Panthers baseball team withdraws from regional tournament – The Journal
M-CHS falls to Delta in tournament opener, 15-4
PARKER – In a season that has been a microcosm of the 2020-21 sporting calendar, Montezuma-Cortez baseball closed a roller coaster season – full of excitement and adversity – on Monday with another trip to the 3A regional tournament.
Coming up against a Delta team that ousted the Panthers from their last regional appearance, M-CHS couldn’t get revenge on their Western Slope League foe, with Delta claiming a 15-4 victory to end the season. Panthers.
Montezuma-Cortez (8-8, 5-3 3A Intermountain League) made his third trip to the 3A playoffs in the past four years under the tutelage of head coach Tim Passell.
The transition to Passell’s guidance coincided with a transition from the Southwest League to the Intermountain League, and a strong core of players resulted in a sea change in the Panthers’ success on the Diamond. Having won a total of six league games in the previous decade before Passell’s emergence, the Panthers have gone 16-22 in the 3A IML over the past four seasons.
Likewise, the Panthers closed a 0.500 season for the second time in four years, sending a quartet of influential seniors into the process.
Ty Blackmer starred for the Panthers in his final season for Orange and Black as he has found his place on the lineup card in various roles since he first stepped foot. in high school. Beating just a shade below 0.500 in his final year, Blackmer dazzled defensively from his shortstop and gave opposing attacking shots when it was his turn in the pitching rotation.
His classmate Dylan Kibel has proven to be the Panther’s offensive trainer par excellence, leading and finishing just behind Blackmer in nearly every statistical offensive category.
Ernie Padilla was the go-to pitcher in Passell’s rotation, as he chewed innings for the Panthers, leading the team in strikeouts and innings pitched. Meanwhile, Korie Likes provided another stable bat and a solid field glove for the Panthers.
The Panthers secured a playoff berth as part of a more stringent qualifying process, as only 24 teams were selected for this year’s 3A regional tournament. M-CHS entered as the No.16 seed and faced the No.17 Delta Panthers, the third-place team in the Western Slope League. In a region hosted by the Lutheran seed, M-CHS would have to face the challenge against two of the state’s most prolific offenses in order to keep its season alive.
Delta cut the Panthers away from that goal, as their offense started early, bouncing M-CHS on the pitch. Delta would advance to face the host Lions, where they would drop 10-3 in the regional championship game, meaning Lutheran would advance to the state tournament, which is expected to start on June 18 and run until a champion. be crowned on the weekend of June 25-26.