Pitching with a type of poise that is generally reserved for upperclassmen, Dove Creek freshman Hayden Gray kept Dolores hitters off balance throughout the first five innings of his team’s 7-4 victory on April 5.
Dove Creek improved to 5-5 overall and 1-1 in the San Juan Basin League with the victory, while Dolores dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-2 in the SJBL with the loss. Dove Creek has defeated Dolores twice in two games this season.
The afternoon game began with a bang as Dove Creek pulled ahead 3-0 in the top of the first inning only to see Dolores plate three runs of its own in the bottom of the first after several errors by Bulldogs’ fielders.
Dove Creek scored one run in the second inning and two runs in the third inning to pull ahead 6-3 before relying on Gray’s dominance on the mound and two solid innings of work by freshman Branson Smith to lock down the victory. The Bulldogs freshman pitchers combined to allow just one earned run over seven innings of work and strike out seven Dolores batters.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by sophomore Ty Smith, who registered two hits and an RBI. Branson Smith did not record a hit, but drove in two runs for Dove Creek. Junior Ryan Delano-Martinez came through with one hit and one RBI.
Statistics for Dolores players were unavailable online as of The Journal’s press deadline.
Next up for Dolores will be a challenging matchup against perennial powerhouse Paonia, in Ignacio on April 14. Dove Creek’s next contest will take place at home against San Juan High School on April 11.