Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Sailors baseball team held off a tough Glenwood High School Demons squad at Simillion field Saturday to win 12-11. The Sailors' victory earned the Steamboat squad home-field advantage in a playoff pigtail game scheduled for Tuesday.
The the home team showed it meant business early by keeping the visiting Demons runlesss in the first inning.
Then, the Sailors scored two quick runs their first time at bat behind hits from Joe Liefer and Derek Haverley. The Sailors forced an error for the Demons shortstop with a hard hit grounder to score.
Glenwood then returned fire with a solo homer shot to put the score at 2-1.
That set the tone for the game. For the next several innings, the Sailors batted in runs in the bottom of every inning and the Demons then played catch-up in the top half of the next.
But the tide changed late in the game. In the bottom of the fifth, the Sailors scored three runs to make it 12-7 with help from fielding errors and slow relays by the Demons. But, that was the last time Sailors crossed the plate.
In the top of the sixth, Sailors pitcher Jeremiah Kiely, who pitched the entire game, began showing signs of fatigue. The Demons capitalized, getting four hits and four runs from the bottom of the order. Then, the Sailors went three up and three down with a strike out and to fly outs in the bottom of the sixth, leaving the door open for the Demons to take the lead for the first time in the game.
In the top of the seventh, with the top of the order up, Kiely struck out the first batter and forced a fly to center. But the Demons then loaded the bases with two hits and a walk.
With two outs and the Demons in scoring position, Kiely threw a hanging curve that was popped to the short stop and the game was over.
"I knew I could get my fast ball down," Kiely said about pitching in the last inning.
He threw more than 100 pitches in the game and depended heavily on the Demons inability to make contact with breaking balls.
"The guys came through and made big plays and that helped out," he said.
Sailors coach John Aragon was proud of his team's ability to hold off the Demons, known as a good hitting team.
"We had some young kids step up and make the routine plays," Aragon said.
Demons coach Mike Wilde was in a state of dismay at the end of the game, with his players leaving three runners on base and being down by one in the seventh inning.
"It's frustrating, especially when we came off a big when against Moffat County," he said.
Errors killed the Demons, Wilde said. They gave up six unearned runs in the game.
The Sailors hit well in the game with Liefer going 2-3 and Haverly and Tanner Barr going 2-4.
The Sailors meet the Demons again Tuesday in a pigtail game. The time is not yet known.
-- To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org