ANTONITO — Cripple Creek is nearly a four-hour drive from Antonito. What was supposed to be a routine baseball doubleheader on Friday in Antonito wound up being a 12-inning battle of attrition. From first pitch to final out, the district doubleheader spanned nearly six hours, putting the Pioneers on the road home with an estimated time of arrival of past midnight.
For their trouble Cripple Creek-Victor did come away with a win taking game one by a score of 11-7. Antonito took game two by a score of 25-19.
The Trojans (4-8) were on the path back with a win over Centennial and sweeping Sierra Grande before getting swept by Cotopaxi last weekend to enter this week’s contests.
Game one was close. Antonito senior Austin Dominguez got the start on the mound. The Trojans would shut Cripple Creek out in the first inning and get on the board first with a trio of batters getting home. Josh Duran batted in two teammates on a double before Austin Dominguez got Duran home.
At the top of the second inning Cripple Creek-Victor evened things up with three runs of their own. In the second inning, again it was Duran and Dominguez registering RBI’s to push the Trojans ahead 5-3. Duran led Antonito with 3 RBI’s. The top of the fourth is when the Pioneers struck back. Cripple Creek registered four in the fourth to earn the lead. Antonito got things rolling in the fifth and continued running into the sixth. Duran would score on errors in the fifth to cut the lead to one. At the top of the sixth inning Duran took the mound in relief as Dominguez reached his pitch count maximum. At the bottom of the inning a single to right field from Antonito’s Nathan Sisneros would get him on base to be scored by Josh Lucero to tie the game at 7 apiece.
Antonito couldn’t keep the Pioneers in check any longer however and the top of the seventh Cripple Creek-Victor separated themselves to finalize the game at 11-7.
Game two was where innings began to get a little stretched despite being predetermined to be a five inning affair. With pitches to spare from the last game Antonito’s pitcher Josh Duran got the nod. Cripple Creek would get on the board straight away with three runs on two singles and a double.
Antonito cycled their batting order at the bottom of the first to take a massive lead getting ten runners home. The runs continued flowing for both squads with 5 runs getting home for the Pioneers thanks partly to an in-park home run.
The Trojans followed up with four of their own. Duran batted in Maya Garcia and Zach Velasquez and Austin Dominguez would send one to the left field fence to score Angel Trujillo and Josh Duran to maintain the lead.
Cripple Creek matched with another four at the top of the third inning to close the lead to 14-9. Antonito senior Bobby Montoya scored Nathan Sisneros at the bottom of the third to continue to push the pace for the Trojans.
With Josh Duran tapped out Zach Velasquez took the mound in the fourth inning in relief. The Pioneers would keep up the pace they had all game scoring runs in chunks with five more in the fourth to cinch the lead to just one run at 15-14.
The Trojans opened the flood gates in response. Antonito would register another ten run inning – Dominguez scored two runners in his two at bats to reach a team leading 6 RBI in the game and 8 RBI on the day. Velasquez would hit solid to clean up a bases loaded situation with a triple and Montoya would add an RBI to finish tied for third on the team in the category in game two.
The Pioneers would attempt to crawl back adding another five runs two thirds the way into the fifth inning. Antonito Angel Trujillo was brought in to close game two with bases loaded and the Trojans earned out number three on a tag out at third base to take game two just as the sun snuck behind the mountains.
Antonito’s final game on the schedule is a Tuesday home game against Del Norte on Tuesday slated for a 4 p.m. start.