With his team leading Nucla 6-4 in the sixth inning and a runner at second base, Dalton Madden unleashed a hard fastball and watched as it streak toward home plate.
Also getting a good look at the pitch was Nucla senior Tim Armintrout, who flicked his bat toward the ball and drove a solid line drive toward right-center field.
Dolores shortstop Kellen Gatzke then dove to his right, fully extended and backhanded the one-hopper before climbing to his feet and throwing a Nucla runner out at third.
Just like that, a potentially disastrous moment turned into a highlight of the Bears' season after Madden retired the next four batters and the Bears secured a 6-4 victory in the first game of a home doubleheader on April 22.
"We made some great defensive plays and pitched well," Madden said. "The whole lineup was hitting the ball, and that allowed us to put up some runs and feel comfortable in the field."
One of the most important offensive sequences for the Bears occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning when Stetson Hamilton was hit by a pitch and later scored to put his team ahead, 5-4.
The Bears scored a second run later in the inning when Guy Wallace drilled a line drive off Armintrout, allowing Gatzke to score after Nucla threw the ball to first base.
Dolores first baseman Kitty Wallace's ability to dig several throws out of the dirt at first base also proved critical in her team's victory and after the game, the junior talked about the Dolores defense.
"We're playing pretty solid defense, but we need to work on calling the ball more," said Kitty. "There is always room to improve."
The room to improve of which Wallace was speaking became evident in the second game of the doubleheader when errors haunted Dolores during a 9-4 loss.
Stetson Hamilton started on the mound for Dolores and allowed three runs in the first inning before settling down and holding Nucla scoreless until the top of the fourth.
After Gatzke pitched a 1-2-3 top of the fourth inning, Nucla scored three runs in the top of the fifth to seize a 6-2 lead.
"The first inning that I pitched, I came out really strong," said Gatzke. "The second inning Nucla was getting some good hits and in the third inning that I pitched, some errors got us down. Nucla got some good hits and you have to give them credit."
Dolores hitters were stifled by Nucla starting pitcher Graden Steffan, who pitched all seven innings in his team's victory.
"If we would have kept our bats going, they never would have beat us," said Gatzke.
With the loss, Dolores dropped to 7-6 on the season. The Bears play next on in Ignacio for a doubleheader on May 2.
"We're not going to miss a day of practice," said Madden. "We're all going to come out and work hard and improve on the things that we know that we need to improve on."