Playing on the road against Pagosa Springs High School on April 27 in what were likely its most important games of the season to date, the Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball found itself on the wrong end of two crushing defeats.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Panthers fell behind early and were unable to complete a final-inning rally during what ended up being a 5-4 loss.
Senior Clayton Yoder started the game on the mound for M-CHS and yielded three runs in the second inning and two runs in the fifth inning before giving way to senior Ryan Medina, who tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, the Panthers rallied with one run in the third inning to cut their deficit to 3-1. Pagosa Springs extended its lead to 5-1 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning before M-CHS closed the game with three runs in the final inning.
The Panthers were led offensively by sophomore Dylan Kibel, who slugged a two-run double in the seventh inning. Carson Yoder also enjoyed a solid day at the plate as the junior had two hits, two RBIs and one run.
In the second game of the doubleheader, M-CHS pulled ahead 1-0 after an RBI single by junior Tristan York in the first inning, but were unable to hold their lead and eventually lost, 3-1.
Preston Davidovich started the game on the mound for the Panthers and tossed six innings while allowing three earned runs and five hits. The junior struck out five Pagosa Springs batters and walked just one.
M-CHS received singles from sophomore Ty Blackmer, sophomore Korie Likes, Clayton Yoder, Kibel and York. The Panthers were unable to score any runs after the first inning, however, as Pagosa Springs scored two runs in the fourth inning and one run in the fifth inning to secure the victory.
With its record now at 8-8 overall and 1-5 in the Intermountain League, the Panthers will hit the road to face Monticello High School on April 30. M-CHS will then return home for an Intermountain League doubleheader against Centauri High School on May 4.