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Baseball off to hot start with two wins

Pirate baseball is off to its best start in several years over the last week, with two wins and two losses.

And the team is already well on its way to surpassing its win total from last year, which was four games.

“This is my third year and this is the best start we’ve had,” coach Jim Fait said, adding, “I feel real good about them. We’re looking like a solid team.”

The team’s first game of the season was a 8-6 victory on Friday over the Las Animas Trojans at the La Junta Tournament.

In that game, Las Animas took an early lead with a run in the top of the first inning, but the Pirates countered with two in the bottom of the inning.

The Trojans continued to score one run per inning in the second, third and fourth, with the Pirates adding two runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game.

Heading into the top of the fifth, Las Animas again took the lead with two runs that would be unmatched by Pagosa until the bottom of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Pagosa scored four runs, giving them an 8-6 lead and, following a scoreless seventh inning, an 8-6 victory.

“We looked pretty good in the Las Animas game,” Fait said, highlighting that the team’s first game was its first come-from-behind victory.

The Pirates notched 16 hits in the game, compared to three recorded for Las Animas.

“We were hitting the ball really well,” Fait said.

The Pirates’ hits came from seven different team members, with four doubles and a triple in the game.

Tyler Manzanares (with a double), Keenan “Bubba” Earley (with a double), Marcos Quezada (who went three for four with a double) and Dean Scott (with a triple) each tallied three hits in the game, while Luke DeVooght (with a double) had two and Caden Henderson and Joey Campbell each notched one.

Manzanares and DeVooght each garnered two RBIs in the game, while Henderson, Earley, Quezada and Scott each knocked one in.

On the bases, Quezada is credited with two stolen bases in the game, with Campbell and Scott each stealing a base, as well.

On the mound, Campbell gave up six runs, four earned runs with four strikeouts and one walk and three hits.

Manzanares closed out the game and got the win, striking out two, walking two and giving up no runs.

Each team erred once in the game.

The next day, the team played two games, with the first against the Rocky Ford Meloneers.

The Pirates’ first and only run in that game came in the bottom of the first inning, while the Meloneers put one on the board in the first, one up in the third, one in the fifth, and two in the sixth.

In that game, Austin Harker went two for 3, with Campbell, DeVooght, Earley, Quezada and Scott each adding one hit to the team’s total of seven.

Campbell scored the game’s sole run in addition to hitting the team’s only double of the game.

“Rocky Ford’s a solid team, but we should have hit the ball better,” Fait said.

Henderson threw a complete game for the Pirates, striking out seven and walking four while giving up five runs, three of which were earned.

The team erred twice in the game.

Later that day, the Pirates took on tournament host La Junta, falling 16-3 to the Tigers.

“We were in that game. We played with La Junta,” Fait said.

In that game, both teams were scoreless until the third, when La Junta scored four. However, the Tigers went on to add three in the fourth and nine in the fifth.

The Pirates’ runs all came in the fifth inning, when Quezada also broke up La Junta’s no-hitter.

Runs in that game were scored by Harker, Kennan Goebel and Quezada, with RBIs credited to Henderson, DeVooght and Quezada.

From the mound, Campbell pitched two innings, allowing 12 runs, three earned, on eight hits (one home run), four walks and notching two strikeouts.

Manzanares faced one batter in the game, giving up a walk.

DeVooght, too, faced one batter in the game, striking him out.

Scott pitched 2.2 innings, allowing four runs (all earned) on four hits and four walks.

The Pirates committed no errors in the game.

Tuesday, the team again took to the road, this time heading to Dolores to face off against the Bears, and returned home with their second win of the young season.

The Pirates broke out with an early lead in the game, scoring three in the first and one in the second before giving up two to the Bears in the bottom of the second.

Pagosa, though, was back at it in the fourth with another three runs coming around, which were countered by only two from the Bears in the bottom of the fifth, giving Pagosa a 7-4 victory.

In the game, Henderson went three for four with two RBIs and two runs scored. Earley went two for four with one RBI in the game, and Harker, Goebel, Campbell, DeVooght, Quezada and Scott each added one hit, totaling 11 for the team.

Harker and Campbell each also had two RBIs in the game.

Additional runs were scored by Goebel, Manzanares, Earley, Quezada and Scott.

In addition to leading the team offensively, Henderson threw a complete game for the Pirates, striking out 11 (holding 18 total strikeouts in two games) and walking five. Two of the Bears’ five runs were earned.

In two games, Henderson’s ERA is 2.69.

“Caden threw a good game yesterday,” Fait said Wednesday.

While the team has no games this weekend, they are working to continue their hot streak during practice in preparation to face Center on March 29.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on March 20, 2014.