As far as final road trips of the season go, the Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball team probably could have enjoyed better.
Playing against tough competition in Grand Junction the Panthers dropped contests to Grand Junction High School and Central High School.
Even with the losses however, the team demonstrated improvement however, raising hopes that a solid season could be in the Panthers’ near future.
Panthers lose to GJ in slugfest
Kicking off their final weekend of the season on the road against Grand Junction High School on April 25, the Panthers’ offense was potent.
M-CHS’s defense and pitching struggled however, as Grand Junction prevailed 18-11.
“I was really happy with that game,” said Panthers’ manager Mathew Betts. “We were consistent, we hit the ball hard and we hit it where people weren’t. We really kept the pressure on Junction.”
Untimely errors and clutch hitting hurt the Panthers however, as Grand Junction scored eight runs in the third inning and never relinquished the lead.
“We made a few errors and that cost us,” said Betts. “They scored some runs off of those for sure.”
Panthers blown out by Central
Playing their final game of the season on April 26 against Grand Junction Central, the Panthers lost again, this time by a score of 11-1.
Keying the Central victory was a big first inning, which saw the Warriors score five first-inning runs.
With the loss to Central, the Panthers finished the year 5-13-1, leaving Betts hopeful that the tough season provided valuable learning experiences.
“I would have liked to have put a few more W’s up,” said Betts. “It was definitely a learning season. We had a very young team.”
So young, in fact, that all of the Panthers regular starters will return next season for what could be a solid year for M-CHS.