Both North Fork baseball teams will advance to 2A regional baseball competition after finishing first and second respectively in the District 2 tournament. Paonia and Hotchkiss were seeded one and two going into the tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Delta.
The top three teams from the Western Slope and San Juan Basin leagues competed in the tournament. After advancing on an 11-3 pigtail game win over Meeker, Rangely (6-14) lost to Dolores Friday in game one, 14-9.
In game two, Hotchkiss blanked sixth-seeded Ignacio, 3-0, then topped No. 3 Nucla, 5-2, to advance to Saturday's championship game.
Paonia 8, Dolores 1
Paonia advanced to the championship game with its win over Dolores. Eagle Taylor Katzer threw 17 strikeouts, walked six and allowed three hits for the win. The game was closer than the score indicated, said head coach Drew Potter.
Jacob Leon opened the second inning with a line-drive double and scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Keaton Kropp led off with a single, Leon took first base on a walk, and outfielder Joel Simianer hit a two-run double then scored on an error for a 4-1 lead. Katzer and Jorge Quinonez each hit one-run singles to end the inning with a 6-1 lead.
Paonia added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, with Simianer hitting a double and scoring on a single by Josh Altman, who scored on a sacrifice fly by Katzer.
Paonia 11, Hotchkiss 1
On Saturday, Paonia's defense made three double plays and had two five-run innings to defeat Hotchkiss, 11-1 for the district championship.
"Hotchkiss is a very well-coached team, a very solid defensive team," said Potter. "They've got some good hitters in their line-up. We just played solid baseball, didn't make a lot of mistakes. And when we did make mistakes we capitalized right away."
The Bulldogs' sole run came in the fourth inning, with Hank Edwards leading off with a single, and advancing to second on an error. Russ Evans followed with a single to advance Edwards to third. With no outs, Brayden Wilson was walked on a 3-1 count to load the bases and Tye Bayles hit an RBI single. The Bulldogs left three runners stranded to end the inning.
Hotchkiss again had the bases loaded with no outs in the fifth inning, and again, solid defense by Paonia left three runners stranded.
"Our defense did really good today," said Eagles senior Tyler Kendall, who pitched two strikeouts and allowed four hits for the win. "It was incredible."
Kendall was two-for-four, including a walk-off one-run single in the fifth. "I'm always hoping for a fast ball. That's what I got," said Kendall, who leads the state in batting at .643 for the season and knocked the final hit of the game over second base.blog comments powered by Disqus