Thu Apr 17th, 2014
Special to the Drum
Categories: Top Stories
Tags: 2A/1A San Juan Basin League, Antonio Torres, bo ward, Bud Howell, Bulldogs, Centauri, clayton jefferson, Conejos County, Deano Valdez, Dolores, Dove Creek, Drew Morgan, Evan Moore, Falcons, iaasic pena, K.C. Jarvies, Kellen Gatzke, La Jara, Mitchell Wilson, Montrose County, mustangs, nucla, Paco Mounts, Pagosa Springs, SunUte Field, tucker ward
Instructed on the diamond, and cheered on from just outside the Falcons’ dugout by former 1970’s Mexican Pacific League (Liga Mexicana del Pacífico) player [with Mayos de Navojoa, Sonora] Bud Howell, Centauri junior Mitchell Wilson – after suffering through a hellish battle with his pitching control in the inning’s top half – was unable to prevent wearing baseball’s dreaded “golden sombrero” when he went down swinging for a fourth time in as many appearances against Ignacio senior Bo Ward.
That was in non-league play Thursday, April 10, in Conejos County.
But back at SunUte Field the next afternoon, the Bobcats experienced a Wilson-like collapse in attempting to wrap up a 3-for-3 week of work, as 2A/1A San Juan Basin League rivals Dolores stole an 11-10 stunner after Ignacio had left La Jara 15-7 victors.
“Yeah … I still don’t think we’ve played to our best,” sophomore Tucker Ward had said—in hindsight, ironically—after hitting 3-for-4, scoring four times and driving in five to help top the 3A Intermountain Leaguers. “But we’ll get there.”
After, the detour dealt by DHS; the Bobcats’ next opportunity came Tuesday, April 15, at Nucla, but results were unavailable before the Drum’s deadline.
Walking four of the first five Cats he faced, Wilson (ND; 1.2 IP, H, 6 BB, HB) had been roughed up for seven runs in IHS’ seventh at Falcon Field, allowing IHS to blow open what had been an 8-6 game.
Getting the next day’s start against the Bears, Tucker Ward looked primed to imitate his older brother’s complete-game, eight-strikeout effort, but after firing six solid frames and registering six K’s, the guests tagged him for six runs in their seventh to tie the fight at 10 runs apiece.
He’d leave with a no-decision; junior Iaasic Pena—who’d last been on the mound for all six innings of a 12-2 SJBL victory at home over Dove Creek three days before—was the unlucky one to surrender Dolores’ winning run in the top of the eighth, dropping the Bobcats to 5-3 overall, 1-1 in league.
Behind junior Kellen Gatzke’s impressive complete-game, 10-strikeout, one-walk effort, the Bears improved to 4-5, and 1-1 in league after an April 8 home loss to NHS (6-4, 2-0 as of 4/12). He was also 4-5 with the stick, scoring once and plating four. Sophomore Drew Morgan went 3-3 with 5 RBI, and seniors Evan Moore and Deano Valdez each went 2-5 and scored twice.
Pena went 2-5 and Bo Ward 2-4 in the loss, as Ignacio rapped 14 hits off Gatzke, with Tucker Ward and seniors Antonio Torres and Clayton Jefferson each credited with two ribbies.
Sophomore Anthony Manzanares, 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs against Centauri, went 1-5 with two runs against DHS. Senior Paco Mounts, who’d went 2-4 with a run and two RBI on a third-inning homer off CHS reliever K.C. Jarvies, went 1-4 in the loss.
After the long trip to Montrose County to test the Mustangs, IHS traveled to 3A Pagosa Springs on the April 17 (results unavailable at press time), and will next head out to DCHS for a pair against the Bulldogs on the April 19, starting at 11:00 a.m.
“I think … we’ve gained a lot of confidence,” said Manzanares after the clash with Centauri. “So I think we’re going to be going to win a lot more games after this.”
“We’ve been playing good defense,” Bo Ward said after the same game. “It’s defense that’s going to win us the games.”
Here’s to hoping both assertions will be proven correct.