MEEKER | The Cowboys played and won two baseball games last Saturday in Rangely, neither was against their county rival, the Panthers. Meeker defeated Ignacio 7-6 in what head coach Brian Merrifield called a “nail-biter,” then pounded the Dolores Bears 13-3, playing both games on Colorado Northwestern Community College’s field. The Cowboys played a non-league game against the Grand Valley Cardinals after press time Tuesday, then another non-league doubleheader against Aspen, Wednesday, before hosting league foe, the Hotchkiss Bulldogs, Saturday, all at Paintbrush Park.
“These were two huge league wins for us this early in the season,” coach Merrifield said of his team’s 2-0 league record and 2-1 overall.
Senior Logan Hughes started and was the winning pitcher against Ignacio, with help from classmate Garrett Frantz and his freshman cousin, Ryan Phelan.
“Ryan showed he can’t be rattled, taking the ball with a one-run lead and one out in the sixth, to shut down the Bobcats,” coach Merrifield said.
Senior Uri Goedert had three hits and a walk, classmate Trapper Merrifield had two, a walk and three stolen bases. Hughes and Luis Villalpando, who caught both games, each finished with a hit against the Bobcats.
“Luis caught both games, which is no easy task and he did an excellent job of calling pitches in both games for the wins,” coach Merrifield said.
Against the Bears, coach Merrifield said, “offensively, our bats woke up,” of the 15 hits his team earned.
Trapper Merrifield and Hughes both finished with four hits, Merrifield stole three more bases and Hughes stole two and had batted four runs in. Senior Doak Mantle had three hits, including a single, a double and “a monster triple that hit the fence.” Mantle also stole a base and had two RBI’s. Phelan finished with two hits and two RBI’s, while Frantz and senior classmate Jacob Pelloni, each had a hit.
The first game against Hotchkiss this Saturday will start at 11 a.m.
“This team, top to bottom, is a very talented bunch and so fun to watch compete,” coach Merrifield said.