After winning as many games in 2017 as they won in the previous two seasons combined, five Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball players received all-conference honors.
Jasen Engel – first teamHeadlining the Panthers’ all-conference selections was junior Engel, who finished in the top-three in the Intermountain League in every batting category, batted .509 overall and led the league with 27 RBIs.
Engel also established himself as the team’s ace pitcher, winning a team-high five games, striking out a team best 67 batters, and finishing the season with a 4.04 ERA.
“Jasen won more games than any M-CHS pitcher since 1986,” Passell said. “He was our pick for Intermountain League player of the year and he came in second overall. There was no doubt about his all-conference selection.”
Coby Baer – first teamAlso making an appearance on the Intermountain League’s 1st team all-conference list was senior catcher/pitcher Coby Baer, whose ability to manage the team’s pitching staff and contribute at the plate did not go unnoticed.
Over the course of the 2017 season, Baer hit .302 overall, scored 23 runs and recorded five RBIs. The senior also contributed on the mound for M-CHS, finishing the season with a 3.61 ERA in 21.1 innings.
“Coby was top-five in our league in ERA, fielding percentage, runs scored and stolen bases,” Passell said. “He was the leader of our team and when I watched him compete in a varsity game a few years ago, I knew he was going to be something special.”
Caleb Compton – first teamThanks to his stellar defense at 3rd base, solid work on the mound, and timely hitting in the leadoff spot in the order, junior Caleb Compton was named to the Intermountain League’s 1st team.
During the 2017 season, Compton batted .500 overall and led the Panthers with 29 hits, which was just two shy of the school record. The junior also made major contributions on the mound, winning four games overall and finishing with a 4.86 ERA.
“Caleb has been impressive from day one with his talents,” Passell said. “His heart and determination stand out and his talented pitching arm allowed him to appear on the mound in nine different games.”
Cutter Matthews – first teamRounding out the 1st team all-conference selections for the Panthers was junior shortstop/pitcher Cutter Matthews, whose slick work with the glove and powerful hitting from the cleanup spot solidified his status as one of the league’s top players.
At the plate, Matthews finished with a .333 average and 12 RBIs, while on the mound, the junior finished the year with one save and no runs allowed over four innings pitched.
“Cutter is great on both sides of the ball and he competes to be the best for his team,” Passell said. “He will do whatever is needed to help the team and his personality makes everyone on the team better. He’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Andrew Medina – Second teamRepresenting the Panthers on the Intermountain League’s all-conference 2nd team was junior 1st baseman Andrew Medina, whose towering frame served the Panthers well in the field and at the plate.
Batting .346 over the course of the season with 18 total hits and 9 RBIs, Medina’s ability to consistently put the ball in play stood out to coaches around the league, who awarded him all-conference honors.
“Andrew’s ability to dig and catch everything we threw him was outstanding,” Passell said. “He bailed us out on some pretty crazy throws. He definitely brings great attitude and gives 100 percent every single game.”