Errors plaguing Steamboat baseball

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— The second-half season struggles are starting to mount for Steamboat Springs High School baseball.

2014 Sailors baseball schedule

The Sailors suffered a doubleheader loss Saturday against Rifle, improving in the back half of the day but squandering a late lead to go 0-4 for the weekend. Steamboat fell to Rifle, 7-1 and 8-7, on Saturday, and also lost to Eagle Valley twice Thursday.

And the story behind the losses, first-year coach Rusty McRight said, was the number of untimely errors from inning to inning.

“We were expecting to do very well this year, and we played a lot of one-run games that didn’t go in our favor,” McRight said. “We have, over the last six games, made a tremendous amount of errors. These kids are learning a lot about baseball.”

Jesse Pugh took the mound in Game 1 on Saturday, throwing well, McRight said, but got little help from six fielding errors in the six-run loss.

In Game 2, Billy Clark got the nod at pitcher, keeping the Sailors in the mix until some late-game struggles.

“Billy Clark pitched a heck of a game but got in a little trouble in the sixth,” McRight said. “They tied it up, and they went ahead in the seventh.”

It’s just the latest rough period for a Steamboat team that has battled in nearly every game with mixed results. McRight alluded to his team’s doubleheader against Palisade, a strong conference foe, to open April. The Sailors lost by a combined score of 23-21.

Steamboat opened the season, 5-2, before this week’s stretch that dropped the Sailors below .500 for the first time in 2014.

Still, McRight sees promise with eight games left in the regular season.

“They are learning a heck of a lot,” McRight said. “As much as they may not want to admit it, we are building as a program.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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