The home field advantage treated the Pagosa Springs High School baseball team kindly Saturday.
The Pirates hosted Centauri High School for a doubleheader Saturday and sent the Falcons home with two losses and a shutout, leaving them with a 0-9 record.
Centauri took the lead first on the day, scoring a run in the third inning of game one — the only lead Pagosa allowed their opponents.
In the bottom of the third inning, Keith Archuleta knocked a single, took second on an error and, with two out, was brought around on a hit by Austin DeVooght. DeVooght then scored on a single by Koby Close.
Pagosa added to the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Sean Blanchard escaped a rundown between first and second, took third on a line drive by DeVooght and scored on a single by Close.
Not willing to lose quietly, Centauri bounced back in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game on back-to-back doubles followed by a line drive down the third base line.
Pagosa loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but was unable to regain the lead before the end of the regulation game.
Heading into extra innings, the Pirates kept Centauri quiet in the top of the eighth and looked to put together enough offense for a win in the bottom of the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Archuleta singled, but was called out at second in a controversial call.
Continuing with two outs, Blanchard and DeVooght reached and advanced on a wild pitch, with Blanchard scoring on an error by the Centauri defense to win the game by a score of 4-3.
“It was a very exciting baseball game,” Coach Dave Close said, adding that it’s always exciting to play an eight-inning game.
Close was also impressed with the complete-game pitching performance by first-year player Tyson Ross.
After a break, the teams took the field again, with the Pirates looking for their second win on the day.
Both teams put eggs on the scoreboard in the first, but the same could not be said for the second inning.
After a one-two-three top of the second, Pagosa’s bats came alive with two home runs in the inning.
The scoring began when Archuleta reached on an error, advanced on a leg hit by Clay Ross and came around to score on a hit by Will Laverty.
Clay Ross and Will Laverty advanced a wild pitch, moving into scoring position with Ty Vaivoda at the plate to knock them in with a two-run single.
Continuing the hit parade, DeVooght sent the ball to the parking lot and rounded the bases on his two-run homer.
Fast forward to Close on the bases and Mason Laverty at the plate, Laverty followed suit, banishing another ball to the parking lot for the second two-run homer of the inning.
With a 7-0 lead early in the game, the Pirates picked up where they left off in the bottom of the third inning, adding two more runs to the board.
Clay Ross singled and moved to third on an error that allowed Will Laverty to reach base, with Ross eventually coming around to score.
Will Laverty then touched home on an out by Blanchard.
With a new pitcher on the mound, the Pirates still weren’t done, again adding another pair to their score in the bottom of the fourth.
With Mason Laverty in scoring position thanks to a wild pitch, Tyson Ross knocked a ground rule double, scoring Laverty.
Clay Ross then knocked his cousin home on another double, giving the Pirates an 11-0 lead.
Only playing a five-inning game as is common with the second game in a double header, the Pirates held Centauri quiet in the top of the fifth inning to send the Falcons home with a goose egg.
“When you lose a really close game, it’s disheartening,” Coach Close said, comparing last weekend’s games to the prior weekend in Alamosa, where the Pirates similarly lost two games.
On the mound
Tyson Ross and Sean Blanchard both pitched complete games for the Pirates Saturday.
In game one, Tyson Ross pitched eight innings, giving up seven hits and three runs while walking five and striking out eight.
Blanchard pitched the shortened second game for the Pirates, allowing one hit, walking one and striking out three.
Nine different players contributed to Pagosa’s 19 hits on the day, with a bevy of players also scoring runs for the Pirates.
DeVooght and Clay Ross led Pagosa on the day with four hits each, while Close followed with three hits and Tyson Ross and Archuleta added two.
Blanchard and DeVooght led the team in runs scored on the day, with each scoring three.
The Pirates, 4-9 overall and 2-2 in conference play, head to Bayfield Saturday for their final two away games of the regular season before returning home the following two Saturdays.
Close said the Pirates will face two challenging pitchers this weekend who, on average between the two, strike out about 25 batters per 14 innings.
Adding to the challenge, the Pirates have only nine on the squad able to play.
Action in Bayfield starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.