MEEKER | In an exciting come from behind victory, the Meeker Cowboys beat the 3A Coal Ridge Titans last week at home, then lost to the defending 1A state champion Nucla Mustangs before getting another win against 1A Dove Creek in Norwood. The Cowboys, currently 6-3, hosted Rangely on Tuesday after press time and will play the No. 1 ranked Paonia Eagles in Paonia on Saturday.
“We were behind going into the fifth, then started swinging and scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth,” Meeker head coach Brian Merrifield said. “We hung in there and came from behind to get the win, which showed our maturity.”
The Cowboys trailed 8-11 after four innings of play, then scored six in the fifth and three more in the sixth, while allowing the Titans to only score once more, giving the Cowboys a 17-12 victory.
Senior Doak Mantle led the Cowboys with five hits in five at-bats, while classmates Trapper Merrifield and Logan Hughes each had three hits in five plate appearances and Garrett Frantz went three-for-four at the plate.
Merrifield started on the mound with relief from Ryan Phelan, Cooper Meszaros and Hughes, who earned the win.
Coach Merrifield said his team stayed in Grand Junction last Thursday, then traveled to Nucla to play the defending 1A state champion Mustangs but lost 9-14.
“That game was on me,” Coach Merrifield said. “We were behind the whole game and I knew we would score on them but I made a pitching decision that put us in a hole. It was the coldest game I have ever coached in and I was proud of our boys for hanging in there.”
Mantle led the team again with three hits, Merrifield had two, Hughes, Uri Goedert, Luis Villalpando and Phelan, all had one hit against the Mustangs.
The Cowboys then traveled to Norword to play the Dove Creek Bulldogs in what Coach Merrifield called, “the best game we have played all year.”
Neither team scored until the third inning, when the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into the fourth. The Cowboys tied the game in the sixth inning then neither team scored in the seventh. The Cowboys won the game by scoring two runs in the eighth.
Coach Merrifield said Frantz pitched five innings for the Cowboys, then Hughes “came in and did what he does,” to get the win, with 11 strike-outs between them.
“This group of boys know how to win games in any sport,” Coach Merrifield said.
The Cowboys will need find ways to win now, with “big games” against league opponents, Paonia and Hotchkiss.