Knowing that two wins against Centauri High School would be necessary to keep its playoff hopes alive, the Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball team took to its home field Saturday and came through with two of its finest performances of the season.
In the opening game of a doubleheader, the Panthers leaned heavily on the arm of Clayton Yoder and the bat of Dylan Kibel to nail down a 9-6 victory.
Yoder started the day on the mound for M-CHS and pitched six solid innings while allowing just four earned runs and striking out a game-high 12 batters. Sophomore Ty Blackmer took the mound in the seventh inning recorded three consecutive out without yielding a hit.
At the plate, Kibel came through with a triple and three RBIs, and junior Travis Beeson and sophomore Ernie Padilla both drove in runs. Senior Ryan Medina, Yoder and Padilla all slugged doubles for the Panthers, who scored five runs in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead and never trailed in the contest.
In the second game, M-CHS again put forth a solid offensive performance and walked away with a 10-6 victory.
Medina came through with a game-high four RBIs for the Panthers, and junior teammate Tristan York came through with a triple and drove in two runs. Kibel scored a game-high three runs, and Blackmer had one RBI.
M-CHS was led on the mound by junior ace Preston Davidovich, who pitched 5 2/3 innings while allowing four earned runs and striking out six batters. Blackmer entered the game in the fifth inning and did not allow an earned run over 1 1/3 inning pitched.
With the wins, M-CHS improved its overall record to 10-8 and its record in the Intermountain League to 3-5.
Currently sitting fourth in the IML standings behind Bayfield High School, Alamosa High School, and Pagosa Springs High School, M-CHS will conclude its regular season with a road doubleheader against Alamosa High School, which will take place May 11.