County rivals face off in another doubleheader; Meeker comes out on top

Dylan LeBleu took the mound for the Panthers.

RANGELY | The Rangely Panther baseball team traveled to Meeker to play the Cowboys in a non-league doubleheader on Saturday, April 28 at Paintbrush Park. The first game was a great game for both sides. Neither team had scored in the first two innings even though both teams had plenty of traffic on the bases. In the bottom of the first inning, sophomore Dylan LeBleu was on the mound for the Panthers and found himself in a quick hole as leadoff hitter, Trapper Merrifield led off the game with a triple. LeBleu got out of the inning without giving up any runs and the score remained 0-0.

The Panthers scored first in the game when Tristan Moore smacked a double to the centerfield fence to score two runs for the Panthers. The Cowboys responded with a three run inning of their own to make the game 3-2 in favor of the Cowboys. The Panthers kept their hot bats alive in the coming innings but only scored one run in the top of the fifth inning and at that time the Cowboys held a 4-3 lead. The Cowboys scored one run in the fourth inning, two runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the sixth inning to make the game 8-3 heading into the last inning. The Panthers attempted a come from behind win but only scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning. The inning ended for the Panthers with the tying run on second base but they could not find a way to score.

Offensively, the Panthers were led by junior Tristan Moore who went 2-3 in the game with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Also for the Panthers Dylan LeBleu went 2-3 at the plate with one run scored and two RBI’s. Freshman Austin Davis had a banner day at the plate with a 3-4 performance with one RBI and one run score to go with his three hits.

In the second game the Panthers came out swinging once again. Junior Drew Brannan hit his first career homerun to left field in the top of the first inning and put the Panthers up 3-0. The Cowboys responded with five runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning. The Panthers responded in the top of the second inning and plated three more runs to make the game 6-5 in favor of the Panthers. The Cowboys then never looked back and ended up taking home another win over the Panthers 16-6.

Offensively the Panthers were led again by Moore who reached base every time he came to bat with one hit and three hit by pitches. Brannan stayed in the offensive mix by reaching on two hits and one hit-by-pitch. LeBleu kept pace with Moore which both players both have a batting average at .405 for the season and are tied for the lead in many offensive categories. The Panthers will remain idle for the week as they wait to find out their opponent for the Western Slope League district pigtail game which will take place at the third place team’s home site on May 10.