Varsity Cowboys 6-2 on diamond

Meeker senior Hunter Garcia, pictured rounding second base, only got one hit in a victory over the Aspen Skiers last week in El Jebel but he made it count by hitting it over the left field fence for a home run. Garcia and the Cowboys are currently 6-2 and will play in Cortez Friday against Ignacio and Dolores. Becky Hughes photo

MEEKER | The Meeker High School varsity baseball team won its first six games of the season before losing a double header in Hotchkiss last Saturday. The Cowboys played in Silt Wednesday after press time and will travel to Cortez, where they will play Ignacio and Dolores this Friday.
Twenty players are out for the team this year and they are led by seniors Hunter Garcia and Ty Gibson and coached by Brian Merrifield, Donald Blazon and Ron Kelly Crawford.
The Cowboys opened the season with wins over the Roaring Fork Rams, the Nucla Mustangs and the Dove Creek Bulldogs.
“We had strong pitching from Garrett Frantz, Todd Patterson and Hunter Garcia,” head coach Merrifield said. “We also played error free defense against Dove Creek.”
The Cowboys then beat the Grand Valley Cardinals in a double header, pounding them 27-2 in the first game and 11-6 in the second.
Coach Merrifield said Doak Mantle and Logan Hughes each had three hits, including an in-the-park home run by Mantle. Gibson and Uri Goedert each had two hits against the Cardinals in the first game, which Frantz and Trapper Merrifield each pitched two innings.
Patterson and Luis Villalpando pitched in the second game, while Mantle and Goedert led the team at the plate with two hits each.
Meeker traveled to El Jebel, where they defeated the Aspen Skiers 9-1 last Thursday, remaining undefeated after the first six games.
“We had another solid outing from Frantz, Patterson and the Cowboy defense, who played another game of error free baseball,” Coach Merrifield said.
Trapper Merrifield and Gibson each had two hits and Garcia’s lone hit of the game went over the left field fence for his first home run.
Coach Merrifield said the JV team got “solid pitching” from Tristan Wille and Elijah Deming and they too won 4-3 against the Skiers.
The varsity started league play in Hotchkiss, last Saturday and suffered its first loss (11-1) of the season.
“Garrett kept us in it into the sixth inning, when he was pulled from the game losing 5-1,” Coach Merrifield said. “Then the wheels came off and we gave up six runs in the sixth to end the game.”
The Cowboys jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second game, behind freshman pitcher Patterson but the Bulldogs tied the game in the fifth inning and took the lead for good (4-3) in the sixth.
“In game two, the boys responded with the character and poise we’ve come to love,” Coach Merrifield said.
The Cowboy defense of Gibson, Hughes, Merrifield, Villalpando, Garcia, Cooper Meszaros, Mantle and Goedert again played error-free baseball.
Mantle had four hits against the Bulldogs in the second game, Merrifield had three and Gibson had two.
Gibson, Meeker’s starting catcher, has thrown out six base runners so far this season from behind the plate.
“I cannot say enough good things about this group of young men,” Coach Merrifield said. “They are playing great baseball and we are having a great time while doing it. Garret Frantz and Todd Patterson, along with Ty Gibson are as good as it gets on the mound and the defense has been stellar. Offensively we are attacking pitchers and battling when we fall behind. I love to watch these guys play!”