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Pirates 2-1 last week, face crucial test Saturday

The Pagosa Springs High School Pirate baseball team took two of three games last weekend thanks to breakout hitting and pitching performances by several players that equated to 47 runs in three games and three complete-game pitching performances.

Now, the Pirates hope to continue that power as they face conference foe Bayfield this weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Last Thursday, the Pirates defeated the Ignacio Bobcats in Pagosa by a final score of 16-6.

A 10-run first inning, home run, 16 runs and a complete game pitching performance by Caden Henderson helped propel the Pirates to victory.

It was the Ignacio Bobcats who would strike first in the game, scoring two in the first inning.

The Pirates, though, answered in the form of a 10 spot in the bottom of the first.

Tyson Ross led off the inning with a solo home run, which was followed by three walks, a lined shot to left field by Henderson that was bobbled and scored two runs, a dropped third strike to Luke DeVooght that scored a run, a two-run single by Keith Archuleta, an RBI single by Sean Blanchard, passed ball to score a run, and an RBI single by Clay Ross (as well as plays in between to keep Pirates on the bases).

Ignacio added three runs in the top of the second inning.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the third that either team scored again, with the Pirates adding four to the board.

Those runs scored on two errors by Ignacio, a passed ball and an RBI grounder by Henderson.

Ignacio fought back with one run in the top of the fourth, which was matched in the bottom of the inning by a nRBI ground-rule double from Henderson.

The Pirates tacked on one more run in the bottom of the fifth inning to trigger a mercy-rule finish to the game with a 16-6 lead.

That run scored when Blanchard stole second and scored on an out to center field by Tyson Ross that resulted in a question of whether or not Blanchard tagged up at third when the ball was caught before heading for home plate.

In the game, the Pirates tallied 16 runs on 11 hits and committed four errors.

Several Pirates — Austin DeVooght, Archuleta, Blanchard and Tyson Ross — ended the day with two hits, while DeVooght led the team with three RBIs and a double. Henderson followed with two RBIs.

Joey Campbell, Clay Ross, Blanchard and Tyson Ross (on his home run) were credited with one RBI each.

Blanchard stole a team-leading four bases on the day, while DeVooght stole two and Dean Scott stole one bag.

While offense propelled the Pirates over the Bobcats, freshman pitcher Caden Henderson recorded a commanding game — giving up two earned runs, five hits, walking three and striking out 10 in his complete-game outing.

“Caden did a great job in that game,” said Coach Jim Fait, adding, “For a freshman, he’ll be just fine the more pitching he gets in.”

Overall, Fait said the team’s errors still concern him, but that he was happy to walk away with a victory.

Saturday, the team headed to La Jara to take on league opponent Centauri in a doubleheader.

The first game of the day was a back-and-forth affair that, unfortunately, ended 7-6 in favor of the Falcons.

The Pirates took the lead in the top of the second inning on a Blanchard single and Henderson RBI double.

Pagosa increased that lead to four the next inning on singled by Marcos Quezada and Tyson Ross, a two-run double by DeVooght and RBI-single by Blanchard.

Centauri fought back with two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the Pirate lead to 4-2.

In the fifth, the Pirates added one more to the board on a home run by DeVooght.

Centauri added three more in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at five each.

Coming down to the wire in the seventh, the Pirates added one more run on a single by Dalton Madden and RBI-double by DeVooght.

That run would not be enough, however, and the Falcons would score two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh on a passed ball and RBI ground ball up the middle to finish the game with the 7-6 win.

“It was a heartbreaking loss, but those happen,” Fait said.

In the game, DeVooght went 3-for-4 with a homer, double, four RBIs and two runs scored.

Blanchard followed with two hits and a run scored. The game’s other three runs were scored by Quezada, Tyson Ross and Madden.

Tyson Ross pitched the complete game for Pagosa in strong fashion, striking out 10, walking two and giving up only two earned runs (out of seven runs) on eight hits.

After a brief break, the Pirates looked to split the day’s series with the Falcons — which they successfully did, thanks to a 25-1 victory.

Pagosa broke out with five runs in the first inning on a leadoff home run by Tyson Ross, a single by Madden, RBI doubles from Henderson, Clay Ross and Luke DeVooght and an RBI triple by Quezada.

The Pirates added eight more in the second inning on runs forced home when Blanchard was hit by the ball and a walk to Henderson, an RBI triple by Clay Ross, RBI groundout by Luke DeVooght, walk to Quezada, wild pitch, stolen base by Quezada, RBI double by Tyson Ross and RBI single by Madden.

Not content with 13 runs, the Pirates added two more in the top of the third on a single by Blanchard, RBI double from Clay Ross and RBI single from Luke DeVooght.

The Falcons scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning, but Pagosa answered with 10 runs in the top of the fourth.

Those runs came around on a three-run homer by Austin DeVooght, RBI singles by Luke DeVooght, Quezad and Madden, and a second, three-run homer by Austin DeVooght.

With his two homers in the game (three on the day), Austin DeVooght finished the game with two hits, three runs and five RBIs.

Luke DeVooght added five RBIs of his own on three hits, including one double, and scored two runs.

Clay Ross added a four-RBI performance on the day with three hits, two doubles and a triple, and four runs scored.

Several other Pirates contributed to the team’s offensive outpouring.

Blanchard pitched the team’s third complete game of the weekend, striking out seven, walking one and hitting four, while allowing only one hit.

“They were pounding the ball,” Fait said, pointing out that one of Austin DeVooght’s home runs on the day was hit to the far side of the highway.

And now the Pirates look to keep their hitting and pitching prowess alive against the Wolverines this weekend in what will be the Pirates’ final home games of the season.

Fait said he expects a tough test with the doubleheader against Bayfield, which is 2-0 in the league (the Pirates are 1-3).

“We’ve got to get these games if we want to look ahead to a playoff possibility,” Fait said.

To match Bayfield, the team has again focused on fielding (they committed nine errors over the weekend).

“We’ve got to eliminate the errors to hang with Bayfield,” Fait said.

The games are slated to begin at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at the high school baseball field adjacent to Golden Peaks Stadium.

Parents of the athletes will serve hotdogs and chips between games. Admission to the game is free.

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