Sailors strike out

Multiple injuries, silent bats hurt Steamboat in doubleheader against Rifle

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— Pain isn't as important as baseball, so Steamboat Springs' Tyler Fosdick continues to play with tendonitis in his throwing arm.

In Saturday's doubleheader against Rifle, the sophomore shortstop went a combined 4-for-5 out of the leadoff spot and played solid defense in a losing effort, as the Bears beat the Sailors 11-1 and 6-1 in a doubleheader in Craig.

The victories keep Rifle in the thick of the league race with Delta.

"Tyler is a tough kid," Steamboat coach Sean Hicks said. "The doctors said he can play as long as he can handle the pain because he can't hurt his arm any further, and he wants to be out there."

As a team already plagued with injuries, Steamboat especially needs Fosdick's leadership, bat and arm -- even a sore one -- as the season winds to a close.

"We haven't played one game this year with everyone," Fosdick said. "Maybe in the postseason."

A full, healthy roster might not have made a difference in the opening game of the doubleheader.

Hicks said starting pitcher Preston Stanfill threw well enough to win the first game, but Ryan Marsden's solo shot in the fourth inning was basically the only sound the Sailors' bats made Saturday morning.

"Other than one swing of the bat, no one came to play," Hicks said. "Rifle is probably one of the most disciplined teams in the league. If you make a mistake they are going to capitalize on it."

In the first game -- that ended after five innings -- Rifle had 11 runs on 12 hits with no errors.

Steamboat had one run on four hits and three errors.

Fosdick, Preston Stanfill and Marsden recorded the four hits for the Sailors.

Steamboat opened the second game with a much different approach, and it showed on the field and scoreboard.

With Fosdick on second and Stanfill on first after a single and a walk, Marsden stepped to the plate.

Before Marsden had a chance to put the ball in play, Rifle starting pitcher Owen Madison tried to pick Fosdick off at second. Fosdick took off for third instead of diving back into the tag at second , forcing Rifle's infielders to make the defensive play.

Fosdick took the out near third, as Stanfill wisely ran to second. When Rifle's shortstop Adam Krick tried to get Stanfill out at second, he threw the ball away, allowing Stanfill to end up at third with two outs.

Marsden followed up the run-down with an infield single that hugged the third-base line, driving in Stanfill.

Rifle tied up the game in the bottom of the first off Kip Jessup's sacrifice fly to centerfield.

The Bears added two more in the bottom of the second.

Chappie Cook's sacrifice fly to Kevin Martin in centerfield drove in the first. The Bears' third run of the game scored after Sean Murphy's pitch bounced off Stanfill's knee guard and down the first base line, allowing Krick to score from third.

The inning ended when Eli Snead ran into Matt Engle's tag on a grounder to third.

The Sailors loaded up the bases in the top of the third off Fosdick's single, Murphy taking a pitch to the helmet and Marsden's intentional walk -- Madison gave up a home run to

Marsden in the first game and wasn't about to get tagged for three runs off one hit in the second game.

Nick Hughes hit a hard grounder, but Shane Fazzi didn't have to move from his spot second, scooping up the ball for the easy 4-3 putout to end the inning.

The score remained 3-1 in favor of the Bears until the bottom of the fifth when Rifle did a masterful job of manufacturing a run, giving it some breathing room.

Madison led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball.

Jason Enewold laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt between the mound and third.

Scott Van Slyke hit a hard grounder into the hole between third and short. Fosdick made a spectacular dive to stop the ball and prevent an extra-base hit. His hard throw was on line but not in time. Van Slyke was safe at first and Madison was safe at home.

"Tyler absolutely made some almost major-league plays (Saturday)," Hicks said.

Fazzi doubled to the fence, bringing in Van Slyke before the inning ended.

Steamboat went down in order in the sixth, and Rifle added another run in the bottom of the inning, giving ace pitcher Jason Enewold five runs to work with in the top of the seventh.

Enewold -- one of Colorado's best pitchers and a Division I prospect -- needed just three outs.

Sandwiched between two strikeouts was Charles Cogburn's slow hit up the middle. Unfortunately for the freshman, Fazzi scooped it up and threw him out at first.

"He went up there aggressive and that's what I want," Hicks said.

Murphy took the loss for Steamboat, going six strong innings, striking out four and walking two.

With two league games remaining before the postseason begins, Hicks and Fosdick agree on one thing: Steamboat has to get base runners across home.

"We just need to hit the ball," Fosdick said. "We make mistakes in the field, but that's not what's hurting us right now."

Steamboat travels to Glenwood Springs on Saturday for a doubleheader to close the regular season. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

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