Panther baseball heads into first league match

RANGELY | The Rangely High School baseball team took their 2-0 record to Hotchkiss on Friday, March 29 to take on two 1A teams ranked in the top 10 by the Colorado High School Athletic Association. In the first game the Panthers took on the Bulldogs from Dove Creek and it “was a great pitching match,” according to head coach Jeremy Lohry.

Junior Dylan LeBleu looked to get his second win of the season and keep his ERA under the 2.00 mark this season. LeBleu followed a 12 strikeout performance in five innings against Aspen with a 14 strikeout performance in 6.1 inning outing on Friday against Dove Creek.

The Panther bats could not get in a groove after senior Tristan Moore opened up the scoring for the Panthers with a run in the bottom of the first inning after reaching on a throwing error by the Bulldog third baseman which allowed Moore to move up to second base on the play. Moore was then sacrificed over by junior Dylan LeBleu with a bunt down the first baseline. Senior Stetson Cudo then was able to plate Moore with a sharply hit ground ball on the right side of the infield. The score held up with a 1-0 mark until the top of the fifth inning when the Bulldogs were able to plate two runs. The Bulldogs were able to plate two more in the top of the sixth inning and chased LeBleu from the mound along with a rising pitch count. Senior Stetson Cudo stepped in from behind the plate to get the remaining two outs of the inning. The Panthers could not chase the Bulldog pitcher Hayden Grey from the game as he struck out 10 Panther hitters through seven full innings of work.

The Panthers tried to rebound and take on the number one ranked team in the 1A class in the Nucla Mustangs. The Mustangs came out swinging early as they plated all 13 of their runs in the 13-0 game in the first three innings. Senior Tristan Moore toed the rubber for the Panthers and surrendered six hits while giving up seven runs with five of the seven runs being earned runs, walking two and striking out one Mustang batter. Freshman Keihlin Myers came in for relief and gave up six runs with two being earned runs on seven hits, two walks and three strikeouts. As in the second game the Panther hitters could not get the ball rolling as the Nucla pitcher, Will Gabriel, took a no-hit bid into the top of the fifth inning when sophomore Ryan Richens was able to secure a single to right field. The final of the game was 13-0 for the game and brought the Panthers record to 2-2 on the year. The Panthers traveled to Parachute Tuesday to take on the Grand Valley Cardinals in a non-league matchup. On Saturday April 6, the Panthers will host the Hotchkiss Bulldogs as the first league match-up for either team. The games will be played at the Field of Dreams in Rangely at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Special to the Herald Times