Coming out of Spring Break the second highest ‘Others Receiving Votes’ team in the CHSAANow.com Class 2A baseball poll, the Ignacio Bobcats resumed their 2023 season Saturday, April 1, out in Rio Grande County at Del Norte.
Unfortunately, the Tigers were just as eager to defend their home diamond, winning 2-1 and 11-8.
In the pins-and-needles opener, DNHS pushed across the go-ahead, and ultimately a winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning, answering the Bobcats’ equalizer scored in the top half of the same frame.
Junior Phillip Quintana and freshman Stoney White Thunder each went 2-for-3, with the former both belting a triple and scoring IHS’ only run, with the RBI credited to junior Rylan Maez, who went 0-2 with a sacrifice fly. Senior Eppie Quintana – who took a complete-game loss on the mound, walking one Tiger and plunking another but striking out four – went 1-3 with a double, but DNHS junior Nickolas Atencio fanned a dozen ’Cats while walking none in his complete-game effort.
Ignacio, however, buckled down and began the second game with a four-run first inning against Tiger senior Ben Parra. Del Norte, however, responded with a three-run second, and after each team scored in the third, the fourth inning commenced with the contest tied at 5-5. IHS surged ahead with three more runs, but after being unable to answer in the home half, DNHS not only ‘saw’ the visitors’ raise, but re-raised doubly in the bottom of the fifth.
Now leading 11-8, the Tigers were able to deny the ’Cats the rest of the way en route to improving to 4-0 overall. Should IHS indeed be considered part of the 2A Southern Peaks League, the Tigers would have also improved to 4-0 in SPL play – while dropping the ’Cats, still associated with the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League (and off to a 2-0 start against SJBLers Dove Creek and Nucla, both Class 1A squads), to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the SoPeaks.
According to reported statistics, Maez went 3-for-4 with two doubles, one run and three batted in during Game 2. Eppie Quintana went 2-4 with two runs and one batted in, and Phillip Quintana 1-3 with a walk, triple, two runs and one RBI.
Looking ahead, Ignacio is to next host Monte Vista on Saturday, April 8, at IHS Field. First pitch of the doubleheader against the Pirates – standing 3-4 overall after winning one of three at a March 31-April 1 event in Buena Vista – is set for 11 a.m.