Bears bucked by Monticello

Dolores let one slip away.

In a back and forth baseball affair, it was the Monticello Buckaroos that had the last laugh.

The Utah school scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to retake the lead over Dolores at 7-6.

In the fifth and final inning, Tyler Weir hit a single to represent the game tying run Thursday at McAndrew Field. But the next at bat saw Bears' second baseman Kellen Gatzke strike out to end the game.

The baseball contest was shortened to five innings as part of the Montezuma-Cortez Invitational.

"It was a seesaw game back and forth. I thought that we had them," first-year Bears coach Chris Barry said. "We had a lot of base runners. We just didn't get the key hit that we needed in the key at bat. I feel we kind of gave them the game."

Dolores (0-3) opened a 3-0 lead in the first inning, taking advantage of walks by Buckaroos starting pitcher Shane Christensen.

Bears starting pitcher Chaz Thompson hit a double in the top of the first.

However, that would only be one of two hits Dolores could muster against Monticello (1-0).

"Hitting and base running is the big deal we need to do (better)," Thompson said. "We got good pitchers, good infield, but no more errors whatsoever. We can't have any errors. If we just do the little things, we can achieve bigger."

The Buckaroos responded with two runs in the bottom half of the first, and scored runs in the second and third innings to take a 4-3 lead.

Dolores responded in the fourth when Christensen walked six batters, which the Bears converted into three runs and a 6-4 lead.

Monticello hit three RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead. The Buckaroos closing pitcher preserved the lead and the win for Monticello.

Dolores was out hit 10-2.

"By the end of this season, this team's going to be very prepared and we're going to do very well," Barry said. "We're feeling well, our plate discipline is good and our batting is coming around. I think we'll be OK."

The Bears are back in action today in the Montezuma-Cortez Invite against rival Dove Creek at 11:30 a.m.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.