Coming off an impressive win over Rangely and a narrow loss to Meeker, the Dove Creek High School baseball team returned to action on the road against Nucla High School on April 17 and suffered a disappointing 14-4 loss.
The contest started positively for the Bulldogs as the team’s offense plated two runs in the top of the first inning before turning the ball over to starting pitcher Derek Kibel, who has been solid on the mound throughout the season.
Unable to keep hitters off balance as he had throughout much of the year, however, Kibel was tagged for two runs in the bottom of the first inning and three more in the bottom of the second as Nucla built a 5-0 lead.
Things did not get any better for Kibel in the later innings as the senior allowed two runs in the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth inning before handing the ball over to relief pitcher Ty Smith in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Negatively affected by errors in the field, Smith yielded four unearned runs and one earned run in the bottom of the sixth inning as Nucla built a 14-4 lead, and the game was called due to the 10-run mercy rule.
The Bulldogs were led at the plate by Kibel, who had three hits, including a double and a home run, and drove in a team-high two runs. Hayden Grey also enjoyed a solid day hitting the ball as the freshman registered two doubles. Tristen Jarmon also registered a hit for Dove Creek.
Now 7-7 overall and 1-2 in league, Dove Creek will briefly return to the practice field before facing off against Dolores High School at home on April 19. The contest will occur after The Journal’s press deadline, but results will be available online and will appear in The Journal’s print edition on April 24.