Playtime is over.
Eight of its nine nonconference games in the books, Durango returns to Southwestern League play at 3:30 p.m. today against Grand Junction Central at the La Plata County Fairgrounds.
"We got Aaron Coats, John Ugai and Ben Southworth on the mound for us this weekend," Durango High School baseball coach Rob Coddington said. "Those guys have done a real good job for us.
"If we throw strikes, play defense and hit like we're capable of, then we'll be alright."
Durango enters this weekend's home SWL doubleheader on Ward Lee Field 5-5 overall and 1-1 in league, with a loss at Grand Junction and a win at Montrose.
Grand Junction Central (7-4) is 0-2 in league play, with losses to Montrose and Fruita Monument.
Durango will host Fruita Monument - 1-1 in league with a victory against Central and a loss to Grand Junction - at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"This league, you can't take any SWL games lightly," Coddington said.
Durango earned a come-from-behind 17-16 victory Tuesday night at Bloomfield, its penultimate nonconference game of the season.
Durango scored nine runs in the top of the seventh to even its overall record at .500.
Durango has tweaked its offense and shifted its defense since its home opener March 17.
"We've got a bunch of infielders, and we've been rotating guys in the outfield. We're getting really good effort from everybody," Coddington said. "I've been real pleased with all the guys coming off the bench, too."
Since their disappointing home opening 11-10 loss to Piedra Vista, a team Durango has dominated the last two seasons, the Demons have moved Coats from catcher to shortstop and inserted Justin Whirlow as the permanent backstop.
"Defensively, this year I think we're a lot better than we've been in the past," Coddington said.
Durango committed a pair of errors against Piedra Vista, and Coats was the hard-luck starter who gave up nine runs on just eight hits, but only six runs were earned. He also walked five, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch.
"It's just a matter of gettin' outs when we need 'em," Coddington said.
"The guys have done a really good job so far. They've been a lot of fun to watch play. They're into the game in the dugout. They've done everything we've asked. We just need to stay aggressive and win more innings than the other team - simple baseball stuff."
Durango will have to do that without its skipper.
Coddington was ejected for arguing a call against Bloomfield and will have to watch today's game from afar. Assistant coaches Mike Jaramillo, who will coach third base in Coddington's stead, and Dusty Neiman will fill in for the head coach. "That's just part of the game," he said. "They don't need me, though. The guys are coming together. We're getting a lot of good leadership from a lot of guys, not just the seniors, but everybody - a lot of guys leading by example.
"It's more about them than what I'm doing." firstname.lastname@example.org