Dove Creek has yet to win on the diamond this season, but the bats were out in full force against Monticello (Utah) in a Thursday afternoon doubleheader in Dove Creek.
The Bulldogs (0-8) lost both games to the Buckaroos, 15-4 and 23-11, on a sunny, wind-filled afternoon.
Dove Creek got three hits in game one and then exploded for eight hits in the following game. But every time the home team got close, costly errors allowed Monticello to pull away.
The errors killed us today, Bulldogs coach Ken Soper said. You score 11 runs, you ought to win a game.
In the first game, Dove Creek trailed just 5-2 in the fifth inning before the Buckaroos reeled off 10 runs in the top half to take an insurmountable 15-2 lead. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth, but couldnt get two more to extend the game, as it ended in a five-inning, 10-run mercy rule.
The Bulldogs had more pep in their step in game two. Monticello struck first in the top of the first-inning when Shaner Christenson came home off a wild pitch that got by Dove Creek catcher/pitcher Dalton Davis. But Austin Norris tied it up in the bottom of the second when he scored off of a Monticello wild pitch.
In the third, The Buckaroos scored nine runs off just three hits. Three errors allowed three more runs and kept the inning alive for Monticello, as it took a 10-1 lead.
This time Dove Creek responded with six runs over the next two innings to get back in the game at 10-7. First baseman Billy Ray Howell and Davis had RBI-singles during that stretch and the Dove Creek dugout was fired up.
However, Monticello would answer with six runs between the fifth and sixth innings to go back up nine at 16-7. The Buckaroos got big hits from Christenson, but big errors by the Bulldogs cost them valuable outs and runs.
Dove Creek got four more runs in the bottom of the sixth led by an RBI-double from Howell and an RBI-single by Norris to cut the Monticello lead back to five at 16-11. But again in the top of the seventh, three huge errors cost the Bulldogs much-needed outs and the Buckaroos piled it on with seven more runs to put the game away.
It seemed like we had one bad inning, and that gets us down too far and we just kind of fold, Soper said. We do good and keep it close, and then we had one bad inning. Everything just snowballs. Kids get down after they get down that far. They lose focus, and they just make that many more errors.
Dove Creek committed 10 errors in the game to eight for Monticello.
Howell hit 2-for-4 with two RBIs and shortstop Dalton Randolph went 2-for-5 and caught three fly balls.
We can field and throw when were not under pressure. We get under pressure, we mess up. Thats when we get our errors, then we get down on ourselves, Howell, a senior, said. We just need to execute the basic throw, catch the ball and field the ball.
Christenson led Monticello pitching four innings with seven strikeouts and hit 4-for-5 at the plate with six RBIs.
Dove Creek will be on spring break next week before opening San Juan Basin League play at home against Ignacio on Tuesday, April 12, at 1 p.m.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.