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Ignacio baseball wrests wins from Dove Creek

Visiting ’Cats sweep ’Dogs 13-11, 16-4
Ignacio pitcher Phillip Quintana, pictured earlier this season, threw a complete game Tuesday against Dove Creek to help Ignacio sweep the doubleheader. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Winning their third road game in four days, the Ignacio Bobcats effectively played their way into league-title contention Tuesday afternoon in Dove Creek with a 13-11, 16-4 sweep of the Bulldogs.

“Awesome,” summarized IHS head coach Duke Baker. “The boys all played amazing.”

Having taken two of this season’s three meetings with DCHS, IHS improved to 5-6 overall, 2-2 in the 2A/1A San Juan Basin League. The ’Dogs dipped to 6-7, 1-3 despite gaining the upper paw early in each game of the doubleheader.

Two vicious three-inning Bobcat breakouts, however, turned the tables in each.

Finding themselves down 3-1 after one inning and 4-1 after two in Game 1, the 2A ’Cats strung together three solid innings. IHS put across three runs in the top of the third, then five in the fourth plus three in the fifth — to take command, 12-6.

1A Dove Creek countered with a run in the home half of the fifth and added three in the sixth, shrinking the sudden deficit back to two runs. After IHS manufactured one scratch in the top of the seventh, however, Dove Creek couldn’t complete a comeback.

In victory, junior Eppie Quintana went the distance on the hill, slinging 101 pitches and scattering a reported 13 hits. He walked just three Bulldogs and plunked a fourth but struck out an equalizing four.

Offensively, he went 2-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs in his own support.

Sophomore catalyst Devante Montoya went 3-3 with a walk and scored four times.

“D in the leadoff … stellar with the bat,” Baker said. “He set the table just like he was supposed to.”

Sophomore Phillip Quintana went 2-4 with two runs and three batted in. Sophomore Jacob Gallegos went 3-5 with three runs and two RBIs, and sophomore Nate Hendren 1-3 with a walk and two runs.

Bobcats come back again

Trailing 3-2 through two frames in Game 2, Ignacio turned things fully upside-down with five runs in the third, four in the fourth and another five in the fifth before DCHS squeaked out a feeble run in reply while trying to avoid a mercy-rule fate.

With production coming from up and down the order, 1 through 9, Ignacio got 4-for-4 batting with three runs scored and as many driven in from sophomore Marcus Maez. Phillip Quintana – who earned a complete-game win on the mound, throwing 89 pitches and allowing a reported four hits, walking five and fanning two – went 3-4 with a double, three runs and three RBIs.

Hendren went 3-3 with a triple, a walk and four runs scored. Eppie Quintana was 2-3 with a triple, walk, two runs and three RBIs. Sophomore Wade Dunbar-Burger was 3-4 with two doubles, three runs and two batted in.

“Defense was on point, and bats were on fire,” Baker said. “I mean, 13 runs and 16 runs – it’s pretty good.”

Statistics for Dove Creek had not been reported by press time.

The Bulldogs will next play Saturday versus Nucla (9-2, 2-0). Winners of four straight, including an insane 30-20 five-inning result over 2A Western Slope Leaguers Cedaredge, the Mustangs — ranked No. 5 in the week-starting CHSAANow.com Class 1A poll — will be in town for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.

With no Prom Day action scheduled Saturday, the Bobcats will next face resistance April 30, at Trinidad. The road doubleheader against the Miners – currently 6-2 overall and ranked No. 8 in Class 2A prior to a Southern Peaks League pair at home Saturday versus Sargent — is slated to begin at 11 a.m. at historic Central Park.

IHS will resume league play at 2 p.m. May 3 with two games – likely deciding a SJBL champ – versus Nucla.