Blue Jackets gain confidence in opening game

Near comeback fuels blowout win

The Crested Butte Blue Jackets baseball team had an unruly start to their 2009 season, giving up 11 runs in the first inning of their first game on Wednesday, May 27.


Fortunately a comeback proved to the young squad that they have the means to make things happen at the plate.
After the first inning debacle, the Blue Jackets recovered to score eight runs by the end of the second inning, pulling to within three.
The Blue Jackets eventually took a 13-12 lead before falling 14-13 as Gunnison I scored two runs in the final inning for the win.
Despite the loss, coach Michael Blunck saw his team prove their ilk in their first game of the season.
“I saw a team that doesn’t get down easily and keeps battling back,” says Blunck, “and a team that can hit the ball.”
So much so that the Blue Jackets unleashed a mix of potent offense and strong pitching to hand the Gunnison II team a sound 17-1 defeat on Friday, May 29.
Colin Dill pitched a near-perfect three innings in his first start of the season, including six strikeouts. After retiring the first three Gunnison batters in a row in the top of the first inning, the Blue Jackets connected for seven runs in the bottom of the first, capped by a two-RBI single by Dakota Wiggins.
Dill struck out two Gunnison batters in the second inning and the Blue Jackets defense caught a Gunnison runner in a rundown for the third out.
The Blue Jackets tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the second inning and Dill maintained his dominance on the mound, striking out the next three Gunnison hitters.
The Crested Butte offense carried their momentum at the plate from the second inning connecting for six base hits and seven runs. Ben Reaman led off with a single to center and scored on a base hit from Peter Bright. Troy Pike and Nolan Blunck each popped base hits and then Dill drove in two runs with an RBI triple turned error-assisted inside-the-park home run.
With the mercy rule in effect, the teams agreed to play one more inning for practice’s sake. The Gunnison hitters took advantage of the extended play to stroke a couple of base hits and score a run, but Nolan closed the game on the mound for the 19-1 win.
“They came in thinking they could win the game and went right after them,” says Blunck. “It was a strong showing. Their confidence is growing every day.”
The Blue Jackets will play their next home game  (all of which are played in Gunnison) on Monday, June 8 against Cedaredge at 6 p.m.

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