Baseball taking league lumps

After a postponement-free March, Mother Nature decided to play havoc in April.

Backing up the Bobcats’ San Juan Basin League opener at Dove Creek with an Tuesday, April 9 snap snowstorm across southwest Colorado, she relented two days later — but did press both teams into playing on a neutral diamond, 4A Montezuma-Cortez’s McAndrew Field at Parque de Vida.

Unfortunately for Ignacio, it was not only the sun, but the Bulldogs as well, that came out to shine. And not even a full 48 hours later, Dolores awoke at the wrong time and spoiled the Bobcats’ second league outing, leaving the red-and-white a hurting unit heading into a Friday, April 19 doubleheader versus DC.

The Cats, 2-5 overall (0-2 SJBL) prior to their Tuesday, April 16 varsity single (completed after the Drum’s deadline) versus Nucla, were beaten by respective scores of 12-2 in five innings and 7-3 in seven.

New Ignacio skipper Lupe Huerta had not yet reported any individual stats from either game, but Dove Creek’s Ken Soper reported his team’s effort was led by 3-for-3 batting (including a double and a triple, and five RBI) by senior Klancey Krafka. Freshman Jordan Ernst went 2-3 with two ribbies in support of senior starter Dalton Randolph (W; CG, BB, 5 K).

The Dogs (now 6-4, 1-1) had been a “Receiving Votes” team in the Denver Post’s coaches’ poll for Class 1A going in, but were then outclassed in a 16-6 awakening at NHS, after having downed IHS.

Pitching a longer complete game for Chris Barry’s Bears, senior Cody Carroll had to be patient for his run support to come. But led by Kellen Gatzke’s 4-for-4 effort, it finally did as — like DCHS before them — Dolores was able to break an early tie and then hold until the end on Gonzales Field at Joe Rowell Park.

“They got their three runs. … It was like they’d get their runner on, then we’d make a bad pickoff throw,” said Barry, who replaced the retired Jim Everin, “and they’d get their guy to second.”

“Then they’d get another runner on, and we’d make another bad throw … don’t know what it was with our first baseman,” he said. “And I think it was, like, three to three after three, and then we got our four runs.”

Looking beyond DC’s visit (11 a.m. first pitch), Ignacio’s schedule continues with a non-league game at 3A Pagosa Springs on Thursday, April 25, and then a long trip for two circuit contests at NHS the next day.

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