Steamboat Springs third baseman Ryan Jeep throws the ball toward first base during a game against Moffat County on Tuesday night at Emerald Park.

Photo by John F. Russell

Steamboat Springs third baseman Ryan Jeep throws the ball toward first base during a game against Moffat County on Tuesday night at Emerald Park.

Steamboat baseball, Moffat County split doubleheader Tuesday

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— With two teams playing for two things, it was hard to tell Tuesday which team was battling for its playoff life.

And after the Steamboat Springs High School baseball team picked up a 7-3 win in the first game against Moffat County, the Sailors were in a position to keep their playoff hopes alive.

But the Bulldogs, behind much better at bats and some sloppy Sailors defense and pitching, picked up a 13-7 win in a shortened Game 2. The loss all but eliminated Steamboat from playoff contention.

The Sailors will need to sweep Western Slope League-leading Palisade on Saturday — a team that hasn’t lost a league game this season — and will need some help from Glenwood Springs.

“The second game, we merely didn’t look like we wanted to play,” Steamboat coach Jeff Walton said. “It’s mind-boggling, to be honest. As much as that game meant — it surprised me.”

Game 2 was where Steamboat (9-8 overall, 5-5 in league play) really had everything to play for.

The Sailors jumped out to a 3-0 early lead thanks to RBIs from Ryan Jeep, Thomas Kelly and Gavin Van Pelt.

But from there, Steamboat’s defense and pitching fell apart.

The Sailors gave up five unearned runs in the first two innings, trailing 5-3. Moffat’s Kolton Wickham had a two-run single, and Sheldon Greenwood and Phillip Chadwick each had an RBI.

The real damage for Moffat (3-10, 2-8) came in the third inning when the Bulldogs sent 11 guys to the plate and scored seven runs to take a 12-5 lead. Moffat chased Steamboat pitcher Tommy Lyon after just 2 2/3 innings. Lyon gave up just four hits but walked eight and gave up 12 runs, seven of which were earned.

“We had to make adjustments with the bat,” Moffat coach Justin Folley said. “In the first game, we were popping it up, and the second game, we got the top hand on the bat.”

The Bulldogs’ Bubba Ivers added a towering shot in the bottom of the fourth to cap off the second game.

Greenwood was efficient on the mound, going five innings, giving up eight hits and seven runs.

In the first game, Steamboat got a complete game performance from Tyler Brown. Brown gave up six hits, three runs and struck out five.

Steamboat took a 4-3 lead into the fifth inning before breaking it open in the sixth. The Sailors tacked on three more runs for the win.

Ivers went five innings for Moffat, giving up four hits and four runs.

On the day, Ivers led Moffat going 4 for 6 at the plate. Chadwick was 3 for 6.

Steamboat was led by Lyon, who went 4 for 6 with six RBIs.

Moffat next plays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Glenwood. Steamboat plays at 11 a.m. Saturday at Palisade.

“I guess on the plus side,” a clearly frustrated Walton said, “we get to have fun for the rest of the season.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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