Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Baseball: Martinez throws complete game in 4-2 win over Thompson Valley


April 25, 2018

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Senior Caleb Martinez winds up to pitch against Thompson Valley on April 23.

Rarely is a snowstorm in the third week of April recalled with fondness, but Niwot head baseball coach Adam Strah was thankful for the miserable conditions that forced his team off the field for two days late last week. Stung by their 13-1 loss to Thompson Valley on April 19, the Cougars buckled down over the snowy weekend, and came out on Monday afternoon looking like a new team.

“Even though we were indoors, we had two fantastic practices,” he said. “Friday and Saturday were probably some of the best practices we’ve had all year. After Thursday, they definitely wanted to come out here and prove something at home.”

Prove something they did. Behind a complete game from senior pitcher Caleb Martinez, Niwot snapped its five-game losing streak with an electrifying 4-2 win in the rematch with Thompson Valley. Making good use of his slider, Martinez allowed just seven hits, while striking out four and allowing just one walk. He also helped himself at the plate, kicking off the scoring for Niwot with an RBI in the second inning.

“It’s a great feeling,” Martinez said after the victory. “We’ve been struggling, and it’s really cool to have this confidence boost. I had a lot of help from my teammates with some great defensive plays.”

Martinez has been impressive on the mound for Niwot this season, with 43 strikeouts and just 17 earned runs in eight appearances, but hasn’t had much support from Niwot’s relievers. After the win over the Eagles, Cougar Head Coach Adam Strah said he was happy his ace had the chance to redeem some of those blown saves.

“Late in his senior year, you want to give him that opportunity because he’s worked so hard to get it,” Strah said. “So we did, and it worked out well.”

Just about everything worked out well for Niwot against the Eagles on Monday, especially defensively. In the first, senior catcher Colton Goldfarb threw out lead-off hitter Cameron Nellor trying to steal second, and then caught a pop-up from clean-up hitter Jared Riehl to end the inning. Sophomore Cam Hassert saved at least two extra base hits with great grabs in deep short, and later threw out a Thompson Valley runner trying to extend a double into a triple. Niwot finished the day with no errors for just the fifth time this season.

The Cougars didn’t exactly overwhelm the Eagles with power at the plate, but their five hits were enough to get the job done. Sophomore Felipe Castro’s masterful sacrifice bunt in the second inning put runners in scoring position for Martinez, who then hit a ground ball to score freshman Will Smith. In the third, Niwot scored three runs on four consecutive hits, including a ground-rule double from Hassert.

“The best part is finally putting all three phases together,” Strah said. “That’s something we’ve been missing. To be able to do it and to have them now have confidence that they can do that, it’s fun for me to see them see that.”

Strah said the unplanned weekend sessions at the warehouse were a key to the win over Thompson Valley, and not just because of the extra practice time. During a team meeting, players and coaching staff discussed their goals and priorities for the final weeks of the season.

“It wasn’t just the work, it was the type of work we did.” Strah said. “We came up with a plan for today, and we came up with a list of areas where we want to see progress and see an upward trend. And there were some intangibles that we hope will send our seniors off well and put our team’s trajectory positive no matter what the outcome.”

Niwot faces Longmont for a home-and-home series on starting April 26, and then wraps up the season with a series against Silver Creek starting May 3.

4/18 — Skyline 7, Niwot 1

Falcons (7-6, 4-4) 100 012 3 — 7 11 2

Cougars (3-10, 1-7) 010 000 0 — 1 2 2

Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Will Smith 3-0-2-0, Colton Goldfarb 4-0-0-0, Cameron Hassert 4-0-0-0, Caleb Martinez 3-1-2-0, Micah Sheats 3-0-1-0, Felipe Castro 3-0-2-0, Aidan Galloway 1-0-0-0, Ben Goss 3-0-1-1, Joey Desenfants 2-0-0-0, Zane Sniffin 0-0-0-0.

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caleb Martinez 5.2-8-3-1-1-5, Joey DesEnfants 0.2-3-3-3-1, Dylan Ferrero 0.2-0-0-0-0-0,

4/19 — Thompson Valley 13, Niwot 1

Cougars (3-11, 1-8) 010 00 — 1 3 5

Eagles (5-8, 4-5) 2(10)0 1x — 13 11 0

Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Will Smith 2-0-0-0, Colton Goldfarb 1-0-0-0, Cameron Hassert 1-0-0-0, Micah Sheats 2-0-0-0, Caleb Martinez 1-0-0-0, Felipe Castro 2-1-1-0, Taylor Goldfarb 1-0-1-0, Aidan Galloway 3-0-0-0, Mason Kunkel 0-0-0-0, Ben Goss 2-0-1-1, Joey Desenfants 2-0-0-0

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Cameron Hassert 1-2-7-3-4-3, Dylan Ferrero 0.1-4-5-5-3-0, Will Smith 2.2-3-1-0-2-3

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Senior Caleb Martinez delivers the pitch as the Skyline runner takes off towards second.

4/23 — Niwot 4, Thompson Valley 2

Eagles (5-9, 4-6) 000 002 0 — 2 7 2

Cougars (4-11, 2-8) 013 000 0 — 4 5 0

Hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Will Smith 1-1-0-0, Colton Goldfarb 2-0-1-1, Cameron Hassert 3-1-1-1, Caleb Martinez 2-0-0-1, Micah Sheats 3-1-1-0, Felipe Castro 2-0-0-0, Mason Kunkel 1-0-0-0, Aidan Galloway 3-1-1-1, Ben Goss 3-0-0-0, Joey Desenfants 1-0-1-0,

Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Caleb Martinez 7-7-2-2-1-4


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