Pirates 2-2 in doubleheader action

A pair of doubleheaders returned mixed results for the Pirate baseball team, with huge 13-3 and 20-3 wins over Ignacio on Thursday and 7-10 and 1-11 losses to Monte Vista on Monday.

Hosting the Ignacio Bobcats Thursday, the Pirates took their first game only six innings when the Bobcats were unable to overcome the 10-run rule.

Allowing one Ignacio run in the first, Pagosa answered when junior Preston Dale brought in junior Paul Hoffman to tie the inning 1-1. Scoring three runs in the second and the third, the Pirates held Ignacio to just one run in the third, going into the fourth with a 7-2 lead.

With a two-run double in the fourth, senior Don Ames helped the Pirates in their five-run inning. A single Ignacio run — answered by Pagosa at the bottom of the fifth with a one-run double from senior Cody Bowdridge — was no help and with the Bobcats shut out in the sixth, the game was called with an impressive 13-3 Pirate victory.

Freshman Ricky Belarde went two-for-three in the game with one RBI and Hoffman was also credited with an RBI while going two-for-four.

In the second game, Bowdridge went the distance from the mound, taking only two earned runs and chalking up nine strikeouts. With a huge start and 10 Pirate runs scored in the first, the game was never in question. Another pair of runs in the second led to a big third inning when Pagosa scored another seven runs. Although the Bobcats managed to match a Pagosa run in the fifth and scored two more in the sixth, Ignacio again had the game cut short, giving Pagosa a gigantic 20-3 victory.

Senior Wes Laverty went three-for-four in the game, while Hoffman was credited with three hits and two runs and Dale got two hits and two runs.

“Everyone got to play in that game,” said coach Justin Caler.“It was good to get our JV guys in there.”

Caler added, “I thought we played good. I think the kids knew they were going to win and that’s why we won. We need to carry that same attitude everywhere we play.”

Unfortunately, the Pirates were unable to hold that attitude when they travelled to Monte Vista on Monday. With going three up and three down the first two innings, Pagosa allowed an unearned run off a walk in the second, giving Monte Vista a 1-0 edge. Runs on hits from Hoffman and freshman Austin Devooght gave Pagosa a 2-1 lead in the third while hits from Ames and sophomore Austin Jackson boosted that lead by two more runs in the fourth, giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead going into the fifth.

However, four errors by the Pirates in the fifth allowed five Monte Vista runs, taking away the Pirate’s momentum as Monte Vista ended the inning with a 6-4 lead. Despite a three-run triple from junior Jordan Caler in the sixth, Monte Vista responded with four more runs. Shutting out Pagosa in the seventh, Monte Vista took the first game with a 10-7 win.

With runs scored by Monte Vista off two walks and one error, the second game showed Pagosa struggling to find their focus. With one more run giving Monte Vista a 4-0 lead in the first, the Pirates were unable to get their game back.

“They’re formidable opponents,” said coach Justin Caler.

Shutting out the Pirates until the fourth inning, Monte Vista pitching was effective enough to cut the game short. Despite a 1-run home run shot over the left center-field wall by Devooght, Monte Vista took five more runs in the fifth, another in the sixth, killing the Pirates 11-1 in a game that was called in the sixth on the 10-run rule.

“Mentally, we need to keep our focus through all seven innings,” said the coach. “It’s always one inning that kills us.”

“We need to get better at the little things,” he added. “We’re getting too many errors. We’re not always going to hit the ball but we need to pitch more strikes, something we haven’t been doing well all season.”

Looking ahead to the IML tournament (to be hosted by Pagosa April 25-26), Caler said, “I know we can beat Centauri, I know we can beat Bayfield and Monte Vista. The guys just need to believe that. If they can hold that focus, we can go to state.”

jim@pagosasun.com