Thu May 20th, 2021
Special to the Drum
Tags: BOBCATS BASEBALL, Catcher's Crouch, Clint Talamante-Benavidez, Colby Rupp, Conner Brooks, Defense, Derek Sanchez, Double Up, Eppie Quintana, Gabe Tucson, IHS Field, Jace Carmenoros, Jackson Cooper, Jacob Gallegos, Jory Hoerr, Lawrence Toledo, No. 5 Bruins, Phillip Quintana, senior pitcher/first baseman Adam House, Twinbill, Western Slope Leaguers Cedaredge, Wild Pitch
Mistakes cost IHS dearly in doubleheader
For the Ignacio Bobcats Saturday afternoon, May 15, it was a case of different verses, same song.
Which, unfortunately, wasn’t the previous weekend’s twice-triumphant tune.
Despite battling, if not so well with the bat then usually with the glove – particularly atop the pitching mound – vaunted Western Slope Leaguers Cedaredge in both ends of a doubleheader at IHS Field, brief lapses in concentration more than anything denied Don Hayes’ bunch victory as CHS prevailed 7-0 behind a 7-run sixth inning, and then 11-8 thanks to a 6-run seventh.
“I mean, this team was undefeated, they hadn’t even seen a seventh inning yet, and we battled them,” said IHS senior pitcher/first baseman Adam House. “I thought we played really good.”
And certainly, tougher than the fifth-ranked [CHSAANow.com Class 2A poll, 5/10] Bruins would have expected – even as senior Trey Geyer, a four-time State Wrestling Championships finalist and two-time State Champion, cruised through his Game 1 start. Striking out five consecutive ’Cats during one stretch, the right-hander totaled an impressive 13 Ks while walking just two and surrendering but one hit – an Eppie Quintana flare over shortstop in the bottom of the third – in 6-2/3 innings.
However, against House (L; 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K) CHS’ own sticks went silent; the lefty stranded six Bruins through five frames, keeping the game scoreless. But in the top of the sixth disorder ensued.
Cedaredge’s Isaac Blair led off doubling to left, and Ty Walck was then intentionally walked, setting up a potential double play. CHS catcher Conner Brooks then tapped a pitch back to House, who aggressively attempted to force Blair at third. Bobcat third baseman Clint Talamante-Benavidez couldn’t make the squeeze, Blair then scored as the ball went into foul territory, while Walck strolled into third and Brooks into second on the fielder’s choice-slash-error miscue.
Designated hitter Derek Sanchez then singled to right, plating both Walck and Brooks, and would himself score two hitters later via 9-hole bat Jackson Cooper’s single off relief pitcher Phillip Quintana, summoned after Sanchez’s knock. Geyer then singled to right, scoring Jory Hoerr, and Cooper came in when Colby Rupp bounced a Dylan Labarthe – who replaced Quintana after Geyer’s hit – delivery into a perfectly-turned 4-6-3 DP.
A 4-6-3 hit into by Eppie Quintana all but iced IHS in the bottom of the sixth, and nothing came of Phillip Quintana’s two-out single off Blair, who then managed to get Lawrence Toledo to pop up to short.
Able to overcome Cedaredge’s quick three-run start to Game 2 and eventually tie at 5-5 in the home half of the sixth via Jace Carmenoros’ two-out single off Walck – facing his first batter in relief of starter Jacob Brown (ND; 5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 9 K) – scoring Jacob Gallegos, Ignacio’s shot at salvaging a split were effectively dashed in the guests’ seventh.
With junior lefty Gabe Tucson (ND; 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 11 K) off the hook as the Bobcats’ pitcher-of-record, Eppie Quintana, starting his second full inning in relief, first faced Brooks, who attempted to bunt his way on. Toledo had no problem breaking out of his catcher’s crouch and scrambling to the ball. Unable to control it while scooping it into his throwing hand, Brooks reached on the E-2 … then hustled to second base on a secondary E-2 when Toledo’s hurried toss missed House.
A wild pitch to Sanchez gifted Brooks third, and Sanchez then brought him in with a single to left. Hoerr then grounded to Talamante-Benavidez, but his try at starting a ’round-the-horn DP missed second base and both Bruins were safe. Lucas Hoerr then fanned for a fourth time, but Geyer was intentionally walked to pack the sacks.
Brown then popped up to House for a huge second out, but Rupp drew a bases-loaded walk, scoring Sanchez’s courtesy runner Cooper. Having walloped an RBI-triple to right-center his previous time up, Blair then hit a handle shot still too hot to handle for Talamante-Benavidez, allowing Jory Hoerr and Geyer to both score, and Walck followed that by whacking a 2-RBI double to center before Quintana (L; 2.1 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 3 K) got Brooks swinging.
“Our defense showed great things last week, so … we just let ’em work,” House said, alluding to the Bobcats’ 11-5, 13-12 sweep of Meeker. “I wasn’t concerned with sitting (the Bruins) down myself. But an error or two here and there … adds up.”
Rallying in the bottom of the seventh, IHS scratched out three runs. Talamante-Benavidez (1-3, BB, GR-2B, R, RBI) and Labarthe both walked against Walck (W; 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K), who then avoided disaster when Blair somehow basket-caught a vicious liner to deep center off the bat of Tucson (1-4, 2B, R).
Phillip Quintana (2-4, R) rekindled the spark with a short single to right, and Toledo (0-2, 2 BB, 2 R) then zinged a bases-loaded ball bobbled at third – plating Talamante-Benavidez and Labarthe and pushing Quintana to third as Toledo took second.
House then grounded out to first, but a throw intended to double up Quintana at the plate missed its mark, and Toledo alertly took third on yet another Cedaredge error. But in the end, it was not to be; Gallegos fanned for the day’s final out as CHS improved to 5-0 overall.
Up next, Ignacio (2-3) will travel for the first time in ’21, visiting Rangely for an 11 a.m. twinbill Friday, May 21. The ’Cats will then have some time off in which to hone for Hotchkiss’ May 29 arrival, with that double-dip slated to start at 10 a.m.
“Just need to clean up a few things defensively,” said House. “That’s really it.”