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Baseball team hopes to turn corner today against Bobcats

It was a tragedy of errors for the Pirate baseball team over spring break.

The Pagosa Springs High School baseball team dropped four games over the last week, including two conference matches to Alamosa.

Thursday, the team headed to Farmington for a doubleheader against Piedra Vista High School, dropping both games, 22-2 and 19-0.

“We didn’t play well over there,” Coach Jim Fait said, adding that errors and walks were costly for the Pirates in the games.

Full stats were not available for both games against the Piedra Vista Panthers, however, Clay Ross and Dean Scott are credited with the Pirates’ two RBIs in the 22-2 loss.

Also notable on the day were 2-for-2 performances from freshmen Tyler Manzanares and Dalton Madden, who accounted for four of the Pirates’ five hits in the game. The other hit came in the form of a double from Scott.

In a Wednesday phone interview, Fait indicated that next year’s schedule may not feature as many games against the New Mexico teams, which were scheduled in part due to friendships between the coaches and former Pagosa Springs coaches, but, instead, will seek to play teams closer to their skill level.

Saturday, the Pirates welcomed the Alamosa Mean Moose to Pagosa for the Pirates’ first conference matches of the season, as well as the team’s home opener.

Pagosa took an early 1-0 lead in the first game. With one on in the first inning, Sean Blanchard doubled on a hard grounder up the third-base line. Following a second out, Caden Henderson brought Blanchard home on a flyball to deep center field.

The Mean Moose countered with three runs in the top of the second inning, one in the third and another in the fourth, bringing the score to 5-1 on a combination of passed balls, errors and hits.

Looking to fight back, the Pirates scored three in the bottom of the fourth.

In the inning, Madden legged out a hit on a grounder up the middle, moved to second on a line-drive single by Henderson and scored on a line drive by Austin DeVooght.

An out by Luke DeVooght at first then served to score Henderson and Austin DeVooght, bringing the Pirates within one by the end of the fourth inning, at 5-4.

From there, errors, passed balls, hits and walks plagued the Pirates, who would not add any more runs to the board, but would give up 10 more to Alamosa.

En route to a 15-4 victory, Alamosa added two in the fifth, three in the sixth and five runs in the seventh and final inning of the game.

The Pirates tallied four runs on four hits in the game and committed five errors, while Alamosa scored 15 runs on 12 hits and committed one error.

Only five of Alamosa’s runs were earned.

Austin DeVooght pitched a complete game, striking out six, walking seven and hitting two batters.

On the offensive side, Henderson went 2-for-3 on the day, while Austin DeVooght, Blanchard and Madden added a hit each.

In the second game, Blanchard moved from catching to pitching for another complete-game performance, holding the Mean Moose to four runs on eight hits.

Unfortunately, Alamosa held the Pirates to no runs on five hits.

The Pirates erred three times in the game, though Alamosa committed two errors.

“We’re still not handling the ball well enough,” Fait said.

Taking a 0-0 game into the third inning, a hit and a walk put two Moose on base and a home run by Alamosa’s Zach Meyer handed the Pirates a three-run deficit. Alamosa added a fourth run in the fourth inning.

The Pirate bats, though, were never able to remove the donut from the scoreboard in the 4-0 loss.

In the seven-inning game, Blanchard walked three , struck out five, hit two and threw two wild pitches.

Fait said he hopes the team improves in the walk category as the season progresses, noting, “Once again, our walks are hurting us.”

Pagosa’s five hits came from the bats of Austin DeVooght, Keith Archuleta, Henderson, Blanchard and Madden.

Absent from Saturday’s doubleheader were Tyson and Clay Ross, who were tending to a family situation.

“I missed two of my best ball players,” Fait said.

Now, the 1-7 Pirates look to rebound from their losing streak with a home game against the Ignacio Bobcats today at 2 p.m. (changed from the original time of 1 p.m.).

“We should be fine against them,” Fait said.

On March 22, the Pirates routed the Bobcats 20-2.

Saturday, the team heads to La Jara for a doubleheader against conference foes, the 5-3 Centauri Falcons, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Centauri is currently 2-0 in the league following two victories over Monte Vista over the weekend.

In preparation for the games, Fait said the team has focused on defensive play and fundamentals this week, while also brainstorming as a team on how to correct the teams’ problems.

“It took a long time for us to get this bad, it’ll take some time to make us good,” Fait said, adding, “It’s been down for so many years, you can’t expect it to come back in ten games.”

But, Fait said, the team’s seniors are driven to be one of three league teams to make the playoffs, while the team as a whole has taken ownership and is motivated to improve.

“We’re young, and I’ve just got to keep remembering that,” Fait said. “It’s just a process.”

randi@pagosasun.com

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