The bats came alive and Panthers' pitcher Konnar McGee threw a one-hitter.
Good pitching and good hitting is always a good recipe for success. Montezuma-Cortez High School used those baseball ingredients to easily sink Shiprock 11-0 Tuesday afternoon at McAndrew Field in five innings.
"We've done well the last couple games," first-year Panthers coach Matt Betts said. "Some of the things we've worked on are really starting to come through."
McGee (3-0) was stellar on the mound and had a no-hitter through 4 2/3 innings. He needed just one more out to secure a pitching milestone.
However, a no-hitter wasn't meant to be, yet. McGee gave up a two-out single in the top of the fifth.
"We were talking about it. I asked my coach, 'Have they gotten a hit yet?' He's like, 'No, but they're probably going to now,'" McGee said jokingly about giving up his one hit. "It was a good game overall. One hit isn't bad overall."
More importantly, though, the Panthers (6-1) scored their most runs of the season and secured the shutout when McGee struck out the final Chieftains batter.
"I knew my defense had my back the whole time, so I was really comfortable on the mound," said McGee, who also hit 2-for-3 with an RBI. "I know that my defense is going to make plays and they did."
M-CHS took care of business and now looks ahead to Friday's Southwestern League home showdown with Montrose, who is undefeated at 7-0.
"When we face Montrose, we'll really see what we need to work on then," Betts said. "It's different competition. I'm looking forward to it. Especially, with this group. They're coming in hot."
Gerardo Martinez and Randy Haley each hit RBI-singles in the first inning to put the Panthers on top, 2-0. Tallon Ralstin made it 3-0 when he stole home after a Chieftains wild pitch.
The Panthers poured it on in the third inning with seven runs to put the game away up 10-0. M-CHS scored one more in the fourth inning for the final margin.
Haley hit 2-of-3 with two RBIs for the Panthers, while Martinez was 2-for 3 with an RBI. Morales belted a lead off triple in the second inning.
"We've just been focused on hitting singles, hitting doubles and scoring people," said McGee about the Panthers progress on offense. "We were trying to hit the ball way too hard at the beginning of the season. We just need to hit singles and doubles."
M-CHS hosts Montrose on Friday afternoon at 3:30 at McAndrew Field.
"Hopefully, we can keep that momentum and keep their spirits up, keep them driving and wanting to win every game," Betts said. "My goal, is to continue this streak of good, quality baseball play and put it into league play."