The season lives on for the Pagosa Springs High School Pirates, at least through this weekend.
For the first time in several years, the Pirates baseball team is advancing beyond the regular season, playing at districts this Saturday in Broomfield.
“We’re just thankful to be in the playoffs,” coach Jim Fait said. “The kids are really excited about turning that corner and getting into the playoffs.”
According to the state bracket, which was released late Wednesday morning, the Pirates are entering postseason play as the No. 31 seed in the state with their 7-11 overall record (3-5 in league play). That record places them above Denver Science and Tech, who are in the 32 spot with a 7-12 overall record.
With that seeding, the Pirates will head for the District 5 tournament this weekend, hosted by No. 2 Holy Family (17-1).
The Pirates face Holy Family Saturday at 10 a.m.
“I’m glad we got to the playoffs, but it’s going to be a challenge for us,” Fait said, adding simply, “They’re pretty good.”
Holy Family’s only loss of the season came last week at the hands of Faith Christian — the third-seeded team in the state.
Caden Henderson, the Pirates’ ace, will start the game, Fait said.
“Hopefully we can throw strikes and stay competitive early,” he added.
Too, Fait said the team needs to be error-free in the game — something they’ve focused on in practice this week.
“Against a top-notch team like Holy Family, you cannot commit any errors,” Fait said.
And it’s no secret that the team will have to battle to the best of their ability.
“It’s going to be tough, but that’s why we play the games,” Fait said. “We’ll do our best. That’s all we can do.”
Also participating in the District 5 tournament are No. 15 Platte Valley (12-5) and No. 18 Peak to Peak (10-9), who will face each other.
Eaton enters the post-season in the top spot with a perfect 18-0 record.
Fellow Intermountain League team Bayfield (16-3) is seeded fifth in the state and will host the District 4 tournament, which will include No. 28 La Junta (9-10), No. 12 University (14-5) and No. 21 Olathe (11-8).
Alamosa (13-6) enters the weekend as the eight seed and will host the District 2 tournament, which will include No. 25 Colorado Academy (8-11), No. 9 Gunnison (16-3), and No. 24 The Academy (12-6).
The Pirates are entering the playoffs in a five-game slide, but, as the coach notes, that’s in the past.
“It’s a new season for us,” he said.
Pagosa dropped its last two regular-season games last week to Sanford and Sargent, respectively.
“Those were both pretty close games,” Fait said.
On Wednesday, April 30, the Pirates welcomed the 2A Sanford Indians to Pagosa, but sent Sanford home with a narrow 13-12 win.
The game began in favor of Pagosa, with the Pirates scoring five in the bottom of the first inning, but the Sanford bats began to heat up in the top of the third inning, with the Indians scoring four.
The Indians added two more in the fourth, with the Pirates adding one in the bottom of the inning, tying the game at six each.
Both teams added two to the scoreboard in the seventh inning, continuing the tie going into the seventh and final inning.
Sanford scored five in the top of that inning, but the Pirates were only able to match four of those runs in the bottom of the inning, dropping the game by a 13-12 final score.
The Pirates tallied 14 hits in the game, compared with nine from Sanford.
In the game, Dean Scott went three for five with three runs scored and an RBI. Luke DeVooght, too, went three for five, scoring one run and batting in one run. Also going three for five was Austin Harker, who scored three runs.
Tyler Manzanares had two hits on the day, including a home run, tallied three RBIs and scored twice.
Briar Erskine, Kennan Goebel, Henderson and Marcos Quezada each had one hit in the game. Erskine also had one RBI, Goebel had two RBIs and a run scored, Henderson scored one run and knocked in two and Quezada scored a run.
Pagosa is credited with seven errors in the game, while Sanford is credited with three.
The next day, the team headed to La Jara for a matchup against the 2A Sargent Farmers, returning home with a 6-3.
There, the team was met with high winds throughout the game, challenging the Pirates in the field.
“It was horrible,” Fait said of the weather.
Pagosa, however, scored first in the affair, putting two on the scoreboard in the top of the first, which were met by four from Sargent.
Sargent added another run in each the second and third innings, but were held scoreless the rest of the game.
The Pirates worked to pick away at the Sargent lead, but were only able to score one run in the sixth, ending the game with a 6-3 final score in favor of Sargent.
The Pirates tallied seven hits in the game, compared with Sargent’s eight.
Harker notched two of the team’s hits, also getting the credit for batting in the team’s three runs.
Quezada, too, had two hits, and scored one run.
Manzanares, Scott and Kate Deluche each added one hit, while Henderson scored one run, also walking and being hit by a pitch in the game.
DeVooght and Quezada shared the pitching duties in the game.
“Our pitching really did pretty well,” Fait said.