Week includes three wins and no-hitter for San Juan baseball team

by Rhett Sifford
Sports Editor
The San Juan High School baseball team continued to roll in the past week with three road wins, one over Montezuma-Cortez and a doubleheader sweep at Gunnison Valley.
The Broncos are riding a nine-game winning streak, they’re 10-4 on the season, and they were ranked third in the 2A RPI standings as of April 8. They are tied with Duchesne for the 2A East Region lead with a 5-0 record.
On Saturday, March 30 San Juan traveled to Cortez, CO where they cruised to a 16-1 win over the Panthers. They collected 12 hits and scored in every inning except the third in the victory.
Junior Cooper Palmer stole the show with a three-hit, three-RBI day. One of his hits was a double, one of only two extra-base hits for the Broncos in the game. Palmer also scored a couple runs for San Juan.
Branten Bethea and Talon Mendoza both collected two hits and an RBI apiece. Parker Snyder got one hit and drove in two San Juan runs. Everyone else got one hit and one RBI each: Jake Ivins, Jagger Nieves, Brody Bilbao, and Derrick White.
Bethea and Bilbao both stole two bases apiece while White and Mendoza stole one each. Snyder led the team defensively with seven putouts and Ivins had four. Bethea, Palmer, and White had two apiece and Bilbao had one.
Jaiten Knight got the win for the Broncos on the mound. He struck out eight and walked two while allowing just one run on eight hits in eight innings of work.
On Tuesday, April 2 San Juan remained on the road, but got back to Utah 2A East play against Gunnison Valley. In game one of a region doubleheader the Bulldogs actually scored first with two runs in the first inning.
But the Broncos took the lead with a three-run third inning, then proceeded to score ten more runs over the course of the next four innings.
Gunnison Valley managed to plate three runners in the bottom of the seventh, but that wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit they faced, and San Juan took the game 13-5.
Parker Snyder had an impressive four-RBI game, paced by his first home run of the season. It was the Broncos’ third dinger of the season.
Bilbao got the most hits in the win with three. He drove in a run and scored two himself. Bethea and White mustered two hits and one RBI apiece.
Mendoza, Nieves, Corbin Middleton, Nache Young, and Palmer all drove in one run apiece in the win. The Broncos stole an impressive 11 bases against the Bulldogs: three for Bethea, two apiece for Ivins and Nieves, and one each for Knight, White, Nielson, and Bilbao.
Bethea led with 11 putouts, Ivins had four, Mendoza and Palmer had two each, and White and Baylor Nielson had one apiece.
Mendoza pitched a very solid six innings to earn the win, allowing just two runs on three hits while striking out 12 Gunnison Valley batters and walking three.
Game two of the doubleheader was decidedly less offensive, mainly because San Juan pitcher Parker Snyder threw a no-hitter in a full seven-inning 4-0 win. He struck out ten Bulldog batters and allowed only two baserunners, both by walk.
Meanwhile the Broncos opened the scoring with a run in the first inning and added three in the fourth, which was obviously all the run support Snyder needed.
Snyder helped himself out at the plate, collecting two hits and driving in a run. Cooper Palmer had a hit and two RBIs. And Jake Ivins got one hit, one RBI, and scored a run.
San Juan stole eight bases in the win. Bethea and Ivins snagged two each; and Nieves, Bilbao, Snyder, and Mendoza all got one apiece.
This week is very busy for San Juan. They began with a key region doubleheader at #7 Duchesne on Tuesday, April 9. The games were played after the San Juan Record print deadline and pitted the two co-leaders of the 2A East Region.
On Wednesday, April 10 the Broncos return home to host Kirtland Central, NM in a doubleheader. Then they’ll travel to Monticello on Friday, April 12 to take on the rival Buckaroos in a 2A East showdown.

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