Trailing Battle Mountain High School 5-2 in the seventh inning Thursday, the Durango High School baseball team rallied.
Gavin Hamlin smacked a home run to tie the game at five. Later in the inning, Hamlin hit another home run for DHS, helping the Demons score 10 runs in the inning and rally past the Huskies.
The Huskies answered with one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Demons prevailed 12-6 to start the tournament, co-hosted by Delta and Montrose, strong.
On Friday, Durango beat Falcon 8-3 before falling 4-2 to Liberty.
“In that first game, we had a great comeback in the seventh inning,” said DHS head coach Rob Coddington. “I’m just impressed with the mentality of the guys this season. They want to have a successful and competitive season and it’s fun to be a part of.”
Hamlin had five RBIs in the Battle Mountain game. Michael Benner scored three runs and Tanner Coddington scored twice while Tagert Bardin drove in a pair of RBIs and stole two bases.
Bardin also started on the mound for DHS and threw four innings, striking out six and allowing five runs, three earned. AJ Folk threw the final three innings and got the win, allowing one run while striking out three.
After the win, the Demons played a pair of games at Montrose High School on Friday and split their contests.
The Demons had another big inning in an 8-3 win over Falcon. With two outs in the first inning, the bases loaded and the count full, freshman Austin Romero hit a double over the outfielders to clear the bases and help DHS jump out to a 7-0 lead.
Falcon scored one in the second and two in the fifth, but DHS’ pitchers kept them in check. Tanner Coddington pitched six innings for DHS to get the win, striking out five and walking three. Only one of the three runs Falcon scored on him were earned.
Chance Costa then threw a scoreless seventh to close the door on the Falcons.
Coddington also scored a pair of runs while Ian Szura, Benner, Jack Englund, Brady Hansen, Leane Greenlee and Romero also touched home safely.
Against Liberty, the Lancers took a 1-0 lead in the second, but DHS tied it in the bottom of the inning. Liberty scored again in the third, but DHS tied it in the bottom of the fourth. After Liberty plated two more runs in the fifth, however, DHS was unable to find an equalizer.
“We were a little flat in that last game, but (pitcher) Jack Englund and our defense gave us a chance,” coach Coddington said.
Hansen and Coddington scored for DHS while Benner, Hansen and Greenlee each had two hits in the loss.
“I’m really impressed with our pitching and our defense,” coach Coddington said. “Once our bats get hot, we’ll be in a better place; they’ve just been a little streaky.”
DHS (4-2 overall) will next take on Bayfield (1-1) in its home opener March 28. The Wolverines were also in action Friday in Delta, but fell to University 12-1. Results from BHS’ Saturday games against North Fork and Gunnison were unavailable at press time.