MEEKER I The Meeker High School Cowboy baseball team ended its season in Cortez on Saturday in the district tournament, beating Dolores in the first round, then losing to the state’s No. 1 ranked Paonia Eagles in the championship game.
“The boys finished a great season (8-12) and made a lot of good memories along the way,” Meeker head coach Brian Merrifield said.
The Cowboys defeated the Dolores Bears 9-2 on Friday in the first round of the District tournament, then lost 11-1 in the championship game.
Coach Merrifield said Meeker junior Garrett Frantz pitched a complete game against the Bears on 67 pitches and catcher Ty Gibson threw out three runners trying to steal bases in the game.
Frantz was backed up on defense by Meeker’s only senior, Nick Burri, on first base. Trapper Merrifield on second, Logan Hughes at shortstop, Hunter Garcia on third, Cooper Meszaros in left field, Doak Mantle in center and Eli Hanks in right were all “stellar” behind Frantz, Merrifield said.
Burri also led the Cowboys on offense, going three-for-three at the plate, as did Garcia. Hughes, Merrifield and Hanks all contributed one hit each.
The Cowboys used four pitchers against the Eagles, with Hughes starting, Mantle, Garcia and Hanks coming in for relief.
“We were tied 1-1 going into the third inning when we ran into some trouble and fell behind 4-1,” Coach Merrifield said. “In the fourth, we gave up six more runs and one in the sixth to end the game.”
Hughes, Mantle and Hanks were the only Cowboys to get hits against Paonia.
Burri will be the only Cowboy to graduate from the baseball team, and Coach Merrifield was proud of the leadership he provided the team.
“At the first practice of the season, I challenged Nick to have his best season of his career and he rose to the challenge, putting together an unforgettable season offensively and defensively, and he was selected to play for the Western Slope League senior all-conference team on June 6 in Denver.
Burri finished his four-year career with a season batting average of .370, with five doubles, one home run and 13 runs batted in.
“Nick’s leadership on and off the field was top notch and he will be missed,” Coach Merrifield said. “I am sure he will be successful wherever life takes him.”