule, beginning with a 4 p.m. senior day game on Thursday against Grand Valley at Crawford Field. AHS will travel to Moffat County on Saturday for a doubleheader before finishing with Basalt on Monday.
“We got to regroup and finish out strong, starting with Grand Valley on Thursday,” Dave Fuentes said.
Basalt (7-6-1, 3-4-1) had been scheduled to play Tuesday at Moffat County, but the game was called off because of snowy conditions in Craig. Roaring Fork baseball rolled to 18-0 and 17-1 wins Tuesday at Grand Valley to improve to 9-8 overall, 3-5 3A WSL.
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