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Pirates host league doubleheader Saturday

On the heels of their 20-2 win over Ignacio last week, the Pagosa Springs High School baseball dropped the ball in two games — 11-5, 15-2 — against Farmington High School on Saturday.

And while the players are on spring break from their studies, they aren’t taking time off from the game.

With 10 errors between the two games, the Pirates fell to a 1-6 record thus far on the season, with conference play beginning this weekend.

“Farmington’s a solid team,” Coach Jim Fait said, adding, “I would hate to face their varsity; their JV team was good enough.”

But things were hopeful as the day’s action began — the Pirates took an early lead in the first game of the day, scoring three in the top of the first inning.

Sean Blanchard singled to start the game and was followed by walks to Dalton Madden and Austin DeVooght.

With the bases loaded, Caden Henderson knocked a two-run single. DeVooght then scored the third run of the inning on a passed ball.

Unfortunately, the Scorpions countered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Pagosa added another to the scoreboard in the top of the second.

The inning started with two strikeouts by the Pirates, followed by a single from Blanchard and a double from Madden to score Blanchard.

Again, the Scorpions countered, this time with four runs crossing the plate.

After a scoreless top of the third inning, Farmington added another three, increasing their lead to 10-4.

The Pirates would not score again until the top of the sixth inning, after the Scorpions added another run in the bottom of the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, Keith Archuleta recorded his second hit of the season to reach base, then advanced to third on two putouts.

Archuleta then came around to score on a single by DeVooght.

In the game, Pagosa tallied nine hits, with two each from Archuleta, Henderson and Blanchard. DeVooght, Tyson Ross and Madden added one hit each.

Blanchard and Madden each stole a base in the affair.

The team struck out seven times on the day and walked three times, while committing four errors.

“It seemed like they weren’t reading the ball off bat,” Fait said of his outfielders, noting that the errors stemmed from fly balls and line drives that hit the top of gloves, but were not caught.

Ross pitched a complete game for the Pirates, allowing 11 runs, eight of which were earned, on 12 hits. Ross walked six and struck out two in the game.

Fait said most of Ross’ walks came in the first three innings, but that his accuracy and velocity improving as the game progressed.

Ross threw about 93 pitches in the game, Fait said.

While the first game of the day was tough, the Pagosa squad struggled more in the second half of the doubleheader.

The Scorpions broke out with three runs in the bottom of the first, five in the bottom of the second and two in the third to take a 10-0 lead over the Pirates.

It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Pirates removed the zero from their half of the scoreboard.

In the inning, DeVooght walked, stole second and came around to score on a single from Dean Scott.

Scott then scored on a groundball out from Henderson.

The Pirates recorded only four hits in the game, coming from DeVooght, Austin Harker, Blanchard and Scott.

The team also notched four stolen bases in the game, with two from DeVooght and one each from Blanchard and Scott.

DeVooght, Campbell, Henderson and Blanchard split the pitching duties for the afternoon, giving up 15 runs, six of which were earned, on 10 hits.

The pitchers collectively walked 10 and threw seven wild pitches, struck out two and hit one batter with a pitch.

“It was errors and wild pitches that led to the unearned runs,” Fait said, adding that four of the wild pitches and three of the team’s errors came in the first inning.

Henderson was handed the loss.

“He’s got great stuff, we’ve just got to work a little more,” Fait said of Henderson, adding that the freshman has a broad repertoire of pitches to work from.

This afternoon, the Pirates head back to Farmington for a doubleheader against Piedra Vista High School JV before hosting the Alamosa Mean Moose Saturday.

A change from the single game originally scheduled for today, the Pirates will take on the Panthers at 3 and 5 p.m. in Farmington.

Fait said his team will again face the challenge of wooden bats, playing in New Mexico, but also faces the challenge of a team he said was stronger than last weekend’s competition.

Then begins league play and home play for the Pirates.

Looking to start strong against league opponents, the Pirates will host a doubleheader against the Mean Moose.

“We’ve just got to get off strong with the league,” Fait said. “This is really the meat of our schedule and we really need to progress in a positive direction.”

Saturday’s games begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., at the high school baseball field adjacent to Golden Peaks Stadium. Admission is free.

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