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RANGELY | On May 5 the Panthers opened the 2021 baseball season hosting the Meeker Cowboys. The Panthers, having key players in COVID protocol, came up short but battled hard to a 12-6 loss. Junior Justin Cudo pitched well on the mound surrendering two runs on three hits over three innings while striking out five batters with no walks. The Panther tallied eight hits. Junior Keihlin Myers and freshman Bryce Lambros had multiple hits with Myers leading the way with three hits at three bats. The Panthers had a few first game jitters with a few mental mistakes, but overall played well with two errors on the day.
On May 7 the Panthers, paying tribute to their mothers, hosted the Hotchkiss Bulldogs in a game thriller. The Bulldogs came out on top 12-11. The Panthers had the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning but couldn’t get a run across the plate. Freshman Dalton LeBleu took the Bulldog hurler to a 3-2 count with two outs before surrendering to him. The Panthers were down eight runs in the fourth inning but never gave up when they pushed seven runs across the plate to trail the Bulldogs by one run. The Panthers out hit the Bulldogs 16-10 with no errors in the game, but left eight runners on base. Junior Kevin Wren had the hot bat of the day with four hits; one being a triple.
“I am so proud of the boys not giving up when getting down early. We are growing as a team and starting to buy into the program and trusting the coaching staff on what we are teaching. Good job, boys,” said coach Jerry LeBleu.
The second game of the double header the Panthers started some of the younger players. They couldn’t get the bats going and got down early in the game and never recovered. Junior Byron Mackay had a three-run homerun in the third inning with most of the runs coming on one swing of the bat. The final score was 23-4 our younger players got some valuable varsity exposure in the loss.
Special to the Herald Times