Playing against an Intermountain League opponent for the first time this season, the Montezuma-Cortez High School baseball team performed well for the majority of two road games against Monte Vista on March 31.
Kicking off the first of the two contests with ace pitcher Jasen Engel on the mound, M-CHS pulled ahead early and limited Monte Vista to three hits en route to a 12-0 victory that lasted five innings.
Engel pitched all five innings of the one-sided contest and struck out seven of 18 batters. The senior did not issue a walk and allowed just one extra-base hit, which came in the form of a double by Levi Trujillo.
At the plate, M-CHS was led by junior Kale Hall, who went 2-for-4 with one double and two RBIs. Engel registered two hits and an RBI, and Isiah Pena scored one run and drove in one run. Ernie Padilla also came up big for the Panthers with a hit, a walk and an RBI.
Shortly after the conclusion of their victory in the opening game of the doubleheader, M-CHS retook the field and struggled to register hits off Monte Vista senior Enrique Ortiz throughout a 4-3 loss.
Junior Ryan Medina started on the mound for M-CHS and allowed two earned runs over five innings while striking out eight batters and walking two. Cole Herrman relieved Medina on the mound and pitched one inning in which he allowed an earned run and struck out three batters.
M-CHS pulled ahead 1-0 in the top of the third inning before Monte Vista scored a single run in the bottom of the fourth frame to tie the game. Monte Vista scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 4-1 lead before an M-CHS rally in the final inning came up just short.
Herrman led the Panthers at the plate with an RBI double in four at-bats, and Padilla also registered a hit for M-CHS.
Now 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Intermountain League, M-CHS will return to action when it travels to Bayfield for a doubleheader on April 7.