BAYFIELD - The Wolverines hit early, and they hit late.
In between, the Broncos from San Juan High School in Blanding, Utah, did the hitting. And the scoring.
The Broncos, helped by a pair of wind-penetrating home runs, recorded a 5-3 nonconference baseball victory over the Wolverines on a breezy and blustery Tuesday afternoon in Bayfield.
Bayfield had the tying runners on base in the midst of a seventh-inning rally when the Blanding boys closed the door on the interstate matchup.
"I thought we should have won the game," BHS head baseball coach Ken Hibbard said. "We just didn't hit (at key times), and we struck out nine times ... which has been happening with too much regularity lately."
He said a couple of defensive miscues also hurt the Wolverines against the highly regarded Broncos (7-2).
"We misplayed a few balls defensively," Hibbard said. "Good teams will take advantage of that. And they're a good club."
But the lack of timely hitting ultimately cost the Wolverines, he said.
"Three times, we had two runners on base, and we didn't score," Hibbard said, referring to the third, fifth and sixth innings.
San Juan opened the game with a single run in the top of the first when Koler Black's single drove in Kyle Johnson, who had doubled to right-center with one out.
But the Wolverines answered with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.
Leadoff hitter Brenden Harrison reached on an infield single, the first of his three hits. He scored on a single by Shea Conrad after advancing on a San Juan error that allowed Logan Funkhouser to reach.
Ryan Terry, who pitched a complete game for Bayfield, drove in the go-ahead run with a single to the left side, driving home Funkhouser.
San Juan tied the game in the second on a home run to right field by Stetter Shumway.
The Broncos took the lead for good in the third when Johnson executed a hit-and-run single to left, sending Jack Terron to third. Terron scored on an outfield error on the play.
San Juan pushed the lead to 4-2 with a single run in the sixth on a homer to left by Nash Nielson, the Broncos' big, powerful catcher, then scored again in the top of the seventh on back-to-back, two-out doubles.
Nate Eenerson doubled down the line in left field; teammate Randy Bowers doubled him home with a shot off the fence in left, giving San Juan a 5-2 lead.
Harrison started the final Bayfield rally in the seventh with a line-shot double to right. He scored on a single to center by Jeff Huffmyer.
With two outs, Conrad extended the rally with a two-strike single, his second hit of the day.
But San Juan reliever Johnson, who had started the game at shortstop, coaxed a ground ball from Terry to end the game.
"I thought Ryan (Terry) pitched well enough to win," Hibbard said as the Wolverines moved to 6-3.
Terry scattered 10 hits and never gave up more than one run in an inning. He posted six strikeouts, including three with runners at second or third. He struck out Shumway, who had homered earlier, to end San Juan's rally in the top of the seventh.
San Juan, with key league games later this week, used three pitchers against the Wolverines: Dakota Hatch, Eenerson and Johnson.
"They (Wolverines) played us tough," San Juan head coach Mike Bowers said. His team's only losses this year came against big high schools from New Mexico (Santa Fe and Bernalillo) in the Albuquerque Tournament.
Offense, he said, has been the team's trademark all season.
"We have a 1 through 9 (batting order) who are pretty deadly," Bowers said.
Just last weekend, the Broncos pounded 11 home runs in a pair of conference victories in Utah.
"We have athletes who are two- or three-sport athletes ... and we're a football school, so these kids lift (weights) quite a bit," Bowers said.
Johnson, Bowers, Nielsen and Shumway had two hits each for San Juan. Bowers would have had a third hit if not for a diving stop to his right by BHS shortstop Funkhouser in the second inning.
Conrad had two hits, and Harrison had three for the Wolverines, who are off until an April 4 Intermountain League doubleheader against Pagosa Springs.