Sailors drop league opener

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— Steamboat Springs baseball coach Dave Roy thinks his ball club is right on the verge of breaking through.

Friday's doubleheader against Palisade, however, showed Roy they're not quite there yet.

The Sailors dropped two games to the Bulldogs, losing the first one, 12-0, and the second one, 5-3.

"Our pitching is coming around," Roy said. "We need to get a little bit stronger here and there, and we'll be in good shape."

In the first game, Roy said the Sailors (1-6, 0-2 in league) ran into a combination of things.

The Sailors faced the Bulldogs' No. 1 starter, who, with a good fastball and sharp curve, limited Steamboat to two hits. Roy also said Steamboat's play wasn't sharp.

"We weren't awake, we gave up extra bases and we were not thinking ahead," Roy said. "It came down to their good pitching and our lack of sharpness."

Skylar Mitchell picked up both hits for the Sailors. He also pitched four innings.

In the second game, the Sailors had opportunities, but couldn't seem to get a hit when they needed to. They also fell victim to having one bad inning for the fourth time this year.

Steamboat was ahead, 3-2, going into the top of the third inning before Palisade (3-1, 2-0) pushed three runs across, only one of which was earned.

Roy said Steamboat had plenty of opportunities to retake the lead, including during the fifth inning when the Sailors loaded the bases after singles from Mitchell, Nic DeVos and Taylor Anderson. The rally was thwarted when Mitchell got picked off and the next two batters struck out.

"We had a lot of chances and stranded a bunch of runners," Roy said. "We just couldn't seem to get things going."

After falling behind, 2-0, in the top of the first inning, the Sailors responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half.

Elliot Girard led off with a single, and Philip Riley sacrificed him over. Alex Wood then drove Girard home with a double. Anderson brought Wood home with a single.

The Sailors' other run came when they loaded the bases in second inning and a Palisade walk brought a run home.

Wood - who was on a strict pitch count - pitched five innings. Freshman Cody Harris pitched two innings of scoreless ball.

"It was a game we could have won," Roy said. "We just didn't get those timely hits when we needed them."

Steamboat next plays a doubleheader in Rifle on Saturday. The first game starts at 10 a.m.

- To reach Luke Graham, call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com

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