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MEEKER I As a kickoff to Spring Break, a doubleheader between both Rio Blanco County teams took place this past Saturday.
Almost all 21 players braved the bitter cold and harsh wind to play for Meeker, including seniors Alex Smith pitching the entire second game, Ben Fitzgibbons at first base, Nate Walsh in right field and Scott Smith as catcher. The pitchers for the first game included juniors Jeremy Musgrave and Dylan Mobley and sophomore Matt Frantz. Kenny Kohls at second base and Tanner Matrisciano at third completed Meeker’s starting lineup.
The starting lineup for the Panthers was formed by Toby Gasper at center field, Chad Bolding at shortstop, James Rogers at third base, Gabe Garcia at right field, Kaulin Brady as pitcher, Kelton Elam at second base, Cameron Enterline at first base, Lucas Heinle in left field, and Bryson Polacios as catcher.
The first game unfolded with the Rangely Panthers ahead 13-0 in the top of the third inning, when the Cowboys came back and scored 14 runs in the fourth inning alone.
Within the course of the next six innings, Rangley scored another two points to end the game with the Panthers in the lead 16-14.
In the Cowboys’ big 14-run inning, Kenny Kohls led off with a four-pitch walk that led to 19 Cowboys coming to the plate and eight runs crossing the plate before the first out was recorded.
While everyone in the lineup contributed to the high-scoring fourth inning, the main participants were seniors Scott and Alex Smith and Ben Fitzgibbons, who helped bring in several of the runs.
In the second game, Meeker earned three runs in the first inning and two in the second, accompanied by Rangley’s one run. Meeker then gained seven more runs over the next two innings.
When the mercy rule was called to end the game after the fifth inning, the final score was 12-1 Meeker, with a split for the day.
After the two varsity games, the junior varsity played a three-inning game with the Panthers defeating Meeker.
Next week the season continues with a doubleheader between Meeker and Hotchkiss at Hotchkiss.