Already riding a three-game winning streak heading into last weekend, the Dolores High School baseball team picked up three victories against tough competition while reminding everyone that it will be a force to be reckoned with for the remainder of the season.
The first of the Bears’ latest victories came on the road against Monticello on April 18 by a score of 11-7.
The win was keyed by solid pitching performances by senior Neil Farias, who allowed one earned run over 21/3 inning, and sophomore Kevin Purkat, who threw 2²/3 and two-thirds scoreless innings.
Sophomore JJ Bruner had two hits and three RBIs, and senior Dakota Smith and Farias each drove in two runs. Senior Cameron Chavez, senior Colton Shaffer and senior Brennan Hite also had RBIs for the Bears.
“We had to dig pretty deep in our pitching lineup because that was the middle game in our four-game week,” Dolores manager Rusty Hamilton said. “We used a lot of different pitchers, and we had Isiah Knox on the mound for the first time in a varsity game. I was real happy with our performance.”
The second of the Bears’ latest victories came later in the day on April 19 when the team defeated Rangely High School by a score of 9-3. Smith had three RBIs in the contest, and Chavez and sophomore Isaiah Knox each had two RBIs.
Dolores received an outstanding pitching performance from Chavez, who did not allow an earned run over five innings of work and struck out five batters. Smith took the mound in the sixth inning and did not allow an earned run over the game’s final two innings.
“We knew that Rangely was going to be our toughest opponent of the weekend,” Hamilton said. “They definitely were. They kept it close for most of the game, and we had to work to get that win.”
The third of the Bears’ victories came on the road against Rangely High School on April 19 by a score of 20-8. Dolores scored nine runs in the top of the fifth inning to secure the mercy-rule victory.
Among the top offensive performers for Dolores were Smith, who had four hits, including a home run, and drove in five runs. Farias also had three hits and drove in five runs and Chavez came up big with four RBIs.
“(Meeker) played us pretty tough at the beginning of the game and we broke it open at the end,” Hamilton said. “Dakota (Smith) hit a walk-off home run with two runners on to win the game.”
Next up for the Bears will be a home doubleheader against Nucla High School, at Parque de Vida in Cortez on April 23. Dolores will then close out its regular season with a road doubleheader against Ignacio High School on April 30.