RANGELY | The Rangely Panthers high school baseball team traveled to Paonia for their second league matchup of the season Friday, April 12. The Panthers went into the doubleheader with a 2-5 mark on the season and 0-1 in the 2A Western Slope League play.
Junior Dylan LeBleu took the mound for the Panthers against the Eagles and had a very strong outing. LeBleu threw five strong innings while only giving up two un-earned runs, walking two and striking out seven. LeBleu remains in the top five in the 2A classification in strikeouts on the year. Sophomore Austin Davis came in for an inning of relief and was able to keep the Eagles from scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Eagles, however, secured a 2-0 victory over the Panthers with two unconventional runs scored at the plate during the game.
Offensively the Panthers were hard-pressed to get a runner past second base during the entire game. Senior Tristan Moore accounted for two of the five Panther hits as he went 2-3 on the day to keep his batting average in the top of the league. LeBleu also went 1-2 on the day with a sacrifice bunt. Seniors Grady Nielsen and Stetson Cudo also notched a hit for the Panthers but it was not enough for the Panthers to overcome the pitching performance of Soul Connolly.
In game two of the doubleheader the Panther bats started to come alive. The Eagles jumped out ahead with a 2-1 lead going in to the top of the third inning. The Eagles then tacked on four more runs on some defensive mishaps by the Panthers.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Panthers scored three runs to bring the score back to 6-4 in favor of the Eagles. With the Panther bats heating up, the Eagles had to press for seven more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to put the game out of reach for the Panthers. They fell 13-4 to the Eagles.
Senior Grady Nielsen led the Panthers at the plate as he went two-for-two with one RBI. Fellow senior Stetson Cudo, who went two-for-four with one score, followed Nielsen in the offensive category for the Panthers. Seniors Drew Brannan and Tristan Moore also notched a hit apiece with Brannan driving in two RBI’s and Moore one RBI.
The Panthers will travel to another neutral location for the season to take on Dolores and Ignacio high schools Friday, April 19. The Panthers will play the Dolores Bears at 10 a.m. at Olathe High School. Following that game the Panthers will travel to Montrose to take on the Ignacio Bobcats at 12:30 p.m. at Montrose High School. Both games will count as league games for the Panthers in the 2A Western Slope district standings.
Special to the Herald Times