Painting the corners with his fastball and locking the legs of opposing hitters with occasional curves, Jasen Engel led the Montezuma-Cortez High school baseball team to an 11-5 victory over Olathe on March 15.
M-CHS’ opening game victory came after the Panthers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third inning and added four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-1 lead. Engel allowed just one hit through the first five innings and struck out six batters.
“Jasen came out throwing gas, and he was perfect through three innings,” Tim Passell said. “He only allowed one hit through five innings, but we wanted to limit him the first game so we’ll have him for the whole season.”
Receiving Engel’s pitches behind the plate was Cole Hermann, who took the field as a catcher for the first time this season and threw out an Olathe base stealer early in the contest. Olathe players did not attempt to steal a base after that point, and Passell commended Hermann’s performance.
Isiah Pena led off for M-CHS offensively and reached base four out of five times. Andrew Medina batted well in the middle of the Panthers lineup with two doubles and two walks, and Carson Yoder enjoyed a successful varsity debut in right field.
“Carson hit a double in his first at bat, and that was big for him,” said Passell. “He played right field for us, and he played well.”
Cutter Matthews relieved Engel on the mound and allowed one earned run over the game’s final two innings.
The senior struck out four batters and yielded two total runs.
“We brought Cutter in, and he shut down the little rally they had going,” Passell said. “He had four strikeouts, and he pitched well.”
Now 1-0 on the season, M-CHS will play its next game against Cedaredge at home on March 16. The game will be one of three at the Rumble in the Jungle tournament, which will include contests against Glenwood Springs and Montrose.
“It was good to get our first win, and we had a good crowd that traveled to check us out,” Passell said.
“We’re looking forward to the games this weekend. They should be really competitive and get us ready for league.”
This article was reposted on March 16 to correct the name of Carson Yoder.