Finally getting Bobcat Basketball seniors Kruz Pardo, Cole McCaw and Kai Roubideaux off the hardwood and onto the baseball diamond was undoubtedly a relief to Ignacio head coach Bert Miller. They're the 3-4-5 heart of Miller's first batting order this season, as it would turn out.
Some unexpected production from a newcomer was even more welcome, as IHS began the 2018 campaign defeating 2A/1A San Juan Basin League rivals Dove Creek 13-9 last Friday-Day 1 of the Bobcat Invitational.
Pardo, who started the game on the mound and ended it behind the plate, went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, and McCaw was 2-3 with a walk, triple and three runs, but freshman Holland Roukema impressed from the 8-hole, reaching base each of his four plate appearances while ending up 2-4 with two runs and one RBI.
"That's a stat line right there," said Pardo. "We're deep this year, we'll be looking to have a lot of people getting in and out of games, and we'll be rested to go. It's always a good thing to not miss a beat."
And though the 'Cats fell to Sargent and Salida on Day 2, they were close in each; the 2A Farmers needed eight innings to pull out a 10-8 win, and the 3A Spartans won 8-7 after seven regulation stanzas.
"The errors, first games...we'll clear those up," stated Pardo, who unfortunately took a no-decision against DCHS despite striking out seven Bulldogs in four innings. Relieving Roukema (0.1 IP), who'd relieved McCaw (1.1 IP), who'd relieved Pardo, Roubideaux (1.1 IP) earned the 'W' after not allowing a hit and fanning three.
Dove Creek junior Ryan Delano-Martinez went 2-4 with a double, two runs and three RBI in defeat.
Senior first baseman Marcus Chapman was 3-for-4 and scored four times against Sargent, while McCaw was again strong with 3-5 stickwork, a run and three RBI. Pardo did likewise, and Roubideaux finished 2-3 with one run and one RBI.
Having struck out three times against Dove Creek, but indicating he was close to finding his timing with an RBI-triple, Chapman closed out his weekend going 2-for-3 with two runs and three knocked in versus Salida. Pardo went 3-4, scored twice and drove in three-helping Ignacio construct a 6-1 lead in just two innings before the visitors first pulled even with five runs in the top of the third.
Sophomore Zayne Walker went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs for the Spartans (4-2 overall), and junior Eli Smith went 1-4 with a double, run and two RBI. Senior Sam Tameler went 2-3 and scored three times, and classmate Bridger Russell went 2-4 with one run batted in.
Sargent senior Trevor Milne went 3-for-5 with three doubles, two runs and two RBI in the extra-inning test against Ignacio. Senior Ryan Davis was 1-3 with a double and two runs, senior Christian Schaller was 2-3 with a run, and junior Frankie Torrez 2-4 with a run and two RBI.
Up next, IHS (1-2; 0-0 SJBL) will host Sargent on Saturday, March 24, starting at 11 a.m.
"It was good," Pardo said, summing up the hot-and-cold, three-game showing. "We need to work on our pitching...and we need to work on our fielding."