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Pirate versus Pirate as regular season ends Saturday

The hitting and fielding woes continue for the Pagosa Springs High School baseball team.

The Pirates fell to the Piedra Vista High School JV in two games Saturday, dropping to a 4-13 overall record on the season.

The PVHS varsity team was the 2010 4A state champion in New Mexico.

Game one began in less-than-stellar fashion with the Panthers batting around in the top of the first inning, scoring five runs in the process, and didn’t improve for the Pirates.

The Panthers added one more run in the second and seven in the third inning, when 12 Panthers batted.

In the fourth, Piedra Vista added eight runs to the scoreboard, bringing their total to 21 runs.

Following a pitching change subbing Austin DeVooght (Sean Blanchard began the game, with Mason Laverty pitching one inning of relief), Pagosa recorded a one-two-three inning on two fly balls and a strikeout.

A Pirate base runner reached first in the bottom of the fifth, when an error by the Piedra Vista shortstop allowed Clay Ross to advance, but the rally ended as quietly as it began and the 21-0 loss went into the books.

Piedra Vista’s pitcher recorded a complete game no-hitter in the contest, while the Pirates made 11 errors — eight in the third inning alone.

After a short break, the Pirates again took to the field, this time behind Tyson Ross on the mound.

Ross began the game in strong fashion, shutting down the Panthers with a ground out and a double play.

DeVooght earned a walk in the bottom of the first inning, but the Pirates were unable to capitalize on the chance, stranding DeVooght at first.

Ross continued his performance with a one-two-three second inning that included two strikeouts. Ross went on to set down the Panthers in order in the fifth inning, as well.

The Pirates, unfortunately, fell in order in three innings — the second, third and seventh.

The Panthers’ only run of the second game came in the top of the third when a Panther reached first on a hit, advanced to second on a botched pick-off attempt, and came around to score on a grounder to second. Another base runner in the inning was stranded on second.

As the game progressed, Ross continued a strong pitching performance, while the Pirates struggled to drum up an offensive activity.

The Pirates’ only hit in the game came in the bottom of the fourth inning from the bat of Koby Close, who was left stranded at third when the inning ended.

Pagosa’s only two other base runners in the game came on walks in the fifth and sixth innings, with each runner also stranded.

In the game, Ross pitched seven innings, allowing one unearned run while walking two and striking out six.

Similarly to last week, Coach Dave Close said he was proud of his team for rebounding from a lopsided loss to play a competitive second game.

“I’m proud of the kids,” he said.

On the mound

In the first game, 44 batters came to the plate for the Panthers, while Pagosa only had 16 at-bats.

In the second game, Tyson Ross faced 25 hitters, while the Piedra Vista pitcher also faced 25 batters.

At bat

Eighteen of Pagosa’s 36 outs on the day were strikeouts, leading Close to emphasize the need to put the ball in play in order to win the last regular season games this weekend (in addition to cutting down on errors).

On deck

Next, the Pirates look to turn their luck around in their final regular season games of the season — with playoff potential at stake.

Pagosa is 2-4 in conference play this season. The Monte Vista Pirates are 8-6 overall and 4-2 in the conference, with the two conference losses at the hands of Pagosa.

The two teams will face off in a double header in Pagosa Saturday. Should Pagosa defeat Monte Vista in both games, a tie breaker would favor the home team, which has already defeated Monte Vista twice this year.

The battle would likely be for third place in the conference, Close said.

Action starts Saturday at 11 a.m. at the baseball field near the high school.

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