Home is where the heart is.
Written by: Joel Priest
Home is where the heart is.
It’s not where the Bayfield baseball team has been very often in 2007, practices aside.
But in only their second true home game this season the Wolverines made sure to roll out the purple carpet for themselves and show their guests the door, sinking Shiprock (N.M.) 12-2 in non-league action Tuesday afternoon.
“Coach kind of reminded us that we were back at home again,” said junior Michael McGraw, “but just not as much he tried to do Saturday.”
That double-header against Intermountain Leaguers Monte Vista still technically stands as a ‘home’ date for BHS, but once again it was Mother Nature’s ruptured plumbing that ruined the home field advantage. Akin to last month’s non-league loss against Montezuma-Cortez, where rains drowned BHS’ diamond and forced that ‘home’ game to be moved to Pantherland, steady rains throughout the night again turned the grounds into a four-wheeler’s paradise and left the scheduled twinbill with the Pirates perched in purgatory.
But after their own morning-long attempts to patch the field, and with an assist from Durango High School, Bayfield’s ‘home’ games were quickly moved over to DHS’ Walden Memorial Field and went off with no further delays or deluges.
With McGraw (W; 3-2) on the hill, MVHS batters were simply unable to build any kind of offense, as ‘Tug’ scattered five hits over a five-inning complete-game and the Wolverines tagged MV’s Eduardo Rascon (L; CG, 8 H, 11 R, 9 ER) for eleven runs while allowing just one.
Monte’s Sky Bradshaw had seen enough however, and single-handedly turned the tides in Game 2, silencing the Wolverines with a seven-inning, ten-strikeout, two-hit shutout from the mound as the Pirates rolled 7-0. Logan Funkhouser (0-1) took the loss, touched for four hits and all the runs—though only one went as earned in the stat sheets.
“Yeah, it was pretty bad,” he said. “We didn’t play well at all, didn’t hit well—it was bad.”
“Those are the games we have to win,” said junior Marshall Beebe, who cracked two hits in three trips with three RBI’s in Game 1, but went just 0-1 in Game 2. “We play well in the first game, then…I don’t know what happens in the other.”
But going from ‘the other’ to another, the left-handed Beebe controlled the 4A-District 1 Chieftains in his first starting pitching assignment this year and allowed two hits over four innings to earn the win.
Junior righty John Plehinger tossed the final two frames in relief.
“On a scale of one to ten? I’d say it was about a ‘six,’” Beebe rated his work. “It wasn’t the best [possibly alluding to his four walks issued], but I demand a lot from myself.”
As they did in Game 1 with Monte Vista, the big inning put BHS on cruise control against SHS. Leading 2-1 entering the bottom of the second, the Wolverines sent eleven to the plate, and brought six around to tear the game’s seam wide open. More importantly, BHS had already rousted Shiprock starter Steven Redshirt (L; 1.1 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB) and began digging into relievers C.J. Begay (3 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 HBP) and Bryce Rockwell (0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER).
Offensively for BHS, leftfielder Jeramie Price continued his hot hitting and went 4-5 (single, triple, single, double), scoring once and plating two—including Beebe in the bottom of the sixth to enact the ten-run rule. Senior first baseman Garrett Laner also went 4-5, scored thrice, and drove in three.
But to no one’s surprise, it’s already back to highways and byways for BHS this Saturday (10 a.m. start) for a non-league double-dip with 2A Rangely on neutral soil in Moab, Utah.