Through the first two weeks of their season, the Dolores High School baseball team has scored plenty of runs.
That offensive firepower, combined with improved pitching and a quality defense, has led the Bears to early-season wins.
Kicking off last weekend's play at the Piedra Vista Tournament against the Piedra Vista junior varsity on March 20, the Bears were thoroughly beaten, losing 22-4.
Contributing to the big loss was the inability of pitchers Kellen Gatzke, Stetson Hamilton and Ethen Upton to keep Piedra Vista's offense in check.
"It was a pretty tough day," said Bears manager Rusty Hamilton. "We got down early, and we didn't hit the ball very well."
Playing in the second round of the tournament versus the Durango junior varsity on March 21, the Bears looked far better, relying on several big hits to record a 16-15 victory. After pulling ahead by nine runs early in the contest, the Bears relinquished their early lead before scoring five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the win.
Starring at the plate for the Bears, Gatzke notched four hits and three RBIs, while Upton recorded four hits and two RBIs.
"A bad call went against us in the sixth inning, everything got heated up and the group came together," said Hamilton.
Finishing out the tournament on March 22 against Salida, the Bears offense again looked solid, keying a 14-4 victory.
Also looking solid versus Salida were pitchers Ethen Upton, Deano Valdez and Josh McCoy, who all took the mound in the victory.
Summing up the Bears' week, Hamilton was clearly pleased with his team's performance.
"We took a big step," said the Bears' manager.
Next for the Bears will be the San Juan Tournament, which will to take place in Blanding, Utah, on March 27.