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Demons, Wolverines hitting northern diamonds

DHS, BHS off to three-day, multisite tourney
Bayfield Baseball head coach Bert Miller wishes Glenwood Springs' Rob Norville good luck before the teams' season-opening meeting March 10 at the Montrose Invitational. After BHS had two games canceled last weekend, the Wolverines are scheduled to return to action on Friday in Delta. (Joel Priest/Special to the Herald)

Robbed by Mother Nature of their two second-day outings at last weekend’s Montrose Invitational, the Bayfield Wolverines should, weather again permitting, find proper competition this weekend to help forget about that early-season void.

Scheduled to travel north to the 2023 Luke Oeltjenbruns Memorial Tournament, hosted by Delta but requiring facilities in both Delta and Montrose counties, BHS will hope to at least get in a slated test against Greeley University at 11 a.m. Friday at Delta High School. Ranked No. 2 in the week-starting CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll, the Bulldogs were to get something of a jump-start on facing No. 8 Bayfield by playing Montrose – the second-highest ‘Others Receiving Votes’ team in the Class 4A poll – at 4 p.m. Thursday at MHS.

After battling UHS, the Wolverines will have to then hustle east to Hotchkiss for a 1:30 p.m. clash with North Fork, an ‘ORV’ team in 3A, before calling it a day.

At 1:30 on Saturday, BHS will meet Gunnison, yet another 3A ‘ORV’ team, at Montrose High School.

“We’ve got three quality pitchers to get us through,” BHS head coach Bert Miller recently said, referring to senior right-handers Jackson Queen, Lance Mazur and Caden Wood. “I would imagine we’re sitting as good as anybody.”

Fellow 3A Intermountain Leaguers Alamosa and Pagosa Springs will join Bayfield at the event, along with the hosting Panthers (for whom Oeltjenbruns, who passed away in 2016 at age 27, played from 2004-07).

Also attending will be 5A Colorado Springs Liberty, 4A No. 8 Falcon, 4A Edwards Battle Mountain, plus 3As Cedaredge, Olathe, Salida and Englewood Kent Denver.

Plenty rested from a season-opening 2-1 showing at the Aztec (New Mexico) Tiger Invitational (March 9-11), 4A Durango was scheduled to challenge Battle Mountain (0-0) on Thursday afternoon in Delta. Rob Coddington’s Demons will then face Falcon at 11 a.m. Friday in Montrose, then remain at the Red Hawks’ house to lock up with Liberty at 4 p.m.