Premium content

Pirates look to right ship with home doubleheader


The 3A Pagosa Springs High School Pirate baseball team hit a rough patch when it took on a series of 4A opponents over the last week, going 0-5 and moving to a 4-6 overall record.

The Pirates are now the No. 33 team in the 3A Selection and Seeding Index, which helps determine postseason seeding.

Coach Ben Garcia noted that the vast majority of the innings played over the week were good for the Pirates.

“If you combined all the innings that we played together ... you’re talking about 35 innings. Probably 33, 32 innings, we played really good baseball,” he said. “But we really had some problems.”

He noted that in several of the games the Pirates led until the final inning, when things fell apart.

“Three games we ran into the pitch count, so I had to pull my pitchers, who were doing really well,” he said. 

Changing pitchers, he explained, means three changes for the Pirates, with players then put into positions they’re not as familiar with.

“That’s where a lot of the problems lie,” he said, adding, “The ball seems to find ya.”

That, he noted, leads to the Pirates feeling the pressure, and feeling that pressure more after each loss.

“That pressure is just kinda takin’ over,” he said, later noting the Pirates had five balks in one game.

But, he noted, from a pitching standpoint, he was pleased.

“The pitching did a great job until they ran into their problems with innings,” he said.

From April 4-6, the Pirates competed at the Roaring Fork Tournament, with Garcia noting all three games were “very winnable.”

Glenwood Springs

The Pirates opened tournament play against the Glenwood Springs Demons, but fell 11-9 after a sixth-inning Demon rally.

The Pirates scored first in the affair, bringing two runs around in the top of the first. Glenwood countered with one run in the bottom of the second.

The Pirates took a 4-1 lead after bringing two more runs around in the top of the third, but the Demons tied the game in the bottom of the inning after scoring three.

The Pirates retook the lead in the fourth with four runs and expanded that lead to 9-4 with another in the top of the fifth.

The Demons, however, rallied for seven in the bottom of the sixth to log the win.

The Pirates ended the game with nine runs on nine hits and four walks and struck out four times.

Cooper Ralston went 3-for-4, with that effort including a double, a walk and a sacrifice fly.

Four Pirates had one hit each in the game. Jaden Tuggle-Reed logged a hit, a walk and two RBIs. Hunter Pouyer had a hit and two runs scored. Kyler Henderson had a hit, two walks, an RBI and a run scored. Dylan Dempster had a hit and a run scored.

Three Pirates took the mound in the game, with Hunter Pouyer, Riley Laugel and Chris Martinez combined to allow 11 runs (10 earned) on 15 hits and two walks while striking out five. They allowed a double and three home runs.

Garcia highlighted Laugel’s pitching in the game.

The Pirates committed one error.

Canon City

The next day, the Pirates took on the Canon City Tigers.

Again, the Pirates scored first, logging two runs in the top of the first.

The Tigers countered with two in the first, two in the second and two in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead before the Pirates brought five around in the fifth to take a 7-6 lead.

The Tigers, though, answered back with five runs in the bottom of the inning to win 11-7.

The Pirates had nine hits in the game and five walks and one hit batter. They struck out eight times.

Martinez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

Hunter Pouyer and Zach Pouyer each logged two hits, with Hunter Pouyer hitting a double and logging a run scored and an RBI.

Tuggle-Reed and Ralston each had one hit, with Tuggle-Reed also scoring a run.

Laugel walked three times and scored a run.

Henderson, who walked and was hit by a pitch, also scored a run.

Dempster also drew a walk.

Ralston and Kaeden Iguchi split time on the mound, combining to allow 11 hits and four walks while striking out two.

Both teams committed four errors.

Roaring Fork

On Saturday, the Pirates played the tournament host, the Roaring Fork Rams.

The Pirates fell 5-4 in the game after scoring one in the first and three in the seventh to take a 4-0 lead.

The Rams rallied for four in the bottom of the seventh to take the win.

The Pirates logged nine hits in the contest, and had one walk and one strikeout.

Martinez had another three-hit game against the Rams, including a double, and tallied an RBI and two runs scored.

Henderson went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Tuggle-Reed, Ty Richey, Zach Pouyer and Laugel each had one hit. Richey also had a run scored. Laugel, who hit a double, also had an RBI and a run scored.

Dempster again drew a walk.

Martinez pitched a complete game for the Pirates, allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on nine hits and one walk. He struck out 10.

“Chris Martinez absolutely threw a great game,” Garcia said.

The Pirates committed four errors.


On Tuesday, the Pirates traveled to Durango for a doubleheader against the Demons.

Durango won the first half of the doubleheader 11-1.

Durango picked up three runs in the bottom of the first, and each team scored one in the second.

Durango brought around three more in the third and four in the sixth.

Garcia noted the Pirates came out flat in the first game after leaving late for the game and having less warm-up time left the team not ready to play.

He acknowledged he also made a mistake in his calls that led to outs for the Pirates.

“Durango just took it to us,” he said. “They hit the ball.”

Pagosa fell 6-5 in the second game.

The Pirates took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first before the Demons evened it in the bottom of the inning.

Pagosa retook the lead with another run in the third, and increased that lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in the fifth.

The Demons scored one in the bottom of the inning, but the Pirates answered with another run in the top of the sixth.

The Demons rallied for four in the bottom of the seventh to secure the win.

Garcia highlighted that Ralston “threw a great game against Durango.”

Additional stats for the Durango doubleheader were not available by press time Wednesday.

Up next

This week, the Pirates will look to right the ship as they delve into league play against the Montezuma-Cortez Panthers.

The Pirates will host the Panthers for a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m.

The Panthers are 5-7 on the season and are the No. 26 team in the Selection and Seeding Index.

Garcia indicated the team is working to have those who change positions during the game be a bit more comfortable in the alternate positions and situations, and with the team’s closer to help alleviate the pressure that comes with pitching late in games.

He explained the team, in addition to working on the field, is also doing classroom sessions to help understand why the problems are happening and how the Pirates can collectively help the team come out on top.

He noted that the team’s errors and runs allowed came in bunches and the Pirates’ problems extended innings.

“We have to learn how to win games like that,” he said, explaining the mentality and culture needs to change.

The Pirates are a good team, but they need to play with more confidence and put all the pieces together for a full game, according to the coach. 

The Panthers, Garcia noted, are a pretty good team that hits the ball a ton, and the Pirates will need to take advantage of playing on their home field, regroup and charge forward.