Bulldogs bat past Eagles

Dove Creek baseball team opens its season with convincing road win

Dove Creek opened its baseball season on the road and trailed 1-0 early Thursday afternoon in Farmington, N.M.

But the Bulldogs remained calm.

The result?

Dove Creek scored 14 unanswered runs and went onto to beat Navajo Prep 14-3 in a five inning mercy rule.

"It started out kind of scary," 51st-year Bulldogs coach Ken Soper said. "They got one run in the first, two hits in the first. After that, we settled down and held them to those two hits in the game."

Dove Creek (1-0) got stellar pitching from starter Dalton Randolph, who went four innings and gave up just one run.

"Dalton looked much better than he did a week ago," Soper said. "He had his control back."

Freshman closer Jordan Enrst struck out two in the fifth to earn the save.

In the top of the second inning, the Bulldogs scored three runs to take the lead for good. Dove Creek scored three more in the third and poured it on the 2A Eagles (0-1) with eight runs in the fourth inning.

"We kind of put them away in the fourth," Soper said.

Things could have been worse for the Bulldogs early on. But Tyler Ebberts made a spectacular catch in the outfield to get Dove Creek out of the first inning down by just one.

"Tyler Ebberts made a running, diving catch that saved some runs in the first inning. He made the catch of the day," Soper said. "I was proud of our defense. We made two simple little errors, so that should improve there."

Not only did the Bulldogs play sharp defensively, the bats were precise, too. Dove Creek hit .333 as a team.

Klancey Krafka led the way, going 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Tyson Smith hit 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Ebberts belted a triple.

Navajo Prep's starting pitcher did record 11 strikeouts.

"One thing I wasn't pleased with, was the amount of strikeouts we had. Their pitcher was fast," Soper said. "I don't like that 11 strikeouts. Will work on that more."

Dove Creek will be in Cortez next week for the three-day Montezuma-Cortez tournament at McAndrew Field. The 1A Bulldogs face the 4A host Panthers on Thursday afternoon at 1:30. Dove Creek plays rivals Monticello (Utah) and Dolores on Friday and Saturday at 11:30 a.m.