Bobcats bomb Burros, 20-1 and 20-0

As Nucla shortstop P.J. Hulst (4) awaits the throw, Ignacio's Elliott Hendren (26) steals second base during the Bobcats' 11-1 rout of the Mustangs Friday afternoon, April 14, at IHS Field.
Ignacio’s Stoney White Thunder (10) greets Nucla’s Steele Arnold with a successful tag denying the Mustang a steal of third base during action Friday afternoon, April 14, at IHS Field. The Bobcats dominated the Mustangs 11-1.
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum
Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

IHS explodes in distant Park County

Not often can a baseball team say it scored more runs in a game than the thermometer counted degrees.

On Saturday, April 15, however, Ignacio authoritatively did just that. And not once, but twice at a struggling South Park’s expense.

Taxing the limits of the Burros’ pitching, the Bobcats followed up a six-inning, 11-1 home win the previous afternoon over 2A/1A San Juan Basin League rival Nucla with four-inning victories of 20-1 and 20-0 up in Fahrenheit-lacking Fairplay.

“You know, I expected them to go up there and do about the same thing they did here,” said IHS head coach Duke Baker. “I expected them to do their jobs and follow through, and we won both games. I expected nothing less of these boys.”

And even with the temperature, colder than already expected, reportedly only in the upper teens, the ’Cats (6-3, 3-0 SJBL) stayed as warm as possible by spending as little time out in the field as possible; the squad scored at least three runs in each inning except the doubleheader’s very first, in which IHS tallied just a scratch.

But that brief, innocent look was certainly deceiving. And after ending the second inning having cut the guests’ growing lead back down to 4-1, the 2A Southern Peaks Leaguers felt Ignacio’s full fury the rest of the way in falling to 1-8 overall.

In Game 1, IHS senior Eppie Quintana – who’d fired a complete-game no-hitter on the mound against NHS – went 2-for-4 with a double, reached via two SPHS errors, scored three runs and plated three. 1-for-3 against the Mustangs, senior Zane Olguin improved to 3-3 with a walk, three runs and one RBI while again batting in the nine-hole.

Scoring two runs and plating one, junior Rylan Maez ended up 2-for-3 with a triple and was hit by a pitch. Junior Phillip Quintana was plunked once and drew a conventional base-on-balls in finishing 2-2 with a triple, two runs and one RBI. Freshman Stoney White Thunder went 1-3 with a walk, run and RBI, and junior Elliott Hendren went 1-1 with a walk, two runs and one RBI.

Losing pitcher Dyllan Newman (3.1 IP, 18 R, 10 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) ended up 1-for-2 with a triple, and scored the locals’ only run against IHS junior Devante Montoya (W; 4 IP, 2 BB, 8 K) via a groundout off the bat of fellow junior Justin Miller (0-2).

Phillip Quintana would start and finish Game 2 on the hill, earning the win after allowing just one hit, bean-balling one Burro but walking none, and striking out ten – or one less than the number of fielding errors South Park reportedly committed.

After going to a rare 0-for-5 atop Baker’s order in the opener, Montoya went 2-4 with two runs plus a ribbie. Rylan Maez whacked another triple – giving him a three-bagger in three consecutive games – and finished 1-3 with a hit-by-pitch, three runs and one batted in. Phillip Quintana went 1-3 with a triple, walk, three runs and three RBI in his own support, and Eppie Quintana ended up 0-2 but logged three runs after reaching base via a walk, a hit-by-pitch and an error.

Returning to varsity action, junior Nate Hendren went 1-1 in three plate appearances, with two runs and as many RBI, while White Thunder finished 1-2 with two walks, three runs and two batted in. Junior Marcus Maez, however, may have had the best stat line of all; Ignacio’s second baseman ended up 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs and an impressive five RBI.

“We practiced all week and, as you could tell, that practice is coming through. It’s showing that what we’re doing is working,” Baker said. “The bottom half (of the batting order) is rolling it over to the top half – that’s all I ask, for them to put the ball in play. And they’re doing it.”

Looking ahead to upcoming action, Ignacio will travel Friday, April 21, to 3A Intermountain power Bayfield. First pitch against the Wolverines is set for 3 p.m. The Bobcats will then host 2A Trinidad for two on the 22nd, beginning at 11 a.m.

Results from IHS’ scheduled April 18 single at Dove Creek, however, were unavailable at press time. The Bulldogs went into the game standing 1-2 in SJBL play and 6-6 overall after stringing together five straight blowout wins, including a 33-1 thrashing of 2A Western Slope member Grand Valley – the 4/18 destination for Nucla (4-5, 0-2 SJBL) – up in Parachute.

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