Panthers’ season ends at regional tournament

RHS varsity team (back row, left to right) Coach Torsell, Lucas Heinle, Kelton Elam, Cameron Enterline, Toby Gasper, coach Denny, coach Fortunato, David Contreras, James Rogers and Ethan Peacock. (Seated, left to right) Gabe Garcia, Bryson Palacios, Kody Denny and Chas Byerly.

RHS varsity team (back row, left to right) Coach Torsell, Lucas Heinle, Kelton Elam, Cameron Enterline, Toby Gasper, coach Denny, coach Fortunato, David Contreras, James Rogers and Ethan Peacock. (Seated, left to right) Gabe Garcia, Bryson Palacios, Kody Denny and Chas Byerly.
RANGELY I The Rangely Panther baseball team’s season came to an end with a loss to Resurrection Christian in the first round of the regional tournament last week but head coach Paul Fortunato is proud of his team’s season and excited for next year.
“We had an exceptional year,” Fortunato said. “We started out 0-7, then won 10 in a row and 11 of our last 14 games to get a bid into the regional tournament.”
Fortunato said it was the final game for seniors David Contreas, Ethan Peacock and ace pitcher Kody Denny.
The Panthers finished second in the league and district tournament both times to the Paonia Eagles who are currently in the state semifinals.
“We beat Dolores (May 5) then Paonia got us once again, they had our number this year,” Fortunato said.
Denny pitched a no-hitter against Dolores and Toby Gasper went three-for-three from the plate to lead their team to a 7-0 victory and regional playoff bid.
“We drew Resurrection Christian and they got into some situations where they could execute steals and squeeze bunts, things we like to do but didn’t get the opportunities against them,” Fortunato said of the 7-2 loss. “The kids played well though.”
“Kody is the only starter we are losing, so we are pretty excited about next year,” Fortunato said. “We should be a good team again.”