Summit Extreme Black Diamonds baseball notches first doubleheader sweep against Vail Vipers
Special to the Daily
Black Diamonds schedule
June 25 — Eagle Valley Eagles, Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum
June 27 — Glenwood Springs Geckos, Peninsula Park in Frisco
All games are doubleheaders. First pitch of the first game is 10 a.m.
Week two of Summit Extreme Black Diamonds baseball was one of great wins and tough defeats. The team entered the week 3-3 and was looking for a breakthrough after tying every doubleheader series thus far.
June 16: Glenwood Geckos
On June 16 the team started its mission off with a bang, notching a dominant 15-5 win over the Glenwood Springs Geckos. Summit local Zeb Pierson pitched a stellar game, executing control and poise throughout.
Unfortunately, the Black Diamonds weren’t so fortunate in game two of the doubleheader, losing 12-2. Two more games in the books, and still no breakthrough.
June 18: Steamboat Storm
On June 18 the team faced a difficult challenge: the Black Diamonds traveled to Routt County, taking on the league best Steamboat Storm (5-1). Summit head coach Nick Eversole was confident entering the game.
“They’re good, but I think we have the most talent in the league,” Eversole said before the game.
Game one was close, with both teams exchanging runs throughout. In the end, the Storm had the upper hand, picking up a close 10-9 win.
In game two, Summit got off to a slow start, falling behind 6-0 early on. Former Summit High pitcher Mitch Grey allowed all six runs and was able to settle down after his rough start.
But, the Summit bats came alive shortly after, and the Black Diamonds scored 16 unanswered runs, giving the club a 16-6 lead. Summit was only one out away from the 10-run mercy rule coming into effect in the fifth inning.
It was in the fifth when Steamboat mounted a comeback of its own. A Storm home run closed the gap to nine, which extended the game another inning.
The Storm would score two in the sixth and another seven in the bottom of the seventh, which trimmed the Summit lead to just one run with a man on and only one out.
Fortunately, Summit pitcher Stephen Coelho held tough and forced Steamboat into a double play, giving the Diamonds a miraculous 17-16 victory.
It was an impressive win, but that elusive series sweep still evaded the Black Diamonds.
June 20: Vail Vipers
On June 20 Summit returned home for the first time in eight games to face the Vail Vipers. Vail tagged Summit pitcher Stephen Coelho for a three-run homer early on, which put the Diamonds in a 5-1 hole. This prompted Eversole to bring in reliever Andrew Kramer, who was able to cool the Vipers’ bats.
Focused and determined, Summit came up to bat on a comeback mission. That comeback came in the form of nine runs, which gave the Diamonds a 10-5 lead going into the fourth.
“These guys seem to play their best when their backs are against the wall,” Eversole said. “I try telling them that we can’t get in these holes, but they really excel in those pressure situations.”
Summit was able to hold onto its lead and get a 10-6 win thanks to solid pitching from Arlington Baptist’s Tyler Brown. Brown closed out the last two innings, with no runs allowed. Summit entered the game allowing the second-most runs per game in the league, but pitching stole the show in this one. After Coelho’s early struggles, Kramer and Brown allowed only one run over the final five innings of the game.
“Our pitchers have gotten a lot stronger mentally,” Eversold said. “These pitchers have started to realize that we don’t care how far they hit it — we just want them to pitch strikes.”
After a dominating performance in the first game, the Diamonds felt confident entering the last game of the week.
A deep home run from Mick Dubic gave Summit a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning of game two, making it appear that the team was well on its way to the second win of the day.
That was, until a familiar theme reared its head once again.
A three-run homer off Black Diamonds pitcher Chris Arnold gave Vail a 6-5 lead in the sixth. Once again Summit was in a late-game hole, but their resiliency was just as consistent.
Back-to-back homers from Nick Roubidoux and Cain Sauls put Summit back in the lead by two runs, 8-6. It was Sauls’ second homer of the day.
The Diamonds held the Vipers in the seventh — the first doubleheader sweep. The team finally got their breakthrough moment, despite needing a few comebacks to get there.
“We’re happy we got that win and it was a good learning experience,” Eversole said after the doubleheader sweep. “These guys seem to be able to get out of any hole. Now the next step is avoiding the hole in the first place.”
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