Showing no signs of rust after a long winter, the Dolores High School baseball team scored early and often during a 15-5 victory over Dove Creek High School in a game that was played in Cortez on March 27.
Keying the victory for the Bears was an impressive performance at the plate by Kevin Purkat, who came through with four hits, including a double and a triple. The sophomore also drove in a game-high four runs.
“(Purkat) is a solid contact hitter,” Dolores coach Rusty Hamilton said. “He has speed on the bases and that puts him in position to score runs.”
Other Dolores players that came through at the plate included senior Dakota Smith, who went 3-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, and sophomores JJ Bruner and Isiah Knox, who both drove in two runs.
Dolores led 4-1 at the end of the 1st inning and 12-2 after two innings of play. After failing to score for three consecutive innings, the Bears scored three runs in the top of the 6th inning to pull ahead 15-3 and eventually secure a mercy-rule victory.
Smith started the game on the mound for Dolores and allowed three earned runs over five innings and struck out five batters. Bruner allowed two earned runs during his one inning of relief work and struck out one batter.
“We have more depth with our pitchers than we have had in the past” Hamilton said. “We’ve got a solid group of three seniors – Cameron Chavez, Dakota Smith and Neil Farias – and we have a lot of underclassmen that are making their way.”
Dove Creek was led at the plate by senior Tristen Jarmon and junior Ty Smith, who each drove in two runs. Sophomore Branson Smith, senior Ryan Delano-Martinez and Ty Smith all had one double and Branson Smith had one RBI.
Sophomore Hayden Gray started on the mound for Dove Creek and allowed five runs, three of which were unearned, over one inning.
Branson Smith did not allow an earned run over one and one-thirds of an inning and Tristan Jarmon did not allow an earned run over three and two-thirds of an inning. Several miscues in the field doomed Dove Creek, however, as the Bulldogs allowed 13 unearned runs.
With its record now at 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the SJBL, Dolores will prepare for road matchups against Hotchkiss High School and Paonia High School, which will take place on March 30.
Dove Creek, which owns a 2-2 overall record and 0-1 in the SJBL, will play its next games on the road against Rangely and Meeker on March 29.