Despite a push in the third inning that put them up by one, and a late-game rally in the seventh, the Pirates were unable to pitch past the bats of the Dolores Bears, taking a 10-6 loss at home.
Down two runs in the first, the Pirates were unable to get past the Bears pitching for the first two innings. Allowing another run at the top of the third, Pagosa held on to their resolve heading into the bottom of the inning.
The Pirates revived their running game in the bottom of the third, bringing in four runs for the inning. A bunt by sophomore Austin Jackson turned into a double after the Bear’s pitcher overthrew the first baseman. A risky follow-up bunt by senior Ryan Hujus put Pagosa in scoring position with runners on the corners. Finding the holes in center and center left, Pirate batters began to capitalize, first with a ground to second by freshman Austin Devooght, then with a shallow blooper to center by junior Paul Hoffman. A line drive by junior Jordan Caler that got past the Bear’s shortstop brought in two runs, giving the Pirates a 4-3 lead in the third.
Undaunted, Dolores came back in the fourth with their own four-run inning. With one out, a two-run home run took the Bears back on top with a 5-4 lead. A Pirate bobble in left field allowed another Dolores run. With bases loaded, a missed tag at home plate gave Dolores a 7-4 lead going into the bottom of the fourth. Scoring another run in the fifth and two more in the sixth, with no Pirate response, the Bears went into the seventh with a 10-4 lead.
Shut out in the seventh, the Bears looked like they might allow a late-game rally by Pagosa. With a runner out at first, Pagosa came back when Caler grabbed a two-run RBI on a takeaway double from a dropped fly to center. Unfortunately, Pagosa batters were unable to follow up and took the loss at home.
“Dolores is a good team,” said Coach Justin Caler. “Their only loss was to a 5A Denver team.”
Not looking to excuse the loss, however, Caler assessed what his team needs to work on, saying, “We definitely need to work on our pitching, keep the ball down and hit the corners. We need to keep the ball in the glove and stop giving them extra bases on errors.”
The Pirates host again this Saturday at 11 a.m. when the Centauri Falcons visit the Pagosa Springs High School baseball field for a doubleheader and conference play. The Pirates will have a week break, as they prepare to host the Intermountain League tournament on Saturday, April 25, at the PSHS baseball field.