DELTA -- After a 6-4 loss to Rifle Tuesday, the Moffat County High School Bulldogs hoped to rebound in a double-header Saturday against Delta.
If it weren't for one troublesome inning, the Bulldogs would have fully recovered from their first conference loss with a sweep. Instead, they split with the Panthers.
Delta came into the weekend undefeated in the Western Slope Conference and, according to MCHS coach Scott Parker, they also were the top-hitting team in Class 4A. Needless to say, the road trip would be a tough challenge for a team that had just lost an extra-inning affair at its last time out.
In the first game, Delta scored first with two in the bottom of the first. The Bulldogs came back with two in the second and three in the fourth. The 5-3 lead was a good start for the weekend but it would soon disappear.
The Panthers scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the rally, the Bulldogs were charged with three errors.
"When you are facing the top-hitting team in the state, you can't give them extra at bats," Parker said. "We did that and it cost us the first game."
Moffat County was shut out the rest of the game and Delta added two more runs in the sixth for the 12-5 win.
Delta carried the momentum from the first game into the second with seven runs in the first three innings. Down 7-0, Nick Goodenow started off the Bulldogs' fifth with a single. Then the hitting barrage began. Tad Behrens doubled, Joe Padon singled, Danny Torgerson singled, Jared Lowther walked and Eric Bastow singled, which led to five runs for MCHS and they were back in the game.
Jerod Estey came on to pitch in the bottom of the fifth with one out and runners at second and third. He retired the next two batters to keep some momentum for the Bulldogs, who now trailed 8-5.
In the sixth inning, the bats came alive for the boys in blue again as they scored four runs to take the lead, 9-8.
Estey kept Delta's bats quiet the rest of the game and picked up the win to improve to 5-1 on the year.
Despite scoring in only four innings all weekend, the Bulldogs escaped with a split on the road against the league leaders.
"To come back from 7-0 on the road, it says a lot," Parker said. "We hit a lot more consistently this weekend with line drive outs. All in all, we got a win and stopped the losing streak."
David Pressgrove can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org