Bulldogs stage comeback in fourth inning

Bulldogs even up season record at .500 with win over Class 3A Olathe Saturday

It was not until the bottom of the fourth that the Moffat County's bats really came alive in the Saturday match up against the Class 3A Olathe Pirates (3-3). It started with a Jerod Estey RBI that tied the game at three.

Until the forth inning the Bulldogs had been struggling to get their game going. They only scored two runs in the first three, allowing Olathe to get the jump on them by a run early in the game.

"We were scrambling in the first three innings, but going into the fourth I had a talk with the guys. They settled down, and were able to start making some noise at the plate," Coach Kip Hafey said.

In the fourth inning the Bulldogs went on the warpath, scoring six runs, half of them in the fourth inning alone, while keeping the Pirates scoreless from the third inning on.

The game ended with the 'Dogs ahead, 8-3, bringing the team's season record to 2-2.

Hafey and his team knew the win against the Pirates was not going to be handed to them going into the game, having scrimmaged the squad to a 3-3 draw in this year's preseason.

The Pirates, who play in the Class 3A Western Slope Conference (WSC), came in prepared to play a tough Class 4A team. Much of Olathe's non-conference schedule is composed of Class 4A Western Slope teams. The Class 3A WSC is composed of Paonia, Hotchkiss, Rangely, Gunnison, and Cedar Ridge.

"Our program plays a lot of good competition throughout the year in both classes, so we walked into this game like any other," said Joe Achuleta, headcoach of Olathe. "We made some errors in the middle and toward the end of the game. A team like Moffat County is going to capitalize off of things like that, they're a good team."

Moffat County made it's fair share of mistakes early in the game that allowed the Pirates to jump ahead. The most notable were two wild pitches by junior Chris Field that went into the dirt and permitted two runs to be scored by Olathe.

Field did produce from the mound, striking out the final hitter in the second inning, but he did more on while on base stealing two. He also walked once, and was hit by a pitch.

Estey, a sophomore, took over the pitching duties in the fourth, and added two more K's to his record, bringing his season total to 12.

Estey also hit one home run in the first inning and racked up a RBI.

The most impressive stat the Bulldogs produced Saturday was as a team the 'Dogs didn't commit one error in the field, which Hafey felt was probably the key to winning the game.

"We came out and played awesome defense we were able to make the routine plays, and that's what wins ball games. Overall we've made great strides in fielding early this season, and not committing any errors in this game is the proof," Hafey said.

Moffat County will face Rangely another WSC Class 3A team on Thursday. This will be the first home game for the junior varsity, and will start at 4 p.m. Both the JV and the varsity will play at 2 p.m. Saturday, at home when they start league play against Rifle.

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