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Panthers win big against Cripple Creek

WALSENBURG — The John Mall Panthers delighted the hometown crowd with an impressive 15-3 victory over the Cripple Creek – Victor Pioneers who had trouble facing pitcher Zac Wells of La Veta. Wells was impressive. He sent a message early to the opponents, throwing twelve strikes in his first thirteen pitches and retiring the top of the order to begin the game. In all, Wells pitched a complete game, throwing seventy-six pitches and striking out ten batters. Cripple Creek was no match against the Panthers. John Mall opened the game with a number of hits in the first inning, scoring three runs. Wells singled in the first, and on the next pitch, Kyle Brooks drove him home with a RBI double. Amy Vallejos hit a single and was driven home by Trey Neely with his own RBI single. One of the biggest offensive plays by the Panthers involved the number of stolen

bases as a result of dropped catches by the Pioneers. Neely drove in two runs in the third with a double which contributed to the Panthers’ five- run inning. He also had two RBIs in the fourth. Their offense didn’t end there. In the bottom of the fourth, the Panthers scored seven runs. The highlight of the scoring spree was a solo in-the-park home run by Destry Crockett. By this point in the game, the Panthers led 15-1, allowing the Pioneers one inning to avoid the 10-run rule. They scored only two, hoping to make a game of it, until catcher Crockett was credited with throwing Mike Berger out as he attempted to steal second base. The first half of the double header ended with the Panthers winning 15-3. The Panthers had 16 hits in the game. The second game also belonged to the Panthers. The Panthers exploded with nine second inning runs to take a 10-2 lead. When the smoke settled, the Panthers won 16-4 under the 10 run rule, as the Pioneers failed to score in the top of the 5th inning. John Mall had four home runs in the game including two in the park shots. The first was by Trey Neely with a monster shot to the left field gap and the second was from Douglas Vallejos. The Panthers had eight hits during the game. The Pioneer pitching forced many base on balls which led to the runs. Trey Neely was on the mound and pitched a complete game, striking out nine batters and giving up three hits. According to Coach DeHerrera, “overall we played well for both of these games. It is always good to see the team hit well. We also played good defense.”