Saturday’s games against the Monte Vista Pirates are do or die for the Pagosa Springs High School baseball team.
While the Pirates took last weekend off, matches by the Pirates’ Intermountain League foes further solidified the challenge the Pirates face if they are to move to post-season play.
The top three teams in the IML advance to postseason action.
As of Wednesday, Bayfield and Alamosa are tied for first in the league with 6-0 records. Overall, Bayfield is 11-6, while Alamosa holds an 8-9 record.
Centauri sits in third place with a 3-5 record and is 7-12 overall.
Pagosa is in fourth with a 1-5 league record and 3-13 overall record.
Monte Vista rounds out the IML at a 0-6 record, with a 3-11 overall record.
For their last two regular-season games, Pagosa faces Monte Vista.
Should Pagosa sweep Monte Vista in this weekend’s doubleheader, Pagosa and Centauri would end the regular season tied for third in the IML, and would fall to a series of tiebreakers to determine the team that would advance to top-32 action.
According to league rules, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition between the teams, with Centauri and Pagosa splitting 1-1 on the year.
The second tiebreaker is record against common opponents ranked above the Pirates and Falcons — Bayfield and Alamosa — both undefeated in league action.
The third tiebreaker, then, is record against common opponents ranked below the teams — Monte Vista. By sweeping Monte Vista on Saturday, the Pirates and Falcons would be even in that category, as well.
The fourth tiebreaker is run differential in head-to-head competition.
Facing Centauri on April 14, the Pirates lost to the Falcons 7-6 in the first game, but lost the second game 25-1. Only 10 Pirate runs in the second game count, however, landing the Pirates with a 9-run lead over Centauri in head-to-head competition.
But, for any of the above scenario to not be rendered moot, the Pirates first face off against the Monte Vista Pirates.
“We’ve got to play a good game to get past Monte,” Coach Jim Fait said, adding that, if the Pagosa Pirates can play error-free and hit, the team should win.
Fait said the team had a good, focused week of practice and should pitch good games on Saturday.
Monte Vista, though, Fait said, has a couple good pitchers and hitters.
“It’s not going to be easy, but it’s doable.”
Action in Monte Vista begins at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday.