Hotchkiss swept a conference double-header over visiting Meeker Saturday, bringing its Western Slope League record to 2-2.
A whopping 13 runs in a single inning in game one allowed the Bulldogs to win the game in five innings.
In the fourth inning and trailing 1-0, Hotchkiss went through the entire lineup, hitting 10 RBIs in 11 at-bats.
Every player in the lineup scored at least once. Devan Rupe drove in the first of three runs on an RBI triple. Rupe and Russ Evans each scored two runs in the inning, with Evans hitting a single RBI his first time up, and a three-run triple with two outs in his second at-bat of the inning.
The inning also included an RBI triple by Hank Edwards, and a two-run triple by Cole Carvill.
"That's one of the biggest innings we've had since I've been here that I can remember," said senior third baseman, Brayden Wilson. The wins were welcome following last week's crushing conference losses to Paonia.
"The way we played today is the way I expect them to play," and more in line with their ability, said coach Jason Yantzer. As for the losses at Paonia a week earlier, "That was not us."
In game two, the team "progressively put runs on the board rather than last game when we put a lot on in one inning," said Wilson. Hotchkiss won by a score of 7-1.
Rupe and Edwards scored runs in the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Evans was walked in the third inning, stole second, and came home on a single by Tye Bayles for a 3-0 lead.
Rupe hit a solid one-run triple in the bottom of the fourth.
They had good players in most of the positions, their pitching was good and their catcher had a good arm, said Wilson of Meeker, a team they haven't faced in recent years. "They were pretty solid."
The team worked hard this week and refocused on practices, added Wilson. "That's what helped the most."
In game two the team still hit well, said Wilson, but the Meeker outfield was more on top of the hits. "We just didn't put as many runs on."
Wilson stepped off of third base to pitch the final innings of game two. The Bulldogs held Meeker to one run in the seventh, with Wilson stopping an infield grounder and turning it into a double play. He struck out the final at bat to end the series.
This is the first season Wilson has had any real varsity experience on the mound. Hotchkiss had two top-ranked pitchers last season. "And they were hard to compete with," said Wilson. This season the team has at least three young and talented pitchers, including sophomores Devan Rupe and Caleb Bayles, and freshman Cesar Gonzales. Wilson said he requested more time on the mound and got it. He pitched at the Glenwood Springs tournament, where Hotchkiss was 3-0, and closed against Paonia.
Yantzer said his skills on the plate will become more valuable as the season progresses, especially come playoff time when they'll need him to keep the other arms fresh.
Wilson said he wants more time on the mound, but will go where coaches put him. "It kind of depends on what role they need me in," said Wilson.
Hotchkiss and Meeker don't have much of a history of competition, but will see a lot of each other now that Hotchkiss is competing in Class 2A. They will meet again in a double-header at Meeker on April 20.
Hotchkiss will host a double-header against Rangely (2-7 overall, 1-3 WSL) this Saturday starting at 11 a.m.blog comments powered by Disqus