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Dogs open conference 2-0

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Photo by Tamie Meck Hotchkiss senior Kale Litzelman slides safely into second Saturday in the Bulldogs' 10-2 conference win over Dolores. Hotchkiss is now 6-1 and plays Cedaredge today (April 5) at 4 p.m. It hosts a conference doubleheader Saturday agains

The Hotchkiss baseball team is in second place in 2A District 3/5 standings after opening conference play Saturday with wins over Dolores and Ignacio.

In the Bulldogs' first win of the day sophomore Jamison Yanish was two-for-two including a three-run homer in the Bulldogs' 9-3 win over Ignacio. Hotchkiss had 12 hits and no errors for the game. Kale Litzelman struck out nine, walked two and allowed two hits and two runs for the win. Mario Espinoza threw one K and allowed one run in two innings.

In the second game, Hotchkiss defeated Dolores, 10-2. In the first at bats Presley Pene doubled, then scored on a double by Jonathan Gonzalez. Litzelman brought Gonzalez in on a single, with the Bulldogs leading, 2-0, to end the first inning. Dolores opened the second inning with a two-run homer by sophomore Dakota Smith.

The Bulldogs played consistent offense, scoring two runs in the first and third, one run in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth inning the Bears were threatening to score when the Bulldogs completed a 1-6-3 double play, with Colton Deluzio wrapping up the inning with a K.

Gonzalez had three of the team's eight stolen bases, with Mario Espinosa stealing two and Pene, Eli Kirk and Chase Hiatt each adding a steal. The Bulldogs secured the win with three runs in the sixth, with Pene hitting a two-run double, then scoring on a single by Gonzalez.

Pene struck out four, walked three and allowed three hits in five innings and Deluzio closed with two Ks and two hits in two innings.

Hotchkiss is now 6-1. It faces the Bruins at Cedaredge at 4 p.m. today. On Saturday it hosts a two-game conference series against Meeker. The Cowboys were 4-0 heading into a double headers Tuesday against Grand Valley.

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