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Bulldogs bound for state baseball semis after ousting Simla

Dove Creek's Hunter Daves and the Bulldog pitching staff threw a pair of gems in their regional round game at Simla during the 1A state tournament. (Photo courtesy of Joel Priest)
Dove Creek heading to Lakewood for the 1A Final Four

SIMLA – In the middle of the season, the Dove Creek Bulldogs hit a slide that could easily have zapped their state championship dreams.

Instead, the Bulldogs generated a remarkable turnaround that placed the program just two wins away from a state title.

Dove Creek coach Trent Daves’ squad turned it up a notch from the onset of the postseason, and the Bulldogs haven’t looked back thanks to a pair of wins in the Simla-hosted regional on Saturday.

Dove Creek topped No. 12 Elbert in a masterful 12-1 victory, before edging the regional hosts 5-4 to capture a coveted spot at Coca-Cola All-Star Park in Lakewood for the 1A state tournament semifinals and title game.

The Bulldogs (9-11) leaned on sterling pitching and defense in their regional journey, using a one-hitter to put away Elbert (7-6).

Dove Creek scored six runs in each of the third and fourth innings to send the game into mercy-rule territory. Only one hit in the a fifth inning broke up the no-hit bid.

Simla (10-6) dispatched Wiley 7-3 in its regional opener. However, Dove Creek found a way to edge the Cubs, avenging the loss that ended the Bulldogs’ season a year ago.

Now riding a four-game winning streak, Dove Creek will face top-seed Merino (17-6) on Thursday. Flatirons Academy and Akron will face off in the other state semifinal.

The semifinals and championship contest will be on the same day.

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