Steve Lewis/Durango Herald
Teel Hawkins threw four innings of no-hit baseball for Bayfield High School to rout Pine River rival Ignacio High School 17-1 on Tuesday afternoon at Bayfield Middle School.
Not bad for the senior’s first-ever start.
“It was fun,” Hawkins said. “It was good. It was definitely a good time.”
The fun was all in the curve.
“They have trouble hitting the curve,” Hawkins said of the Bobcats. “I knew I could rely on it.”
And rely on it he did.
BHS head coach Tom Horton said before Tuesday, Hawkins only had thrown part of one varsity inning and had some trouble controlling his curve, which is his best pitch. Although he didn’t plan on having Hawkins pitch all five of the mercy-ruled game’s innings, he said he wanted to see if Hawkins could get over the hump.
“Totally impressed,” Horton said. “He had a good curveball.”
The curve, which Hawkins said all of his pitches tend to do anyway, gave the Bobcats fits and the Wolverines hitless innings in the first, second, third and fifth innings.
In the third, Hawkins gave up two hits, one of which allowed Clay Jefferson to drive in the Bobcats’ lone run with a single.
Only four Bobcats got on base.
Jeffrey Herrera was first on a Wolverines’ throwing error that put him on first; he was also hit by a Hawkins pitch in the third that allowed Jefferson to bring him home.
Jessie Vigil also hit a single in the fourth, followed by Jefferson’s run-scoring single.
Otherwise, Hawkins struck out seven of 18 batters and let the Bayfield fielders do the rest for the victory.
If pitching was the high point for Bayfield, it was the low point for Ignacio.
Paco Mounts took the loss for the Bobcats, giving up 12 runs in just less than two full innings. He struggled with wild pitches and balls out of the strike zone, walking six batters and allowing a bevy of other baserunners to advance.
Matt Peterson-Silva took over for the final out of the second.
Peterson-Silva gave up five runs in the final two innings, but he, too, struggled to find his target, hitting two batters in the third inning, though he retired three of four Wolverines in the fourth.
“Can’t throw strikes; can’t throw strikes,” IHS head coach Ardie Eleck said.
The bright spot, Eleck said, was his outfield, which made some hard-working catches on the sprint and on the jump deep in the ballpark. He said it was the best performance of the year for his outfielders, who “made some good catches.” They combined for eight fly outs.
The game against a tough opponent also was good seasoning, Eleck said, for the Class 2A District Tournament in Cortez this weekend, starting for the Bobcats (3-13) at noon Saturday against Paonia.
Bayfield had 13 hits in four innings.
Designated hitter Clay Miller, who threw a five-inning no-hitter Saturday against Centauri, again was the standout for the Wolverines, hitting a home run out of center field in the second inning and going 3-for-4 at the plate.
Derek MacGuffie was 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Colt Walker was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
“We did what we hoped to do (Tuesday),” Horton said. “Mostly, we wanted to get our bats going, get some hits.”
Matt Knickerbocker walked three times and hit a sacrifice fly in the third. Knickerbocker said the lack of pitches around the strike zone caused his team (11-6, 6-0 Intermountain League) to lose mental focus – focus BHS will need for a league championship against Alamosa this weekend.
“If they’re not throwing strikes, we just need to keep our mental focus,” Knickerbocker said.
The Mean Moose are 8-8 overall but tied with the Wolverines for the top spot in the league at 6-0.
Horton said he hoped to use the IHS game as a “springboard” going into the 11 a.m. doubleheader Saturday in Alamosa, and Knickerbocker said the Moose will throw strikes.
“We hoped to be right where we are in league,” Horton said.