Mountains

Bulldogs battle back, beat Bears

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Dove Creek coach Ken Soper congratulates Klancey Krafka after he hit a two-run home run on the way to a win over the rival Bears at Dolores on Tuesday afternoon.

By Bobby Abplanalp Journal staff writer

Dolores — The Bears came out swinging Tuesday afternoon at Joe Rowell Park.

The first two batters got hits off of Dove Creek pitcher Dalton Randolph to excite the home crowd.

One run in the first inning, two runs in the second and one run in the third put the hometown Bears up 4-0.

The Dolores dugout was pumped up and the home fans were on their feet. Dove Creek looked dead in the water, as it had been so many times at Joe Rowell Park.

Then, Klancey Krafka happened.

The Bulldogs’ first baseman belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to get Dove Creek on the board down 4-2.

Krafka’s powerful swing off Bears’ pitcher Cody Carroll swung the momentum in favor of visiting Dove Creek.

Dolores never scored again and the Bulldogs rallied for a 6-4 road triumph.

“We was happy to get away with a win,” Dove Creek coach Ken Soper said.

It was only one of two hits in the game for Krafka, a senior. But his third home run of the season was huge for Dove Creek (7-4, 2-1 1A San Juan Basin League). The Bulldogs out-hit the Bears 5-4 and Dolores (6-8, 1-2 2A SJBL) had its two-game winning streak snapped.

Randolph (3-3) got the win on the mound for Dove Creek, pitching a complete seven innings.

“I thought he did pretty good,” Soper said about his starting pitcher. “He was a little bit wilder than usual. He walked four, but he only gave up four hits and that was just to two ball players.”

The Bulldogs added a run in the fifth and scored three more runs in the sixth before holding off Dolores for the 2-point win.

“I think they’re better than what their record shows,” Soper said about Dolores. “That first pitcher, he held us good. They was a pretty good team I thought.”

Dove Creek travels to Ignacio for a doubleheader this afternoon at 2 and 4.

“This is the first time we’ll play a doubleheader, so we’ll have to see how our pitching stands up,” Soper said. “We’re hoping that our top two pitchers can go all the way. We just have to wait and see.”

Randolph is slated to start game 1 with Jordan Ernst starting game 2.

Dolores hosts league leading Nucla on Saturday with a doubleheader at 11 a.m and 1 p.m. at Joe Rowell Park.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

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