Cowboys close out winning baseball season

“Hunter had a day,” coach Merrifield said of Meeker senior Hunter Garcia, pictured running bases. “He went three-for-three, with a home run and two RBIs in his last game as a Cowboy.” The Cowboys defeated Rangely in the first round of the District tournament and their season ended with a 5-2 loss to the Hotchkiss Bulldogs in the District semifinals. Garcia, who played shortstop and pitched and star catcher Ty Gibson, were the only seniors on the team this season. Bobby Gutierrez photo

MEEKER | The season ended with a loss in the semifinals of the district tournament Saturday last in Grand Valley, but the Meeker High School baseball team finished the season with more wins than losses and hopeful about its future.
“We ended 14-7 and had our first winning season in a long time,” Meeker head coach Brian Merrifield said after his team lost 5-2 to the Hotchkiss Bulldogs.
Meeker was the No. 3 seeded team from the Western Slope League, behind No. 2 Hotchkiss and the number one ranked Paonia Eagles.
The Cowboys defeated the Rangely Panthers 12-6 in the first round of the District tournament played in Meeker at Paintbrush Park last Thursday, advancing to the semifinals against the Bulldogs.
“We were close again, we just couldn’t outscore the Bulldogs,” coach Merrifield said. “We out hit them seven-to-six, we just had a few base running mistakes that made the difference.”
Meeker freshman Todd Patterson started on the mound for the Cowboys and pitched five innings, giving up three runs before being relieved by junior Garrett Frantz, who pitched the sixth inning and surrendered two runs.
The Cowboys took a 1-0 lead after Meeker senior Hunter Garcia hit a ball out of Grand Valley High School’s park.
“Hunter had a day,” coach Merrifield said. “He went three-for-three with a home run and two RBIs in his last game as a Cowboy.”
“Our seniors Hunter Garcia and Ty Gibson will be hard to replace next season for sure,” coach Merrifield said of this year’s senior leaders. “I loved watching these two grow into the young men they’ve become and I would like to wish them the best wherever life takes them.”
“I would like to thank everyone for the support they gave this team this season,” stated Merrifield, who also said he’s already excited for next year.
“This team is fun to coach and every day is an adventure with these guys. We will have six seniors next season to lead our team into what should be a great season in 2018, with four juniors, seven sophomores and hopefully a handful or two of incoming freshmen.”
This year’s all-conference selections will be announced at the upcoming team banquet.