DOLORES COUNTY-Third baseman Rendon Mestas went 3-for-4 with a run and two RBI, and Marcus Chapman socked a solo homer, but Dove Creek snapped a 6-6 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday to prevail 8-6.
"We had the same game plan as the first time," said Mestas, alluding to IHS' 7-5 home win back on April 3. "But some of us went in there with cocky heads, and it ended up hurting us in the end."
"It seems one inning we always have errors," said relieved Dove Creek senior Derek Kibel, referring to Ignacio scoring the game-tying three runs-at his expense-in the top of the sixth, "and that's what's hurt us all year."
Able to put out the fire in the visitors' sixth, freshman Hayden Gray (W; 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, HB) then closed out the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League contest by getting Mestas to bounce to short, stranding Trace Lovelace.
On an overcast afternoon, Chapman took Kibel deep over the fence in center to get the Bobcats (4-12, 1-5 SJBL) on the board in the top of the third. He finished 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored and one batted in. With Chapman batting ninth, Mestas eighth, Lovelace (1-3, SAC-BUNT) seventh and Cole McCaw (0-3, SAC-BUNT, 2 R) going a combined 5-for-12 with five runs and three RBI, head coach Bert Miller was pleased with how the bottom of his order produced on the road.
McCaw (4 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 4 K) took a no-decision, with Lovelace (2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 K) taking the loss in relief, though the two combined to maroon six Bulldogs in scoring position. Ignacio, meanwhile, left just three runners at either second or third base.
Batting 1-2-3 for Dove Creek (8-8, 3-3), Kieron Huskey, Kibel, and Ty Smith each scored twice and each cracked one hit. Designated hitter J.D. Dennison went 2-3 with a run, and Gray finished 1-2 with a crucial sixth-inning double (scoring Kibel), two walks and a run.
Up next, the 'Cats will return Saturday, April 28, to Dolores' diamond in Joe Rowell Park for an 11 a.m. start, completing the teams' three-game season series.
"We'll try to pick it up in Cortez," Mestas said of Thursday's scheduled game. "Play a good game and get a win for the end of the season."
BAD IS 'GOOD': Out of the 16 outs Kibel recorded, only one was via a ball hit to the outfield, and that was IHS leadoff hitter Kruz Pardo (1-4, R, RBI) flying out to centerfielder Gauge Thompson beginning the game.
"Warming up, I was a little shaky," Kibel admitted. "But, it seems if I have a bad warmup, it seems I pitch really well! So it's almost like, you know, I 'want' to have a bad warmup, as terrible as that sounds."