Knowing that Sargent senior Ryan Davis would be unavailable for pitching duty after dealing a seven-inning complete game against them, Ignacio’s confidence – as well as offense – had nowhere to go but up Saturday, March 24, as an added second game versus the Farmers began.
“Everyone brought each other back up,” senior Kruz Pardo said. “We got a couple runs on the board, made it a new ball game, and everybody’s attitude switched from there.”
But after overcoming an early 5-0 deficit in Game 2, which followed a pitching-dominated Game 1 (Davis and IHS’ Kai Roubideaux, who threw five frames before giving way to Pardo, each struck out eight batters) which the 2A Southern Peaks Leaguers claimed by a 2-1 margin, the Bobcats were unable to pull out an extra-innings split of the twinbill as Sargent held on for a 13-11 win.
Staging an incredible seven-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, Ignacio sent the game into an eighth stanza, but after the guests got two tiebreaking runs, the ’Cats couldn’t claw back another time.
Happy to have filled a schedule vacancy against an opponent which, as the season progresses, could register a quality RPI figure, the Farmers left IHS Field standing 6-2 overall while the Bobcats dropped to an unlucky 1-4 after their second bonus-ball loss and fourth defeat by two or fewer runs.
Senior catcher Nate Herrera reportedly went 4-for-5 hitting in the wild second game versus SHS, while junior Joe Herrera was shown as 3-for-4 with a walk and Pardo 2-4 with a triple and a walk. Roubideaux, who started on the mound and took the Game 1 loss, was 1-for-3 and drew two bases-on-balls.
Senior Marcus Chapman worked three innings after taking the ball to begin Game 2, and fanned a reported three. But like counterpart Christian Schaller (4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 K), he received a no-decision as the game’s fate was determined by shaky relief pitching on both sides.
Having scored both Farmer runs in Game 1 while going 2-for-3, senior Trevor Milne was noted as the winning pitcher-of-record in Game 2 (in which he was 3-for-4 with a double and four runs scored) after throwing two frames of one-hit ball and whiffing three. The younger Herrera was shown as taking the ‘L.’
Beginning the day at second base defensively, freshman Lawrence Toledo went 2-3 at the plate with the Bobcats’ lone Game 1 run, having scored in the second inning via a two-out single by senior shortstop Trace Lovelace (1-3). Each Herrera also managed one hit in three at-bats against Davis, but after Joe Herrera managed to reach third base in the home half of the fourth via a Toledo infield single, the Sargent righty retired Pardo and Lovelace to end the threat.
With just five singles and zero walks against him, Davis then sat down the next – and last – nine hitters he’d face, with only Pardo’s seventh-inning fly to left leaving the infield.
Ignacio will next face Meeker at noon Saturday, March 31, in Rangely before facing RHS at 3 p.m. Results from the March 27 game (originally 3/13) versus the 5A Bloomfield, N.M., JV were unavailable at press time.
Looking for a spark after struggling for three frames in Game 1 versus Roubideaux, the Farmers managed to tie the contest at 1-all on a bizarre play in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs and Milne at third base and Jake Deacon at second, Roubideaux dealt to six-hole hitter Frankie Torrez and Nate Herrera noticed Milne straying a dangerous distance away from the base.
Choosing to try a quick pick-off throw, Herrera’s attempted throw actually clanged off Torrez’s bat and deflected towards the fence fronting Ignacio’s dugout. With most wondering whether the ball was still in play or not, rather than trying to field it, Milne jogged across home plate as the umpire stated that since Torrez had not backed out of the batter’s box to block Herrera’s sight line, the ball was indeed live.
In a lucky place at the right time, Milne was again at the hot corner with one out in the visitors’ sixth, and scored what would be the winning run when Herrera attempted to hose Schaller, trying to swipe second. But neither Lovelace nor Toledo was in position guarding the base, and the toss skittered into shallow centerfield – granting Milne safe passage home.