Nothing this season has defined Western Slope baseball as much as Tuesday's doubleheader between Steamboat Springs and Moffat County.
With both schools facing the effects of turbulent spring weather in the area, the games were played miles south, in Rifle. And because the two teams have made practicing indoors with Wiffle balls a regular occurrence, it was only fitting that both games were won by the team that somehow found a way to do the little things.
Steamboat Springs High School got timely hitting and a two-run, game-winning single from Cody Harris to win the first game, 5-4. In the second game, a lights-out pitching performance from Lars Johnson helped the Sailors cruise to a 12-2 win.
"It was great to get wins," Steamboat manager Dave Roy said. "We needed something like this to get back on track. We got two excellent pitching performances."
Although the pitching was on par, timely hitting sent the Sailors to a win in the first game.
Moffat County put up two runs in the second and fourth innings and carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth.
Harris singled, a pitch hit Matt Watwood and a double-steal put both in scoring position. One batter later, a Moffat County error plated two and cut the Bulldogs lead to 4-3.
"We misplayed too many balls in the infield," said Moffat manager Tim Hafey, whose team left 11 on base in the first game. "We didn't play real sound defense."
Steamboat won the game in the bottom of the seventh when Harris drove in Lars Johnson and Alex Wood for the win.
Moffat's Erik Leonard pitched a complete game, striking out seven and walking two. Nathan Hill scored two of the Bulldogs' runs and went 1-for-3 at the plate. Harris went 5 2/3 innings for Steamboat and 3-for-4 at the plate with 3 RBIs. Soroco High School senior Ryan Tibbetts pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball to pick up the win for Steamboat.
In the second game, there was little Moffat County could do with Johnson on the mound. The Steamboat senior threw a complete game, striking out 12 with both Moffat County runs unearned.
Steamboat got timely hits from Johnson and Brandon Clark. The big blow came in the sixth inning, when sophomore Alan Capistron knocked a three-run triple to highlight a 3-for-5 day at the plate.
Steamboat continues action at 2 p.m. today in Eagle Valley. No. 1 starter Alex Wood is expected to get the start. Moffat continues today with a makeup doubleheader against visiting Glenwood Springs. Game times have yet to be determined.