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Durango Demons pounce on Aztec Tigers for 15 runs

Clean fielding, strong pitching back up bats

No errors in the field, strong pitching and hot bats got the Durango High School baseball team off to a fast start Tuesday in Aztec.

The Demons were anxious to hit the field for the 2021 season. The 2020 team had high hopes of making a deep run in the Class 4A state tournament, but the season was canceled shortly after the Demons completed their first and only game of the year, as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down sports.

Fourteen months later, the Demons dug their cleats back in the dirt for a season-opener on the road against the Aztec Tigers (1-1).

DHS (1-0) wasted no time in scoring the first runs of the year with three in the top of the first before going on to slam the Tigers 15-0.

Durango High School’s Niko Mestas was the starting pitcher in the Demons’ win over Aztec High School on Tuesday.

“We hit a lot of balls on the infield, a slow infield, and had guys hustling to first base. That was great to see,” said DHS head coach Rob Coddington. “The guys were ready to play ball, which was great. It was good to be down here on a nice day where we got good pitching, good defense and productive at-bats to get a win.”

Niko Mestas was the winning pitcher for the Demons. In three innings, he allowed two hits and two walks and struck out three. Gage Mestas came on in relief and threw two innings of no-hit ball. He also didn’t issue a walk and struck out five.

“We were supposed to host Farmington for a doubleheader Saturday, but that is canceled because they are in quarantine,” Coddington said. “So with only one game this week, it was good to get both Niko and Gage in there to get their work.”

Durango High School third baseman Cal Walsh catches a bouncer to third and throws to first for the out in the Demons’ win over Aztec High School on Tuesday.

Coddington said the two games against Farmington will be rescheduled for a May 19 home date and a June 1 road trip.

DHS added four runs in the second inning Tuesday to go with one in the third and seven in the fourth to set up the run-rule victory.

Cal Walsh went 3-for-4 with three runs, a run batted in and a double. Elias Fiddler was 3-for-4 with two doubles to go with three RBIs and three runs scored. Niko Mestas went 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Chase Robertson was 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Noah Pritchard was 1-for-2 with four RBIs. Gage Mestas also added a double on a 1-for-3 day at the dish, Tommy Barnes also had a triple and Jordan Stanley also had three base hits.

“We have tremendous talent and a bunch of kids who want to win,” Coddington said. “They are confident and competent baseball players. We are looking forward to getting back on the field and continuing to work.”

DHS will now host Delta at 3 p.m. Tuesday in its home opener.

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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