Relying on a balanced hitting and stellar performances from two pitchers making their high school debuts, the Dove Creek High School baseball team defeated Monticello, 7-6, on March 10.
The victory marked the first for the Bulldogs since the 2016 season after the team failed to win a game last year. The victory also represented a marked improvement last season’s opener against Monticello, which Dove Creek lost, 21-2.
Among Bulldogs players contributing to the victory were freshman pitchers Branson Smith and Hayden Gray, who combined three earned runs over seven innings pitched. Gray yielded one earned run over 3 and 2/3 innings and struck out three Monticello batters. Smith yielded two earned runs over 3 and 1/3 innings and struck out two.
Dove Creek was led offensively by Gray, who went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBIs. Junior Kieron Huskey also drove in two runs for the Bulldogs, and Ty Smith, Branson Smith and Tristen Jarmon each drove in a single run.
The Bulldogs led 3-0 at the end of the first inning and 6-0 at the end of the third. After Monticello scored four runs in the top of the fourth inning, Dove Creek scored a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth to pull ahead 7-4.
The score tightened significantly in the top of the seventh inning after Monticello plated two runs, but the Bulldogs hung on for a one-run victory.
Now 1-0 on the season, Dove Creek will look to continue its winning ways when it hits the road to face Dolores on March 13. The varsity contest is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.