Last Thursday was a good day to be a 'Fred' at SunUte Field.
Watching along with wife Jennifer, Ignacio backer Fred Cotton enjoyed the afternoon's main event of baseball. He also enjoyed the fact that that daughter Pamela, now almost a full year removed from her sporting days at IHS, had been medically cleared to re-commence full-strength pursuit of a possible college basketball future.
Bayfield freshman Fred Edwards also enjoyed the game, but mostly from a prime position atop the mound as the 3A Wolverine JV's starter against the 2A Bobcat varsity, playing its regular-season finale.
Unfortunately, Ignacio was unable to produce one last home victory for a senior class of Antonio Torres, Clayton Jefferson, Bo Ward and Paco Mounts. The BHS JV, with varsity regulars Zane Phelps and Kelton McCoy, and reserve Ruben Renteria-Sanchez mixed in, breezed by 17 to 8.
Junior Iaasic Pena weathered the whole storm for the 'Cats (9-10 overall, 3-6 San Juan Basin League), taking the complete-game loss after the Bobcats' bats were abruptly stilled after staking him to a 4-0 lead after the first. Pena was aided by a Torres RBI-single and an RBI-double by Austin McCaw at the beginning of the game.
Pena also cracked a 2-RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, scoring Mounts (who had replaced McCaw) and younger brother Lorenzo, who'd also doubled off Edwards, to tie the game at 6-6. But the Wolverines then separated for good, with five runs in the top of the fifth, two in the sixth and four in the seventh.
Phelps earned the win in relief of Edwards (ND; 4 IP, 6 R, 8 H, BB, 4 K) after dealing two hitless frames and striking out three.
'D.T.' Meshew ended the game pitching to IHS in the bottom of the seventh, getting Adison Jones on a grounder to short, Torres on a sacrifice fly to center and Jefferson to bounce to second.
Three-hole hitter Tucker Ward went 2-for-4 with a run in the defeat, and Bo Ward went 3-4 with two runs and an RBI batting behind him. Torres went 1-3 with a run and Jefferson was 1-4 with an RBI.
Following Phelps (3-5, 4 R, 3 RBI), Edwards went 3-5 with two runs and two batted in from the 5-hole to help lead Bayfield offensively. 7-hole Austin Bushnell was a strong 4-5 with two runs and four driven in, and 8-hole Sam Westbrook went 1-5 with a 2-RBI single. At the top of the order, Austin Baughman scored four times on 2-4 hitting (he was plunked once and also reached on an error), and Renteria-Sanchez-also once hit by a pitch-was 3-4, scored twice and plated three.
Meshew scored three times despite going 0-3. He drew both walks issued by Pena (7 IP, 16 H, 2 K) and also reached on two errors.
Up next, Ignacio begins Western Slope District Tournament play this afternoon (1:30 p.m.) against Paonia in Cortez. The Eagles will come in at 10-8-1 overall, having finished a second-place 8-4 in the Western Slope League. Rangely (7-12, 4-8 WSL) will then play Dolores (7-9, 4-5 SJBL) at 3:30 p.m.
The winner of PHS-IHS will advance to face Nucla tomorrow at 10 a.m. The better of the Panthers and Bears will challenge Hotchkiss (16-3, 12-0 WSL) at 12:30 p.m. The winners of those semifinals will then play for the title at 3 p.m.