The Steamboat Springs baseball team began league play with two wins, defeating Eagle Valley in a doubleheader Tuesday.
The Sailors upended the Devils, 4-2 and 10-7, in two games in Eagle to begin their portion of the Western Slope schedule unbeaten.
Steamboat will host league foe Battle Mountain in a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday. The games tentatively are scheduled for the Craig Middle School field, but weather may force the games to Eagle, Steamboat coach Sean Hicks said.
On Tuesday, Steamboat won a low-scoring game and a high-scoring game against Eagle Valley. One thing remained the same through both: the Sailors played strong defense.
"Every time they got runners on base, we would get a double play or make a play at home plate," Hicks said. "It goes to show when you don't make mistakes and throw the ball where it needs to go, you give yourself the opportunity to win games."
Zach Savage picked up the win for Steamboat, going a full seven innings, despite throwing 139 pitches. He struck out three but walked 10. The defense stepped up behind Savage, however, and made the plays to win.
The Sailors took the lead in the second inning and scored the winning run in the sixth. Tyler Fosdick was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Jack Serhant was 1-for-4 with a triple. Ben Montoya and Graham Hogrefe knocked in the other runs for Steamboat.
Serhant got the start for Steamboat and pitched well. However, the Sailors were down 5-0 after 2.5 innings.
"He had to throw down the middle of the plate to get a strike call," Hicks said. "He did a great job hitting corners and staying down, but when you aren't getting those calls, you have to throw down the middle. That's how they got their five runs, not to take anything away from Eagle Valley."
Steamboat took the lead for good in the bottom of the fourth, scoring eight runs in its half of the inning. The Sailors added two more in the sixth, and the Devils made a come-back bid in the top of the seventh, but Fosdick came in and got a strikeout to end the game and earn a save.
The combination of Serhant, who picked up the win, Nick Leader and Tyler Fosdick worked well for Steamboat.
"Nick came in for a couple innings and threw fantastic," Hicks said. "It was the first time I've seen him throw hard, but in the last inning his arm started hurting him a little bit and brought Fosdick in."
In the second game, five Sailors got hits and seven Steamboat players came around to score. Fosdick was 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Montoya was 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Serhant, Savage, Brian Aragon and John Donham each had one RBI, as well.
Montoya is Steamboat's ace, but an injury to starting catcher Charles Cogburn forced Montoya behind the plate on defense. Hicks said his priority is finding a replacement for Cogburn if his wrist injury is season-ending.
"We have to have another catcher so Ben can pitch," Hicks said.
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