After being shut out for five innings in the second game of a season-opening doubleheader, the bats of the Bayfield High School baseball team came to life.
The Wolverines scored three times in the top of the sixth and posted a big eight-run inning in the seventh to rally from deficits of 2-0 and 4-3 to earn an 11-7 victory. That backed up a 10-2 win in the day’s opening act to give the Class 3A Wolverines a road sweep of the Class 1A Bulldogs of Dove Creek High School (1-3).
It was Kevin Purkat on the mound for the Bulldogs in Game 2 who silenced BHS for five innings. But he got touched up for three runs in the sixth before exiting the game. He received a no-decision, as he struck out six and walked only one while allowing seven hits in six innings of work.
BHS would get to four different Dove Creek pitchers in the seventh inning. J.J. Brunner was charged with the loss after not recording an out. He walked two and saw four runs come across the plate, though only one run was earned.
Isaac Ross capped off the big seventh inning for BHS with an RBI double in an inning in which the Wolverines sent 12 batters to the plate. Ross finished 2-for-4 and scored twice. He also was the starting pitcher for BHS in the game. He went 3 1/3 innings in a no-decision. He allowed two earned runs on three hits and two walks and struck out three.
“It shouldn’t have been a pitchers’ duel,” Ross said. ”We were missing easy fastballs, then we’d get caught with the curve – we have trouble hitting curve balls right now – but I think it will get better throughout the year.”
At the plate for BHS, Austin Twedt went 1-for-3, two runs scored and had a big ground rule double that drove in two runs in the sixth inning. Andrew Peacock also had a big pinch-hit double that inning.
“Andrew Peacock, in my opinion, was the player of the game in Game 2 just because of the life he brought to the team,” BHS head coach Bert Miller said. “I mean, he walked up there and hit a pinch-hit double to get us back in the game. Gave us some momentum; we were flat going into that.”
Dillon Ludwig was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and a run scored for BHS, while Andrew Monger was 1-for-1 with an RBI with a sacrifice fly and bunt. Ludwig was the winning pitcher for the Wolverines in two innings of work. He allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits and a hit batter. He struck out one.
Dove Creek would score three runs in the bottom of the seventh on a home run from Isaiah Knox, who was 2-for-4 with a double and four RBIs to go with his homer.
“Definitely it felt great to hit a home run, even though we didn’t win,” Knox said. “It’s sad we didn’t, but that was pretty exciting.”
Brunner was 2-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored, while Hayden Gray was 2-for-4 with a ground-rule double. Purkat also backed up his strong pitching start with a 2-for-4 game at the plate with an RBI and a run.
“We’ve got to take our momentum from that last inning to Aztec, try to keep it going,” Ross said. “We’ve got to play seven innings; we’ve been ‘playing’ one inning, getting rallies and then just trying to hold (a lead). But if we can get a whole game like that, then we can run-rule people in the third (inning).”
Lance Mazur got his first career varsity hit for the Wolverines in the team’s opener. It just happened to be a home run.
“It’s pretty crazy. I’m happy to have done it,” Mazur said.
Mazur was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs and a walk in the 10-2 win. Cade Carlson also went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, while Noah Chamblee went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Ross was 1-for-4 with a run scored and another batted in.
BHS was held to one run through the first three innings before breaking through for six in the fourth against Dove Creek starting pitcher Branson Smith.
“We saw it was better to hit his fastball. Get ahead on that before you get too deep in the count and have to attack the curve,” Mazur said. “So once you get on the fastball, it was all there for us.”
Smith went five innings and gave up seven runs, but only three were earned. He allowed six hits and a walk but struck out seven.
“My curveball’s working this year; I’ve kind of got it figured out, so it feels good this year,” Smith said. “ My arm feels really good; I don’t have any soreness or anything, the off-speed stuff’s working, and that’s what I rely on. It’s looking good this year.”
Sophomore pitcher Jackson Queen got the win for BHS in his five innings of work. He struck out five, walked one and hit a batter while giving up six hits. The two runs allowed were unearned.
Purkat was 2-for-4 with a run, as was Brunner. Knox went 1-for-3 with an RBI.
BHS will visit Aztec at 3 p.m. Friday. Next for the Bulldogs is a Tuesday trip to Nucla.
“We just need to get our sticks going,” Knox said.
Joel Priest contributed to this report.