Bayfield sweeps IML openers

Walker, Funkhouser shut down Monte Vista in twinbill victories

The Bayfield Wolverines opened the Intermountain League baseball season Tuesday with a 6-1, 14-1 sweep over visiting Monte Vista.

The Wolverines, playing without standout left-hander Clay Miller, shut down the Pirates behind the pitching of Colt Walker and Hunter Funkhouser.

With Miller sidelined with a sprained ankle, Walker allowed only three hits and one earned run while striking out 11 in the opener.

Freshman Matthew Knickerbocker led the Bayfield hit parade with three hits, including two doubles and two RBIs.

“He’s a switch hitter, and he had a chance to hit (Tuesday) from the right side and the left,” Bayfield head coach Tom Horton said. “He’s a really good hitter.”

Walker also had two of Bayfield’s hits.

The Wolverines, in a sign of things to come, stole eight bases in Game 1. They upped that to 12 stolen bases in the 14-1 nightcap, shortened to five innings.

Funkhouser allowed only four hits and struck out 10 Pirates in five innings.

Drake Rhodes drove in three runs to lead the Wolverines (6-6, 2-0 IML).

Walker drove in three runs in the second game.

Kyle Moreta had two hits and two RBIs.

“We played great defense all day,” Horton said of the error-free doubleheader at Bayfield Middle School, which originally was scheduled for Saturday but was moved to Tuesday because of the inclement weather.

Horton said Miller missed the game after suffering a sprained ankle last weekend.

“Clay will be ready Saturday for Pagosa,” Horton said of the upcoming IML doubleheader in Pagosa Springs.

“With Clay out, I challenged the players, and they responded,” Horton said after the Wolverines won for the fourth time in five games. Their only loss in that stretch was a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Class 4A Durango.

“We’re playing well, and we’re right where we need to be,” Horton said.