One nasty series, one stellar rebound for Summit | SummitDaily.com

One nasty series, one stellar rebound for Summit

Leo Wolfson
Special to the Daily

Editor's note: Click here for a recap of Summit Black Diamond Week One games.

Week Two for the Summit Extreme Black Diamonds (SBD, 3-3 after Week 1) was a roller coaster, beginning with a pair of losses to Grand Junction followed by back-to-back split series against Steamboat Springs and Vail. SBD has yet to win a complete series at home or away.

June 14 — vs. Glenwood Geckos

The week for SBD baseball started at its worse, as the team dropped a pair of home doubleheader games, 9-2 and 15-3 on June 14.

In game one, Mountain West Summer College Baseball League (MWSCBL) defending champions, the Glenwood Geckos, struck first, stringing together four runs off four hits in the first three innings despite a triple play from the Black Diamonds to end the inning.

In the fourth, Blake Butcher (LaGrange College, GA) knocked in a solo home run that got Summit on the board. Two batters later, Parker Johnson (Iowa Central C.C.) drove in Blaine Swift (LaGrange College, GA) from second to get within two.

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Unfortunately, it was the last time Summit crossed the plate, as the Diamonds could only muster three hits in the final three frames.

Glenwood kept slugging, with two runs in the fifth and three more crossing the plate in the sixth. Summit local, Luke Egging (McCook JC, NE), took the loss on the mound for SBD, while Taylor Gulick was stellar for the Geckos, tossing all seven innings with nine strikeouts.

In game two, things started even worse for the Black Diamonds: an 8-1 hole after just two innings. The Geckos got eight of their 15 total hits in those two innings alone.

After the tumultuous start the Summit defense found a rhythm, but their offense and pitching never found much life. Pitchers Johnson and Murray Ruggerio (Central Penn College) came in relief in the fifth and sixth, respectively, but the Gecko bats stayed hot with another seven runs, including two homers.

"We just need to play cleaner ball on the defense and we need our bats to come around," Black Diamonds head coach Brady Kirkpatrick lamented.

Butcher was one of the lone bright spots for the Black Diamonds in Game Two, going 3-3 with his fifth homer of the year.

June 16 — at Steamboat Storm

Back in action June 16, SBD (now 3-5) traveled to Routt County to take on the Steamboat Storm (4-4). With a sweep, the Black Diamonds would overtake the Storm for third place in the MWSCBL standings.

Game One was a thriller and produced Summit's first comeback win of the season. After entering the fourth ahead 2-0, Summit watched its lead evaporate when starting pitcher Zach Grenell (Iowa Central CC) gave up two hits and two walks, which knotted the game at 2-2. A defensive blunder from Butcher at 3rd then allowed two more to score, making it 4-2 Storm after a very long fourth.

Summit responded with one run in the fifth, but, shortly after, Steamboat tagged mid-reliever Tanner Bowden (Salt Lake CC) with three more runs. It pushed their advantage to 7-3.

The comeback kids awoke from their slumber. With the bases loaded, Butcher ripped an RBI single to center that scored recent high school graduate Dante Gutierrez (San Diego U.). Spencer Franko (Iowa Central CC) kept the rally train going with a two-run RBI of his own that cut the deficit to 7-6.

Up to the plate next, with two outs, stepped Scottsdale C.C.'s (AZ) Tyler Daugherty. Daugherty fell behind in his count, 1-2, and it appeared that the SBD rally might end all too soon. But, on the next pitch, he slammed a line drive triple to center. The clutch two-run RBI gave Summit an 8-7 advantage going into the bottom of the 6th.

Back on defense, Summit top reliever Tom Novick (San Diego U.) took the mound looking to close out the comeback victory. The sidearm hurler was effective, throwing one strikeout and allowing only one run in the frame.

With one out in the seventh, Chris Sorensen knocked a solo homer that returned SBD the lead at 9-8. They took this slim margin into the bottom of the inning. Novick was back on mound.

And the Massachusetts native delivered, getting all three Storm outs on ground balls. This earned him the second save of the season and, most importantly, a Game One victory for Summit.

June 19 — vs. Vail Vipers

In a rare Sunday matchup, SBD (4-6) finished off the week hosting the strong Vail Vipers (6-4) at home: Frisco's Peninsula Park. The teams split their first two meetings of the season in Week One and both appeared hungry for redemption, plus a strong finish to their second week of play.

In Game One, Summit came out sloppy, committing four errors in a 15-9 defeat. Things fell apart early for the Black Diamonds as the Vipers pounded a six-run second to take an 8-1 lead.

In the fourth, SBD responded with five runs to close the gap at 10-6. In his first game batting since pulling his hamstring in the season opener, Noah Prewett (San Diego U.) jump-started the rally with his monster three-run homer over the centerfield fence.

"I'm really happy to be back. I hate sitting and watching my guys play hard and I'm not able to play with them. You can only do so much on the bench and I took the opportunities I had," Prewett explained.

The Vipers responded quickly with another two runs in their half of the inning, and then badgered Novick for another three in the fifth: three singles and two walks to extend their lead to 15-7.

SBD mustered two runs in the sixth but went down 1-2-3 in the seventh, dropping the opener 15-9.

In Game Two Summit responded in a major way, slaughtering the Vipers 13-2 with the mercy rule in effect.

Vail jumped on the scoreboard first with three singles in the second for a 2-0 lead. After this short let up, SBD hurler Matt Stone (Iowa Central C.C.) regained his composure and pitched a stellar outing for the remainder, allowing zero runs and only four hits.

In the fourth, the Diamonds offense came alive, utilizing a conservative approach with seven runs off just four hits — plus four big walks.

One of these hits was Prewitt's second homer of the day.

"We don't like to lose… it doesn't take a lot to get two runs, it takes a lot to get seventh. It pumps us up a lot to know we're still in the game," said Prewett.

In the fifth, Summit added six more runs for which Vail had no answer, leading to a 13-2 final victory.

Stone was quietly effective for the Black Diamonds, earning the complete game win, with two strikeouts and only two runs allowed.

The Extreme Black Diamonds (5-7) return to action today, with a road series against the (5-6) Grand Junction Rocky Mountain Oysters. With a sweep, Summit would overtake the Oysters for 4th place in the MWSCBL, and potentially 2nd place if Steamboat and Vail are also swept.

Week 2 scores

Glenwood Springs, June 14

Game One

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

GS 1 2 1 0 2 3 0 9

SBD 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2

Game Two

1 2 3 4 5 6

GS 2 6 0 2 1 4 15

SBD 0 1 0 0 2 0 3

Steamboat Springs, June 16

Game One

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

SDB 0 0 1 1 1 5 1 9

STM 0 0 0 4 3 1 0 8

Game Two

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

SDB 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 5

STM 2 2 2 5 0 0 X 11

Vail Vipers, June 19

Game One

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

SDB 1 0 0 5 1 2 0 9

Vail 2 6 2 2 3 0 X 15

Game Two

1 2 3 4 5

SDB 0 0 0 7 6 13

Vail 0 2 0 0 0 2

2016 Summit Extreme Black Diamonds schedule

Summit returns to action today at Frisco’s Peninsula Park against the Grand Junction Rocky Mountain Oysters. First pitch is at noon. If you can’t make it to the game, check out live Twitter updates at @SummitEBD and @SumCoSports.

Week 3

Tuesday June 21 — Summit at Grand Junction

Thursday June 23 — Summit vs. Eagle Valley

Saturday June 25 — Summit at Glenwood Springs (Carbondale)