Summit Extreme Black Diamonds find wild comeback win in Week 3, finish 3-3 overall |

Summit Extreme Black Diamonds find wild comeback win in Week 3, finish 3-3 overall

Leo Wolfson
Special to the Dialy

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 4

Tuesday June 21 — Summit at Grand Junction

Thursday June 23 — Summit vs. Eagle Valley

Saturday June 25 — Summit at Glenwood Springs (Carbondale)

Editor’s note: Want more High Country baseball? Find recaps from Week One and Week Two online.

Week Three of Summit Extreme Black Diamonds (SBD) baseball was another up and down affair, as the local collegiate team posted a 3-3 record through three doubleheader series.

June 21 — a Grand Junction Rocky Mountain Oysters

SBD (5-7 at start of Week Three) kicked things off with a trip to the Western Slope for a face off with the Grand Junction Rocky Mountain Oysters.

In Game One, Summit picked up their second win in a row with an 11-8 defeat of the Oysters. The Diamonds survived an 11-hit offensive onslaught from Grand Junction, matching that attack with 13 hits and a seven-run inning for the win.

Tavin Thompson (LaGrange College) got the Black Diamonds ball rolling when he stole home in the first. In the fourth, Summit continued wreaking damage on the Oyster pitchers with a double from Trevor Rosenberg (San Diego U.) and a triple from Tyler Daugherty (Scottsdale C.C.) to give SBD a comfortable 6-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, however, the Oysters struck back in a big way. A few sloppy fielding plays and stolen bases scored two, and a three-run Nick Canas homer tied the game at 6-6. By the time Summit finally got their third out, GJ had a 8-6 lead.

SBD was held scoreless for the next two frames, but, thankfully, reliever Tom Novick held strong and kept the score at 8-6.

In the seventh, the Black Diamond bats came alive when it mattered most. Thompson had a leadoff hit. A GJ throwing error allowed him to score. After RBI singles from Rosenberg and Nick Boys (Iowa Central C.C.), the Diamonds took an 11-8 lead. They then kept the Oysters scoreless in their last at-bat, giving Summit its first win of the week.

Game Two didn’t go as smoothly. The Oysters shot out the gates the like a cannonball, taking a 5-2 lead after two innings. The game stayed that way until the bottom of the fourth, when the Oysters battered the Diamonds with two hits, two walks and a fielding error for three more runs. SBD only mustered two hits over the last three innings and dropped the finale, 11-3.

June 23 — at Eagle Valley Eagles

If the Black Diamonds were looking for a doubleheader sweep, Thursday’s home games against league-worst Eagle Valley (3-11) were their best chance. SBD (now 6-8) narrowly missed sweeping EV in their previous games and were eager for the opportunity to get back to .500. In game one, Summit took a big step towards achieving that goal by surviving a 17-15 offensive slugfest.

The Diamonds hopped on board early, scattering five hits and a Dante Gutierrez (San Diego U.) homer for a 5-1 lead entering the 2nd. The Eagles struck back, however, and, in the top of the fourth, exploded for five runs to take their first lead at 10-8. After exchanging runs, EV held the lead at 13-12 entering the bottom of the sixth.

Setting the tone with the very first pitch, Daugherty sent a ball deep over the left field fence. Next, Thompson reached on an error, while Butcher and Tanner Johnson (Iowa Central C.C.) singled to load the bases. A sacrifice fly and a few more singles scored five for Summit who now could see the finish line as long as they could hold the Eagles.

EV crossed two and brought the tying run to the plate, but Noah Prewitt (San Diego U.) was able to retire that batter on a fly out to right, which gave Summit a crucial game one victory.

Game Two was less of a offensive blockbuster than the first but featured just as much drama and late-game heroics, as Summit pulled off a miraculous 10-9 comeback win.

SBD was in control until the fourth and fifth innings, when the tide started turning in the Eagles favor. A triple on two errors to kick off the fourth seemed to set the tone for a domino-like cacophony of misplaced throws and inopportune bounces, all in favor of EV. By the time the landslide was done, Summit was looking out of a 9-5 hole with only one more inning of ball to play.

With bases juiced and two outs, Daugherty stepped to the plate batting 4-4 with a homer. On the first pitch, he took a big swing.

“I just wanted to hit the ball hard,” ge explained. “I knew right way.”

With a single flick of the wrists, he sent the ball just over the left field fence for his second homer of the game. Butcher hit next and jumped on a meatball left over the plate, sending it also over the left center-fence for the walk-off win.

It was an incredible comeback, but even more important was what had been accomplished that day.

“It does big things for confidence,” Daugherty said. “Now, coming back from a 4-5 run deficit … it shows us we’re never out of a game no matter what.”

With the win and a series sweep, the Black Diamonds (now 8-8) jumped from fifth to a tie for third in the Mountain West Summer College Baseball League (MWSCBL)

June 25 — vs. Glenwood Carbondale Geckos

Things were finally rolling for the Black Diamonds, and the timing couldn’t have been any better, as the team’s next test came against the league-best Geckos (12-3).

After exchanging runs, the game stayed 1-1 until the third, when disaster struck for the Diamonds. A walk and four singles allowed the Geckos to take a 6-1 lead off a classic small-ball attack.

SBD only strung together two hits over the next three innings while leaving four runners stranded. Zach Grenell (Iowa Central C.C.) and Butcher clamped down on the Gecko bats after that troublesome third inning, but their efforts went to waste and the Diamonds dropped the series opener, 6-1.

The doubleheader finale played out in similar fashion, as the Geckos gave Summit a 7-5 heartbreaker loss. The game was a pitcher’s duel between Prewitt and Carbondale’s John Schulz until the fifth, when the Summit offense finally came alive.

Tanner Bowden (Iowa Central C.C.) got the rally started with a two-run homer to left that cut the Geckos lead to 3-2. After two singles, Zach Grenell (Iowa Central C.C.) laid out a crucial RBI that scored Zupon and tied the game. Two more Black Diamond singles scored another two, making it 5-3 Summit.

As good as the inning was, SBD blew a serious opportunity that would haunt them later. With the bases loaded, SBD had a prime chance to blow the game open and add some insurance runs, but, unfortunately, Geckos ace Taylor Gulick held tough and got Bowden to fan on three straight strikes to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Geckos made the Black Diamonds pay. Carbondale’s Blake Billinger kicked off the inning with a solo homer. After that, the Geckos added three more to take a 7-5 lead.

Summit had one more chance, only to go down one-two-three in the seventh after a lead-off walk.

The Extreme Black Diamonds (now 8-10) return to play today, when they travel west to take on the Steamboat Springs Storm.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User